Taking the train to Utrecht, I met with Herman, my contact at ICCO and with Ivor and Jac. Ivor is working with the organization I will also be working with in Zimbabwe, the SRC, the Sports and Recreational Commission. Jac is his partner.
It was a surprise to also see Marlou before she’s leaving for Cambodia tomorrow. Marlou, together with Ewan, her boyfriend, were on the same course in Utrecht that Betsy and I were on in November last year.
Ivor didn’t have many positive stories to tell on Harare or Zimbabwe. Well, the people were friendly and nice. At least most of them.
The list of problems Ivor and Jac mentioned wasn’t very uplifting.
Recently, a Dutch woman was arrested for doing shopping while a demonstration was afoot and she was kept for 24 hours, only being released after the Dutch embassy intervened. A man was shot in front of Mugabe’s residence, after driving into a tree (clearly, you’re not allowed to stop in front of Mugabe’s house). Occasionally, people get shot for not stopping in time at a roadblock. The SRC office hasn’t had paper for weeks. There doesn’t appear to be a PC available for me to work on. When renting an apartment, I should get one with a phone since waiting for a phone line to be installed can take two years. Mobile phone *numbers* have to be bought off the black market where the starting price is around 200$ (US).
On a more uplifting note, Julia stopped by for dinner tonight. She’s got her own adventures to look forward to. After her boyfriend will drive ‘their’ truck to Aktau (in Kazakhstan) this summer, they’ll drive to some of the other Stans later in the year, together. To me, currently, that sounds like a field trip compared to living in Zimbabwe.