As I make my way down south I enter into the reality of Zimbabwe. A country with very nice people, lot of beauty but also a lot of struggle.
The bus ride from Victoria Falls to Bulawayo was the worst one in my life. The bus left at 5 in the morning, but there was no chance you could sleep as they were playing loud cheerful African music on the radio, and the road was so bumpy that I literally took off the seat every minute… for 7 hours.
Anyway, I arrived in Bulawayo and I went to my host’s house. Vaida has an adorable family and very nice friends. I stayed here for three days only because things were getting complicated in Zimbabwe.
What happens is that in 2008 the Zimbabwean dollar devalued so fast that stacks of money were worth less than a US dollar. So they starting using the US dollar.
Recently the government announced that they want to introduce a new Zimbabwean currency, which people call “fake money” as they don’t believe in it. To give you an idea of the type of government Zimbabwe has, “Mugabe” has been the president for 40 years, so it’s a dictatorship. Now people are trying to withdraw their US dollars from the banks before the government changes the currency and the hyperinflation hits again, but the banks only allow people to take a small amount of cash per day, so people queue everyday at the ATMs for like an hour. In addition, the government banned the import of some products “to protect the local industry” and this started riots and strikes at the South African border, they even burned a government warehouse where South African products were being kept. This all sounds sadly too familiar.
A lot of excitement going on in Zimbabwe these days, but not everything is bad. I still got to enjoy walking around the city. There are many buildings with colonial architectural style, large street markets, a beautiful park and much more to see in Bulawayo.
I leave heading south again, making my way to Maputo in Mozambique, but first I would have to pass by South Africa again. I didn’t know if this would be possible, because the border was closed the day before, but luckily, I had no problems.