Just over a week ago I arrived at Harare International Airport and stepped into the bright, hot sun. A jovial WFP driver named Kenneth picked me up and answered all of my questions about life in Zimbabwe (yes, they do have Nandos). Upon arriving at my accommodation, I promptly collapsed from exhaustion from watching too many in-flight movies. Post-nap, I met my hosts – a lovely couple, Jens and Kaneko, with good taste in wine, and two cute kids. I also met their cat and peacock, both of whom were friendly. I spent the weekend with the family going from farmer’s market, to cafe, to drinks on the veranda. The above photo features my colleague, Ai, in our host’s garden.
Living in Harare has been very similar to living in suburban Johannesburg. Borrowdale is a leafy suburb with large gardens and many blossom-filled peach trees. The nearby shopping center had several shops I frequent in South Africa, and a pretty fantastic coffee shop which we sometimes stop by on the way to work. Minibus taxis here are as wild as in Johannesburg and potholes as common. Butter here is $10, but avocados are twice the size so it’s not all bad. The US Dollar was the primary currency used in Zimbabwe until last year, when the government released bonds that are of equivalent value to the dollar. Both currencies are accepted although people seem to prefer being in possession of dollars due to the better buying power.