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Rebuilding Zimbabwe:
Cooperation Makes Sense

Shiny glass buildings sparkle in the sun as cars whiz by on the busy streets. People rush by, dressed for the office, and people pushing carts sell everything from statues to bananas. Shawn and I stare about us in amazement. We've just arrived in the capital of Zimbabwe from Mozambique, the last country we visited, and the difference is amazing.

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The shiny glass buildings and whizzing cars of Harare
In the capital of Mozambique, the streets were full of potholes, the buildings were old and crumbling. The quiet village we visited on the ocean had no phones or paved roads. Now, suddenly, we step off the bus into a modern city, and it makes me wonder, "What made the difference?"

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We slept in one of these thatched huts in Vilankulo
Compared to the countries surrounding Zimbabwe, it has done quite well, especially considering the problems they faced. After the war, there were many hard feelings between the whites and the blacks. Also, the people in Zimbabwe were not prepared to run a modern country. The Africans who won the war against the whites were soldiers. And many of the things most people grow up knowing about were totally new to them: electricity and telephones, letters from the government, mail boxes, buses, trains, courts, clinics. And, they were taking over running a country that had been really hurt by war.

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Abeja shows us the "sidewalk" in Mozambique's capital, Maputo
One person here told us that "When Mozambique got independence, they threw out their whites, the Portuguese." When the Portuguese left, they destroyed everything. They even poured concrete down the sewers! "In Zimbabwe, we kept our whites," he says proudly. "They stayed and helped build our country. Here, there is no difference between blacks and whites. We are all Zimbabweans." Well, I think there are still some differences, but I think the people here were very smart!


Shawn - Mystic Fortunes of Great Zimbabwe

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