The Transforming Power of Ideas

“No army can withstand an idea whose time has come.” Victor Hugo penned those words in 1852. I can imagine him sitting in a sparse room in France, elbows resting on a large wooden desk, fingers blackened with ink from his quill with a candle close by, just offering enough flickering light to illuminate his…

Searching for Chingamwe

We had been driving around for hours and I was beginning to lose hope. We had crisscrossed the same stretch of winding road between Mutare and Nyanga in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands all afternoon and although the rolling, forest covered mountains on each side of the snaking road made for a spectacular view, it was playing…

The Pillaging of Africa’s Breadbasket

The road to the farm was dusty. Giant clouds of sand could be seen forming behind the truck, rolling and settling in the afternoon sun. Remnants of the tar that had once covered this road were still visible every now and then, spilling out from under the thick layer of red African dirt that had…

A Penny for Your Thoughts? … Not in Zim

In coming to a country such as Zimbabwe I obviously expected there to be aspects of everyday life that I would have to get used to. It would have been foolish of me to expect otherwise. For example, I came prepared to experience Zimbabwe’s notoriously unreliable power grid and, predictably, I have already had to…

In the Thick of it

Back in March when I started planning this trip one of the things I was most excited for was the fact that I would be in Zimbabwe during the elections. A severe lack of democratic process and inept attempts at efficiency have been the defining characteristics of Zimbabwean elections for a long time now and…

A Long Awaited Return

The sudden jerk of the landing plane frightened me awake. I had fallen asleep shortly after my departure from Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia and now, after nearly 24 hours of non-stop travel that saw me fly out of Toronto, into Rome and on to Addis Ababa, I had finally arrived at my…