3 countries in 2 days
Trip Start Jun 12, 2004
50Trip End ??? ??, 2005
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The next day we drove through the Tete corridor of Mozambique. Mozambique had some nice rocky hills but we were warned not to go hiking off the road for fear of hidden landmines.
After 24 hours of driving & camping in Mozambique we arrived at the Zimbabwe border. The USA government currently has warnings against travel in this country, but then again there were warnings about all of East Africa and we had no problems there
Next to our campground in the capital of Harare, I stopped at a social club & started talking to two black gentlemen outside to get advice for places to visit in the city. They said to look around the club & they'd get a pen to write down some places. When I went inside, I realized it was an all white people. The men outside invited me to have a drink and after talking with them, realized I was talking to a successful local lawyer and the Zimbabwe Minister of Public Service. The club was required to let a few black members join or it would have been disbanded, so the only black members are doctors and lawyers and such. When I told them I was an actuary, the lawyers said there is an extreme shortage of actuaries in Zim - only 10 people in the entire country practice the profession.
Last night, I watched television for the first time in about 5 weeks - watched some of the Olympics. The TV-free period is an all time record for me, but I don't miss it at all.
Today I attended a small local church. When I asked, they said they'd have english service at 10am. When I showed up at 10, I realized they had arranged for a translator for me. The service lasted 3 hours. There was great singing, loads of announcements, and a sermon by one of the older women of the congregation. Most interesting was a special offering whereby people gave according to their "totem" - each of their surnames was related to some animal (such as monkey or lion) or another thing (sugar or river). We decided I'm a "river" since my name is of moorish origins. The church building was a half finished cinderblock and corregated metal roofed shed with a thatched fence.
After church, I caught a mini-bus into town. After walking for about 7 minutes towards an internet cafe, the police picked me up. Apparently, they were concerned for my safety as a tourist walking around town by myself, so they drove me to the National Gallery Museum where I caught up with some of the others from my trip.