U.S. Presidential Election Day, Harare, Zimbabwe

Rich and I both really like Harare. This morning we had our first walk around, and I feel really comfortable here. The city is clean, hot (at times) and from the small shopping centers I’ve seen I would think I was in Sacramento if I didn’t know better. The city is so Western; it’s like I never left the States! There are sporting goods stores, arcades, copy stores, stationary stores – all like the ones we’re used to at home. All the streets just outside the 5 x 5 block city center are super wide and lined on both sides with these huge trees, each flowering beautiful red and purple flowers. It’s like being in a forest of the things!

We wandered around, then headed over to the U.S. Embassy to get a letter of recommendation so we could apply for our Zairian visas. When we went to go pick up our letters they were waiting for the Consulate to return so he could stamp them with the official seal. We happened to be in the waiting room when he returned, so he came out to talk to us. I guess he doesn’t see many Americans, ’cause he just chatted away with us while he was signing the letters. He told us there was an Embassy-sponsored party in honor of the U.S. election, and they’d have CNN on so everyone could watch the returns coming in. The party was at the U.S. Information Agency (library) in downtown Harare, starting at 6:00 a.m. the next morning. No problem, we thanked him for the information and went on our way. We walked around some more, then headed back to the Sable Lodge to get wrecked and lounge around. The Sable is like that – it’s almost too relaxing.

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