Friday, June 8, 2007
I have so many thoughts and so much to say about Zimbabwe and everything that I experienced that I'm deliberating on how to bring that about and how long this blog/email should in fact be. I'm just going to let it happen and see what comes. If I'm repeating then I apologize.
First the People
The initial thing that comes to mind in regards to my trip is just this group of kind people that I involved myself with. Everywhere I turned there seemed to be someone who was willing to help me and guide me, etc.
Second the Peril & Possibilities
The day that I got back I was pondering my trip and I was trying to figure out how I felt about everything that I saw in Zimbabwe. It was put to my pefectly and succinctly that what I saw was both "peril and possibilities." Using that phrase really helps to sum it all up nicely. Constanlty my eyes just saw people in peril. One becomes so familiar with the place that they are in, that I tended to forget that I was in fact in a third world country. We use that phrase here back home in America without thought or care and with ease but in fact it means so much when you are there on the ground. People are in peril. Children with AIDS. People losing their homes. People being killed by the goverment. People having a real reason to hate their goverment. At the same time I reference you back up to my first section of this blog, due to these people at the same time you see possibilities. Zimbabwe was at one time a thriving country, and in reality it was not that long ago. It can be again I believe, or at least in a much better situation.
Third the Breaking of the Cycle
We need to pray for new goverment. I would rather not even touch on the current goverment because who am I to really start pointing blame, but I do think in my honest opinion that change can first occur if a new goverment comes into power. Just because that happens doesn't necessarily mean things will change, but part of the possibilites I think hinders on a change of regime. There is a cycle of corruption in Zimbabwe that I fear is going to be hard to break. It begins with the uppermost leaders in goverment and filters down into the everyday people. It is a vicious horrible cycle. Life for the everyman revolves around the parallel market ( a.k.a. black market) due to the immmoral and insufficient goverment restrictions on the necessities (gas [petrol], food, power, money, etc). Because of this goverment and these unlawful (but of course they are the law) restrictions and legislation people are forced to become "movers and shakers" just so they can live at a normal level. I fear that even if a goverment change does occur this part of the cycle is going ot be hard for some to break. It will be a slow process if anything. Furthermore, the corruption cycle runs into the civil servants. This is a major problem. If the police are not being fair and just and honorable then that has so many explosive counteractions for a society. I was driving home from Hwange National Park on my last two days before I departed for home. I was driving on a main highway (meaning paved and one lane each way) and a police officer off in the distance stood out in the middle of the road and waved me over to the side as I approached. This is common practice in Zimbabwe. I got stopped 4 times on my trip home form the park. Except, now, as you get pulled over, everything is up in the air. The third time I got pulled over the police officer asked for my license (I was not speeding, there was not even a radar gun out, I was driving safe and fine) then started walking around my car looking at it suspiciously. He asked me to get out of the car and then proceeded to accuse the car of being stolen. He did not go back to a police cruiser or check some system - in fact I didn't even see one around at all - he just made the accusation after walking around the vehicle. I told him it wasn't. He said that I didn't have the proper tags on the car. This car was not even mine, it was a rental. I knew at this point that this police officer is making this whole thing up. What he is doing is looking for a bribe. This happens all too often in Zimbabwe and has unfortunatly been woven into the fabric of the culture. This is an every day occurance. Corruption like this must stop.
Fourth the Last Thing I'm Going To Say
That is all I can say. I have written a lot and I have so much more. I feel like I can go on forever. I feel blessed and I appreciate, and I will see Zimbabwe again sometime soon. I have said my thanks in essence, but I will conclude with just specifically the people who helped me over in Zimbabwe.
--- Specifically Denis, a godsent, just a huge help in times of need and basically always. The King family (Warren, Tez, Kayla, Davin, Byron, the baby in Tez belly), this is a large family (with the extended family almost all living on the same property outside Bulawayo) that just gives and gives and gives. They put me up for countless nights and fed me countless times and I took food from them and took time from them out of their lives and they were so willing and so amazing. I miss them already. The Anderson family (Paul, Syliva, Daniel, Emma, Scott, Abby) related to the King's, and everything I said about the King's I echo for the Anderson's. They put me up for a few nights and fed me and just made me feel like I was at home and let me use their internet and just everything. Victor Nakah (president of TCZ) put Ryan and I up for a few nights and took teh time to speak to me privatly and is a kind and caring man who cares about TCZ very much along with Forgotten Voices. Bishop Danisa Ndlovu (along with Trezia, Winnett, Dudu) a man who is determined to help Forgotten Voices and is in fact going out of his way to help a group of young actors who are travling from stateside blind into Zimbabwe. Along with that he fed us and gave us shelter and spoke to us kindly and let us sit and pray while he and his family prayed in the native tounge. It was great. Richard Ndlovu (along with Snow, Vuyo, and little one on the way) again, same as above, gave us shelter, love, food, some music, a great family. Fibion Ndlovu who is giving his life to the church and the people in his community as people pass away daily. It takes a strong man to attend funeral every day for people he knows, Fibion may have the nickname of "the little elephant" but he is a strong man definitely and I appreciate him.
Until next time,
Written by Ryan - ForgottenVoices.org at 6/08/2007 12:50:00 PM
Monday, June 4, 2007
I haven't been able to write much because I have not been near a computer much over the last few days. I am leaving to go to the airport to fly home. I will write a final blog when I arrive at home, but I wanted to quickly say thanks to everyone. Specifically thanks to my donors (I love you), the people here in Zimbabwe who helped me along the way (I appreciate it very much), those reading this blog who donate to FVI and AIDS related charities (keep it going and praying you are very much needed), those who read this blog for the entertainment and stimulation with my wonderful anecdotes and nuance filled prose (keep praying for this country and supporting FVI whenever you can, it is much needed and it definitely helps), and thanks to FVI (you rock).
Written by Ryan - ForgottenVoices.org at 6/04/2007 02:21:00 AM