| This morning we left Hwange, drove on a paved one-lane Zimbabwe highway, and passed
kudu, buffalo, zebra, and antelope that grazed roadside. We covered 250 km in four hours to reach our destination, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's
second largest city. Along the way we saw many small villages and witnessed the struggle between
rich and poor as we passed a large ostrich farm overrun by squattors camped on the porch and driveway.
Bulawayo is a modern city built in British colonial fashion: broad avenues, large square buildings, drivers
on the wrong side. The people are friendly and the prices irresistible. The US dollar's value increased
another 5% yesterday. Imagine everything reduced by a factor of five because our American dollar is so strong.
Even Western clothing in Bulawayo's modern mall complex costs $5 US or less. Movies are 50 cents at the cinema (now
showing Miss Congeniality, Hannibal, and Proof of Life). We enjoyed a sumptuous meal, with beer and
wine, in Bulawayo's fanciest restaurant for under $3 bucks apiece. Sadly, only people with access
to foreign money can enjoy the benefits of this hyper inflation. Local people are suffering. We watched a
procession of workers, loud but peaceful, walk Bulawayo's streets asking for higher wages since basic
commodities like bread are too expensive in Zimbabwe dollars. The average monthly wage is $8000 Zim (less than
$50 US), rent is $1000 Zim per month and bread costs $45 Zim per loaf. |