Thursday, May 21, 2009

I wonder where all this bad economic stuff will end up. I hope it doesn't get so bad that too many of people are out of work. I would hate to see it be like it is here in Zimbabwe - the unemployment rate is about 85 - 90% -- that means only 10 - 15% of the people are working. Lots of people sell newspapers on the street corners and tons of people have their little stands on the sides of the roads and streets selling a few vegetables and fruit. They might make a few dollars a day. We stopped with our friend Tabeth one day because she wanted to buy some fire wood on the side of the road - no one appeared to be there and then all of a sudden 4 guys ran across from the other side of the road where they were sitting in the shade. Each one seemed to own one pile of wood and they were all at her trying to get her to buy theirs.

Speaking of buying wood -- lots of people do not have electricity here so they cook on a little bonfire. They really are burning up a lot of the trees and I guess it is becoming a concern. Everyone is always gathering wood. There is smoke from bonfires a lot - it usually smells like a campground here. Now that the rainy season is over and the grass is drying out they burn the grass. It hasn't really started in a big way yet but apparently it will start soon and people say that they burn the whole country practically - a lot of smoke. To quote someone: "That is the way it is done in Africa". They don't really get the grasp of composting and putting back into the soil. They say the burning kills the bugs/pests in the fields - perhaps that is their only way they know of to do it. It just seems weird that they can start a fire in the ditches or fields and it doesn't turn into a wild fire like at home -- but it doesn't. It just burns itself out and no one seems concerned at all. When the burning get underway I will have to get some pictures. Right now we have just seen a few smaller burns. The problem is that when things are burned then you can see all the garbage - cans, etc. that are in the grass.

Speaking of garbage - that is another issue. There really is no garbage pick-up to speak of so there are piles here and there. They burn it too but there are still cans and glass left. It can get kind of gross. I guess we get used to it because it doesn't bother me like it did at first. I suppose they don't have as much garbage here either since they really don't waste anything - they have so little to begin with. We might think something is garbage but they can use it for something. If I offer our housekeeper Beauty a cardboard box or egg carton or bottle etc. she is really happy to have it. She loves getting the extra fat off meat because she can use it in her Sadza. Boy! We waste so much in America!!!

Anyway, I wasn't planning on going on this much. Have a good day.
Love, Mom

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