Monday morning from top floor of Meikles Hotel
After one night at the Meikles, I moved to the Bronte
This is why.
Inside the Bronte Hotel
A bold crossing
One of the new taxis passing folks waiting for a bus -- note cell phone numbers for all three major networks, and my reflection in rear view mirror
It's month-end, so there is a long queue
outside the bank to withdraw cash
Corner of 2nd and Churchill, near University of Zimbabwe,
Spar market in the Avenues sells maize seed (the red stuff),
for urban gardens and for bringing to relatives etc.
After a century of white maize only, yellow maize meal
finds its niche as a luxury product from South Africa
at $5.80 per 2 kg it's way more expensive than fancy dehulled white maize meal (Pearlenta) at $6.60/10 kg
Driving out towards Mutare
A used clothing market behind the fence,
fruits and vegetables in front
All major roads have fresh ditches dug alongside, for the
new fiber-optic cables to upgrade phone & internet service
Rushing past real life
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) hard at work.
Having lost any ability to borrow, the Zimbabwe
government is now on a strict cash budget so manages
its roadway toll collections very carefully
The old Crocodile Motel, freshly painted
Our vehicle's reflection in Solanky's window at Rusape
The turnoff towards Nyazura,
driving on the way to Africa University
Notice the phone booth
Nyazura is just barely visible from the main road
We kept going towards Mutare, and returned the next day
Back to the turnoff towards Nyazura
We eventually found Mrs. Musa, the senior woman teacher, and Mr. Chakara, the deputy headmaster.
The headmaster (Mr. Chimbada) was away.
Note the date on this plaque, almost a decade after
the school actually began operations in the early 1980s.
First stop, our old house
The only teacher still here from 1985-86 was Jamela;
the first thing he wanted to show me was the thriving
avocado tree that Mia had planted between our houses
Jamela is a nickname from the long-ago war;
here is a more formal picture as Mr. & Mrs. Tadius Shumba
The backyard kitchens behind teachers' houses
are needed because of power cuts, to cook with wood
The residue of last year's bananas in front of teachers' houses
Guinea fowl and one fine-looking white chicken
Jamela brought me up to the classrooms
It's Saturday, so students are studying in the classrooms;
with so many broken windows they must be
really cold in the winter
The on-duty teachers brought desks outside,
the better to supervise several classrooms at once
I was form-master for the kids in this classroom
A science classroom
Another science room, with its broken chalkboard.
Notice what someone wrote just under
the list of "advantages of breastfeeding".
Another science lesson.
Looking from the classrooms, towards
the assembly area and admin block
Classrooms as seen from the assembly area
To the left of the shaded benches is the assembly area, in front of the podium.
Apparently the student assembly no longer involves a quasi-military honor guard,
or Pamberi-ne-ZANU cheerleading, although some teachers are still called
Comrade rather than Mr. or Mrs.
Teachers on dining hall duty sit at the high tables
Thatch and bricks on hand for construction
Tobacco seedlings for the school farm
A big batch of bricks by the school garden
A whole lot of muriwo growing here
Fields burned, ready for plowing when the first rains come;
the school's cattle are grazing last year's stubble
A long walk ahead
Driving to Chakuma
This this nice new small-scale tobacco curing barn was
made by Maxwell Chakuma, who had been at Mavhudzi in the early 1980s
Making a small stable with hay above helps to shade and preserve manure, so nutrients can be returned to the fields
Our destination: the well-kept compound of
Amai Nickson Chihlori.
The compound as seen from below, looking up hill.
Sadly my flash was broken so couldn't take photos
inside the kitchen
Bedroom is the square building on the left
Looking away from the bedroom,
towards the kraal and the Blair toilet
Building materials for the next project.
Amai Nickson surrounded by, from left:
Shingirai (19, in Form 6 at Rukweza);
Blessing (son of Nickson);
Rudo (daughter of Greta);
John (10, her last born)
Another compound in Chakuma area,
along the road back to Mavhudzi
The dam and lake behind Mavhudzi remains underused.
Mavhudzi's tobacco barns
Mavhudzi dormitories as seen from the back road to/from Chakuma
Back to the front gate. On arrival we went through the school's locked gates on the left, and then returned from Chakuma along the main access road from the right.
The boys' dormitories are just visible behind the entryway.
Leaving Nyazura on a Saturday afternoon,
the shop stands are half-full
David was able to deliver his mother's maize from Mhondoro to the Aspindale GMB depot in exchange for urea fertilizer, and plans to deliver the remaining maize when the depot gets its stock of compound fertilizer.
Looking back at the house
Flying into Lusaka, the new pivot irrigation systems dominate the landscape
In Kitwe, we stayed in bedrooms behind the Arabian Nights
restaurant, where they did this nice touch with the towels
This strip mall has it all.
Notice the cell tower behind, and the satellite dish.
Note all the nice new bicycles outside this agro-dealer.
PAN 53 is a newly-introduced hybrid from Pannar;
CFU-FAO vouchers are distributed by the
Conservation Farming Unit for subsidized seed & fertilizer
There are three major seed companies in Southern Africa
but Pioneer just bought Pannar; will this make the market more competitive between them and SeedCo, or less?
Sorry for blur but couldn't resist the billboard for United Phosphorus, a giant Indian fertilizer-seed company, with some of that irrigated wheat behind.
Zambeef's Huntley Farm,
ground central of the high-visibility commercial sector
(Although they probably have real economies of scale,
whereas row crop farming usually doesn't)
Pivot irrigation at work
Could irrigated wheat be done more cost-effectively
by smallholders? If so, how could they get loans to start?
Zambia's large-scale farming sector in full force.
Who needs workers when we can use tractors?
Sorry for the blur, but I just had to include this.
A bumper harvest means both trucks have trailers
Loading up maize, lots of charcoal behind
Waiting for transport
The FRA takes it all in
...especially from larger farms
A white elephant: silos from the bad old days of NAMBOARD
Sorry about the lines - this was taken through the rear window, to show the copper ingots on this truck... and the chickens + plastic buckets on the bicycle.
Another nice transport contrast;
here both scales of operation could be equally efficient,
for different routes.
Nick O'Connor showing nodules on plant roots,
due to parasitic nematode infestation
Nick O'Connor's experimental garden testing ways
to control nematodes etc.
Nick's industrial-scale compost turner from South Africa
(note sawmill in background)
No pink flamingo here -- instead it's a zebra!
The sun sets on Zambia's old economy of
cheap electricity & copper mining
The new economy:
"Chinese Team for the Construction of Ndola National Stadium in Zambia"
Ndola National Stadium
The new economy, part II:
high-tech meets labor-intensive
With Anthony Mwanaumo!