7 Things

  • People here in Zimbabwe are very competitive when it comes to saying “Hello, how are you?” They take this very seriously. I am now learning to take the initiative to say this first instead of waiting others to greet me.
  • Electricity is barely there. So apparently they used to have a pretty clear schedule of when people of certain region would have power and when they don’t, but nowadays you need to forget that a schedule even existed. Usually at my place we would have power around midnight to dawn… which is barely useful, but yeah…
  • Purple is the colour of Bulawayo. Now we are entering the second week of October and Jacaranda starts to bloom everywhere in town. You could see some streets and avenues would just be covered in purple alleys in two weeks time and I am pretty excited about that!
  • Tap water is drinkable! Well, for those who are brave enough and around those buildings where they have water filters. But yes, I have been carrying my bottle around (bought it here at one of the Chinese shops, will talk about it later) and refill my water almost everywhere I go.
  • They have Chinese shops here in Zim. Well, not exactly like shops owned by Chinese people, they are shops that sell Chinese imported goods. So these shops are famous for having all sort of trinkets and selling cheaper goods.
  • But, there are barely any Asian here. So far I barely see fellow Asian around the town, it could be just me lacking more adventurous trips around, but I could safely say I met only 3 fellow Chinese (ethnically) people here. One time I was walking home and the guy in the car even stopped the vehicle just to stare at me which was quite funny.
  • The people here have money, but not exactly. So we are using exclusively domestically used currency called Bonds. You can safely say that the exchange rate would be 10 Bonds per 1 USD or so, it changes every single day so it’s really hard to say. But these Bonds notes you can only get here in Zim, while usage of USD is pretty much illegal unless you have special permits to do so. So yeah, it’s pretty complicated right now.

So yeah, those are 7 things I found amusing from my 7 weeks being here in Zimbabwe so far.

Cheers!

Greetings from Bulawayo

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Greetings from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe!

I landed safely in the country last month on the 23rd, and have been living with my host family right after we came from the airport. I am living at the eastern part of the city with them, 8 kilometers away from the city center. The family I am living with is consisted of the parents and 2 small kids, 9 years old and 5 years old.

There are 4 exchange program participants in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. 2 SALTers from Canada, Micaylee and Alison, another YAMENer from Cambodia, Vichhay, and me. We all work in different places and stay with different host families.

We started 1 week orientation at August 26th, where the MCC Reps and staffs explained about the works of MCC here in Zimbabwe, and what cultural things to expect here. We also went to Hwange National Park to have a team retreat with the MCC staffs and their families.

Currently we are in the language class week, and we are going to visit our workplaces tomorrow, which I feel very excited about. Next week we probably would still have some language class, and probably more about the working place.

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city centre
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good, good, doughnuts
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the Bulawayo main post office

I am attending the Bulawayo Baptist Church right now with my host family. And beside attending the Sunday services, me and Micaylee also attend the bible study group on Wednesdays. It actually helps a lot to interact and make friends of our peers outside the MCC circle.

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Last two weekends ago, I went with my family to watch cricket matches (first time for me!), and it was pretty cool. It’s not that kind of sports with a lot of cool movements and acts, but at the end of the match I actually went on to support one of the team in the competition.

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you aren’t really Indonesian if you’ve never done this, I think
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chocolate ice cream!

Right now it’s at the end of winter, and spring/summer is supposedly coming soon. The weather is a bit weird here, and they told me it’s mainly just winter and summer all year round.

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beautiful sunset!
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Some flowers have started to bloom around! Next month they said it should be all green and purple all around the city, I can’t wait to see that!

We have light the fireplace in our house twice already because it was very cold last weekend, we had some smores and just chilled out around the fire. We never need fireplace in Indonesia, so it’s pretty exciting for me to do that.

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I guess that’s it for now. Until next time! 🙂

a beginning

As I’ve mentioned before, I will be going to Zimbabwe next week to volunteer with MCC for 11 months. The program I am in is called YAMEN, shortened from Young Anabaptist Mennonite Exchange Network. Read more about YAMEN (and MCC) HERE!

Sadly, unlike what I’ve said previously, after deep considerations, I’ve ultimately decided not to bring my film camera with me to the continent.

Last Tuesday as we gathered at Salatiga for a short orientation, I tried to filmed some sort of a vlog, to share with my friends and family how it was, how I was and just to share some fun.

I cannot promise for more vlogs (or filming more often) in the future since it’d also depend on my future schedule, but I am taking lots of pictures that’s for sure 🙂

As for now, please enjoy.