Vic Falls from the Zim side

Trip Start Oct 04, 2008
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Flag of Zimbabwe  ,
Saturday, October 11, 2008

Megan and I decided that we wanted to see the amazing Vic Falls from the Zimbabwe side. We kept hearing that is was a better view. Therefore we talked to our guides to see if it was safe and then crossed the border with two Australians from our trip. The hotel was very nice after spending 8 days camping and sleeping in tents. The breakfast buffet was a luxury. The next morning the four of us headed out to the markets. Rows and rows of animals made out of wood and stone. Its incredible to see all of the craftsmanship but also overwhelming because much of it is very similar. That evening after the Australians left, Megan I met a very nice tour guide in a local shop. We started talking to her about her village and we made plans to tour her village the next day. She now lives in a township closer to town due to the fact that she is the store manager for the communal store that helps to support her village. Most of her family still lives in the village. We saw many villages while driving through the countryside. I was anxious to actually see how people live within the villages. The lifestyle is very different. I wasn't that shocked to see the living conditions, I expected it be as such. Margret (our tour guide) took us to the local school called Monde. The kids were not in school because the teachers are on strike. The conditions in Zimbabwe are awful at the moment. Robert Mugabe the president of the country is a dictator and uses the country for his own personal benefit. Their money is worth nothing. The value of the money changed so people who had money saved at home or in the bank were left with virtually nothing. One US dollar equals about 1,500,000 Zim dollars. The ATM's only allow you to draw out 20,000 zim dollars at a time, you cannot even buy a bottle of water with that. People are struggling, most people in the village of Monde eat only once a day. Megan and I took rolls and muffins from the hotel, as well as some granola bars that we had to pass out. The people were very grateful. While we were visiting the school in Monde the headmaster was there and took me on a tour. The school is very run down. There is not enough furniture for the students and some of them have to sit on the floor. As I said before the kids rarely go to school  now due to the teachers striking. Sometimes the kids are to hungry to come to school, they cannot concentrate. Margaret also took us to see her grandmother in the village. She lives in a little hut. When we arrived she was asleep on the dirt floor, it took a while for Margaret to wake her up. She had not eaten in a few days and had very little energy to even sit up. I gave her a muffin and some granola bars. She was very grateful. Margaret translated for us so we could tell her where we were from. After the village tour Margaret took us to her house to meet her husband and daughter. Her husband used to be a teacher at Monde school but now has to work elsewhere to earn enough money. Teachers make about 20 US dollars a month. Margaret and I exchanged addresses so we can keep in contact. I hope to send her family some more money and anything that I can. I also have the address for the school and would like to set up a donation program to send books and school supplies. We paid the headmaster about $50 for taking us on the tour of the school. The money was for her and for the school. She was very grateful and told Margaret that we must have been sent from God. The money that we gave her is worth 6 months salary for her. Its seems like nothing to us, but to her it was a fortune. Margaret was also very grateful for the money we paid her. She said it would really help her family and that she would be able to buy her grandmother some food. It was a great experience going to Zimbabwe. I am glad that Megan and I made the decision to go there. Not to mention that Victoria Falls is much more spectacular from the Zim side!
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