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1997 in Zimbabwe, part 8

This is the eighth in an ongoing series of posts that capture journal entries from my incredible trip to Zimbabwe in 1997. You can read more about my motivation for the journey and why I’m revisiting it now in the original post. I was 21 at the time I wrote this.
Part 8
7/2/97, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe
OK, feeling a little better today. I had a small breakdown in Talita’s office today and was told basically to get over it. So I have to be strong and endure the amazingly slow pace of life in a developing country, as well as the poverty and inconvenience. It took me two hours this morning to produce two letters at work, because I did not have all the information and had to wait on others , all of whom are incredibly slow and extremely irritating. I finally got all the information and got the letters printed out and then went into town with Lovemore, my partner in crime (at work anyway). We had several errands to run at the Embassy and at Speciss College. Lovemore had to make a delivery to a lawyer and I finally bought some postcards.
Lovemare is a very interesting young man, he actually works for CHIYSAP as a Project Officer and unlike most people his age, he lives alone and has some logical plans to make money outside of CHIYSAP because they don’t pay very much. Harare during the week is much more bustling than on the weekend, but I still didn’t see very many white or ‘colored’ people. The buses from the outlying areas all come to one place and to go anywhere else you have to take a taxi, which is expensive, by CHIYSAP standards anyway. So we walked to the embassy.
This is the second time I’ve been there and I guess I was expecting to be treated differently there because I’m an American citizen. This has not been the case. Most of the people who work there aren’t American anyway so they could give a shit. When I registered there the other day I got a flier for a 4th of July celebration taking place at some park in Harare on Saturday (July 5). I’m going to try to go and I hope it will be a positive experience. Anyway, we went to the embassy because they fund the dressmaking training unit and we have some questions about the practical application of those funds. They guy wasn’t there and we were told to wait outside or come back later.
So we walked all the way back to the bus station area and got a ride to Speciss College to register the three secretarial trainees for their placement tests. This was a complete fiasco. First we were given the wrong form, that fact was only discovered after we filled out all three. Next we found the real form and were told that we had to fill out 9 of them (one for each person and each subject that they were taking the test in)! I was extremely frustrated, that college is worse than CHIYSAP! So after we finally got all the forms done, we had to wait for this guy to manually create a receipt for each and every one of those forms. In the end I felt sorry for him because I wasn’t very nice to him at first. I should learn to be more patient I suppose.
Next we took a bus back to town and walked back to the embassy but the guy still wasn’t there so we walked back to the bus area and stood in line (the queue as they call it here). We got back to CHIYSAP before everyone went home.
It has been sprinkling/raining since the afternoon. Everyone says it is very cold but I don’t think so. I’ll probably say something different tomorrow morning in my ice cold shower. Last night I was awakened by shouting, a thief was stealing something from next door I guess. The neighbors discovered him and he jumped over the fence into our area and ran around the back of the house and jumped the fence again. Apparently they caught him and beat him (that was the report from Francis). This afternoon when we came home we found that he had left his shoe in the front yard. This is the second incident in the week that I have been here. I guess that’s the reason for all the bars and locks. I hope my stuff doesn’t get stolen while I am here.
Continued in Part 9

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