We Got Hammered—Project Updates :: 2017 Q3/Q4

We Got Hammered—Project Updates :: 2017 Q3/Q4

It's that time again—our quarterly review. This time in the form of an annual review...

We got hammered.

The African bush knows how to rid you of all self elevation or haughty looks. We set off to the Zambezi valley a few weeks ago, just after the first rains, and got our backsides handed to us. It's a camping trip we do each year.

This time, there was a flood just before. We still went—as adventurers do. As Africans do. As Zimbabweans do.

We went in spite of the warnings, the possibilities of hope deferred by situations beyond our control. It parallels the previous political landscape and maybe even the current one. Get it—bush landscape and political landscape. Terror. Wild animals. Flash floods. Possibilities of nonsense and surprises.

We got stuck. Once. Dodging the huge puddles but then a trailer flipped behind one of the cargo vehicles and thrust it into a ditch filled with water. Done. The tractor from Zimbabwe National Parks had to pull it out (2 hours later) and the trailer was left for dead.

Then another vehicle broke down with no reason. It had to eventually be towed back to town (350+ kilometers away) and two rescue vehicles were sent to save the bush crew. The rescue vehicles came out with suspension problems and with loose parts.

Getting home was a delight, but we wouldn't have traded the experience for the world.

It's a complete give and take, doing what we do in Africa. 

There's the take. And it takes its toll on you. This year has been one of those toll-bearing situations.

  1. Dollar de-valuing on black market faster than anyone could get money out of the bank.
  2. Scare and real time reactions of hyperinflation.
  3. Not being able to trade outside of Zimbabwe with local money.
  4. The ongoing water issues at home—where it should be normal.
  5. The lawsuits which are completely based on greed and not validity.
  6. The constant stare of despair in people’s faces as they just try to survive the economic war zone Zimbabwe has become.
  7. Scarce resources (rationing of flour, butter, basic goods). Scarcity leads to time spent surviving each day.
  8. Zero progress or in many cases backwards progress in our companies based in the mining sector, resources, and tech.

You've got these moments that are monumental. Huge. Hilarious. 

This year those were:

  1. Educate received additional funding. Their targets are being hit.
  2. Hopley community catalyst. A team of partners rolled into town and we’re reaching that community in a greater way.
  3. Soccer tournament in one of the poorest places in Zimbabwe.
  4. A change of president. The first time in 37 years.
  5. Cops are off the roads.
  6. Local VAT tax was cut in half.
  7. We Sold a concept, script and story to a major network about the Zimbabwe hope arising and new direction. Check it out here.

There are battle scars and so many things have been left for dead like the trailer on our camping trip. Sometimes they're better left out in the wild, without an additional attempt to revive them. We've left companies and closed them off, because the journey onwards would have been slowed down. Other times you have to send rescue vehicles and get help from outside. We're starting to really see that work with our international friends and partners. So bear with us as we spill out the metaphors and be as raw as we can about our wins and losses.

To end this post. Check out the link that our team at CMedia created that's completely shaping the direction of the hope conversation for the entire nation. We sold it to a company to make it sustainable, but the story is out there. Check it out because it looks like the nation might have just gotten out of the wilderness.

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

(photo via sarahtz)