It’s been rather quiet around here …. and that’s because I had traveled for almost two weeks to Harare, Zimbabwe, to attend the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). Ofcourse, we cannot talk about HIV/AIDS and STIs without touching on women and maternal health issues -which I love writing about, and so there I was (blogging does pay off).
My stay in Zim was pretty busy and I didn’t get time to do anything else (such as put up blog posts as I had intended to), but focus entirely on the proceedings of the conference – which were very informative. I will be highlighting, in subsequent posts, some of the key messages I took home from ICASA. In the meantime though, let me share with you some of the four things that stood out for me from Zim:
1. Harare is HOT. Hot hot hot. At some point I had to google to just to check where we were again because I was sure we were right in the heart of the Kalahari Desert. I had a permanent headache for the first like three days before my body got used to it. The heat!
2. Zimbabwe’s roads are good. Both within the capital city and out of it. We drove to a rural village called Kasanze which is about 2 and a half hours from Harare, and the road all the way was good. I didn’t count even one pothole. It was a smooth and comfortable ride. Save for the excruciating heat.
3. One of Zimbabwe’s favorite meal is sadza, which is just a softer version of our ugali. I ate so much sadza and goat meat stew I thought they would grow in my stomach. The sadza is quite nice, actually.
4. Zimbabweans need to get to the point where we (Kenyans) were during the clamor for multi-party democracy and the change in leadership. Those guys need a miracle I tell you. ‘Dejected’ is the best word that comes to mind when I think of Zimbabweans. I have all my suggestions about what they can do, but this is not a political blog so let me stay focused. But in summary, I think that Zimbabweans are not yet fed up. One day, they will be completely fed up, and that day, there will be a revolution. They will just wake up one day and say you know what? We’re done. We’re done with this gobbledygook. Remember how fed up Kenyans were, when all we wanted was a DIFFERENT rulership? Yeah, Zimbabweans need to get there. And they need to not be afraid to get there. For now, they’re not yet there. Nope. Not even close. The day they’ll be fed up, the whole world will know.
ICASA though was a very good experience – more so in my capacity as a journalist/mummy blogger, and I’m glad I attended. And no, I didn’t get to visit Victoria Falls because it’s over 500km’s away from Harare, and as mentioned, mine was purely a work trip :). Victoria Falls is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world, and one of Africa’s most outstanding attractions. Woulda been nice to visit it though.
Otherwise hope you’ve been well yourself?