Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

Weighing in on everything from avocados to Zimbabwe

America to Zim: Day 16

posted by Leila Z. on

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We arrived at Bushbaby Lodge early yesterday morning. Although it is not far from Harare distance-wise, it feels utterly remote -- not accessible by public transportation and no neighboring houses in sight. The "lodge" is actually a series of huts and other buildings. The centerpiece is the owner's house (off-limits to us) and the attached wide and deep veranda (where we eat meals and generally spend most of our time). It has a stunning west-facing view of the valley and a cool breeze can almost always be felt. The property is on a moderately steeply pitched hillside, so many of the huts are on different levels; the swimming pool is just below the veranda. I spent most of yesterday on the veranda reading, playing mbira, and staring out at the valley -- it's mesmerizing the way an ocean is. Erica's comment: "No wonder people wanted to steal this land."

I feel lucky to have arranged my trip the way I did -- being here feels like a real vacation, unlike some of my other Zim experiences (always eye-opening, sometimes hectic, not necessarily relaxing). Here I have a comfortable double bed, my own bathroom with hot water, and the hut even has a TV with cable! There's a rudimentary kitchen and a balcony, too. Of course, it's still Zimbabwe; the water pressure is terrible, I sleep with a mosquito net, and the roof is made of (fancy) thatch. 

One last piece of good news: lodgings here last night were less than I thought, as is the airport dropoff, so now I have $58 to my name here. I unexpectedly bought 3(!) new mbiras, so am running a bit short on cash. I still have a few more souvenirs to buy; my cash shortage gives added urgency to my negotiations in the market. Needless to say, no place outside the airport and a few fancy hotels accepts credit cards!

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