Dusty Roads

A Kiwi living in the new Zimbabwe

We have interwebs!!

September 2, 2018

One of the biggest frustrations we have faced since we arrived is the lack of readily available internet connections.

This is not for lack of interwebs…it’s simply because the Robb’s had run out of data in Harare. When we arrived in Vic Falls a week later we were well behind on our contact with people, but still had to wait two days for the lads from Zol to come dig up our garden and connect our fibre.

It seems the idea of ‘unlimited’ data packages is quite limited here (excuse the pun), because every company we looked at was asking $150 or more!

But once we picked our 75GB per month package it was all pretty straight forward, and by 5pm in the evening two days later we were FINALLY in contact with the rest of the world.

That all brings me to another lesson about Zimbabwe. It is a weird mix of super advanced and functional, versus totally undeveloped and dysfunctional.

We got internet pronto, but the next night this happened:

Also, thanks to the broken economy Zim is basically a cashless society- totally undeveloped right? Except someone came up with the genius idea of linking banks to cellphones so your phone becomes your wallet. This is a society that basically operates on it’s own virtual currency, a type of ‘bitcoin’ called Ecocash.

Everyone from the supermarkets to the stall owners on the side of the road use it. A couple of clicks on your cellphone and their one beeps, with a message saying they have been paid.

It’s such a simple, but genius idea, streets ahead of NZ!

Then, of course, your water cuts off or the power surges and blows up your cell phone charger (true story, should have taken pics!) and you feel like you’re in the Africa of the news clips again!

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