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You’ve got mail, in Zimbabwe!

   I met Blessing in 2013 in Thessaloniki, Greece, my hometown. He was born in 1987 in a village near Mutare, Zimbabwe. In 2009 he got a scholarship from his country to study medicine in the Greek Military School of Combat Support Officers. The public school provides him accommodation and boarding. He learnt Greek well enough and he speaks English fluently, as many Zimbabweans do. Zimbabweans are famous for their education, their friendliness and their humour. That’s the case of Blessing too. He visits his family and friends in Zimbabwe every summer, when the school is on vacations. He is now at the fifth and last year of his studies. So, he will soon return to Zimbabwe to serve in the army.

Liberty with his BMW

Liberty with his BMW

   In Zimbabwe I had the chance to visit two of his friends. The first one was Liberty in the capital, Harare. Liberty is a young photographer who shoots weddings and other events. He came to meet me on his tuned and shiny BMW 316! We went to eat in a local restaurant where I tried sadza, a white, tasteless staple food which is made out of ground maize and is found almost all around Africa. They eat it with a sauce made out of vegetables and leaves, sometimes topped with fish or meat for people who can afford it.

Eating sadza with Liberty and his friend.

Eating sadza with Liberty and his friend.

   In Mutare I met another friend of Blessing. Peter was born and raised in the same village where Blessing was. Now he is the accounts officer of a banana plantation which supplies many African countries with its tasty fruits. That’s one of the few farms which belongs to a white Zimbabwean that the government hasn’t confiscated. It is huge, it employs thousands of people and it really supports what has been left from the country’s collapsed economy.

Peter in the office of the farm where he is working as an accounts officer.

Peter in the office of the farm where he is working as an accounts officer.

   Peter himself rents a small farm to grow some potatoes and beans. Now he is thinking to venture into cattle and goat raising, since there is a high demand around Christmas. He used to be a sculptor working on wood. He showed me the scar on his arm which is what was left after an accident with the chisel. Zimbabweans are famous throughout Southern Africa for their handicrafts. However, Peter realised he could not make a living out of this. So, he decided to get a better education and make a career on accounting.

   I was glad to meet Blessing and his nice friends in Zimbabwe! I got to know how each one of them lives in Greece and in Zimbabwe. After all, that’s what “You’ve got mail!” is all about…


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