Craig Zabransky is our next First Friday Wild Blogger, and yet another adventurer inspired by Zimbabwe. Having recently travelled to Southern Africa you’ll be able to delve into this region of the continent on his website, Stay Adventurous – Craig completing his marathon “All Africa, All April” series just last week!
We’re hoping that his catalogue of tales and “in the moment” photography will inspire you to travel to one of the wilder parts in Africa, and if you’re crazy about conservation you can always hop on the truck with us and take part in Zimbabwe’s grounding breaking lion project.
Going Back To School in Zimbabwe…
In a country where a $50,000,000,000,000 dollar bill might get you $1 USD from a tourist (only as a souvenir, the currency is worthless) and unemployment comtinues to rise and reach 90% in some areas, the future might seem bleak. Very bleak.
In fact most tourists, skip the country on safety concerns or don't travel anywhere outside the Victoria Falls area along the mighty Zambezi River and Zambian border. Zimbabwe might be considered a country with little hope. But one stop on my travels changed my mind.
When traveling in Africa everyone seems to visit a school. I'll admit I thought, is it cliche? Would it move me? Change me? Well, it did.
After our arrival, we were warmly received by students with song and dance. Local customs proudly remain on curriculum. I wondered what happened to such classes in my state side study.
Also, the students learn in both their local language and English. This enabled it much easier to converse. (I don't speak many African languages). We learned about their life and they asked abut ours in an structured Q&A session. Then afterwards, its free time - we walked around and visited other classrooms and its library (donated by tourists) to talk with the students. We even had the opportunity to donate supplies or funds to the school directly. Most, if not all, did.
But the joy for me was watching the children. You see the shy smiles and the joy in their soul. You see surprising western influences and the pride when they show their workbooks. And best of all you see kids being kids; kids being happy. A future does exist here.
Eventually as the bus pulled away, I stared out the window. My thoughts reflected about my good fortunes in life. From my education to my life as an American. I am very thankful. But I smiled, there I was on the adventure of a lifetime across Africa, and all I really searched for and wanted at that moment - to be as happy as those kids. And feeling that, I know there is hope for Zimbabwe.