2017-09-28 / News

First GRSP student from Africa describes country to Rotarians


GRSP student Aaron Bezuidenhout introduced himself and his home country of Zimbabwe to the Washington Rotary Club, one of his host clubs during his one-year study in the United States. Terry Boswell (left) and Joey Fievet (right) were program hosts. GRSP student Aaron Bezuidenhout introduced himself and his home country of Zimbabwe to the Washington Rotary Club, one of his host clubs during his one-year study in the United States. Terry Boswell (left) and Joey Fievet (right) were program hosts. Aaron Bezuidenhout, the Washington Rotary Club’s GRSP (Georgia Rotary Student Program) student, presented the first of his programs to the local club, raising its meager awareness of Zimbabwe immensely.

“We learned of Zimbabwe’s location and its flag with a thorough discussion of its colors and symbols,” Washington Rotary President Terry Boswell said. “African flags tend to be very colorful emphasizing greens (for prosperity and farming), yellows (mineral wealth), red (blood of those who sacrificed for freedom), black (majority population), and the African fishing eagle which is like our bald eagle. Independence was gained on 18 April 1980.”

With an English heritage, Zimbabwe’s two large indigenous groups share the Shona and Sindebece languages. Although land-locked there are two rivers which supply much of the country’s hydroelectric power and provide a well-known tourist attraction, Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River. Victoria Falls was discovered by David Livingston during his explorations of the African subcontinent.

Most of Zimbabwe’s trade is directed toward South Africa and Mozambique. Agriculture plays a large part in the economy and tourism takes a large share with Victoria Falls with Zambia. The falls are between these countries in the western area. Game preserves feature several large African animals like lions, cheetahs, elephants, and cape buffalo. Hunting is limited and controlled by governmental regula- tions.

Diamonds cannot be easily traded outside Zimbabwe as they are embargoed because of political reasons. Some of the largest diamonds ever mined are from Zimbabwe.

Tourists consider locals to be quite friendly, diverse, and outgoing. Most local foods feature a heavy diet of vegetables, fried chicken, beef, sadza (a course corn product), and some large insects like locusts and silk worms. Cattle are considered as currency in rural areas.

The capital, Harare, has a population of three million at night and four million during the day as large numbers of workers migrate daily to work. An election is pending which could change the governing party after years in office.

There are five providences or states in Zimbabwe. Each features a predominant product from manufacturing to agriculture. Zimbabwe was considered the breadbasket of Africa at one time and is growing more productive yearly.

Locals dress in bright colors and emphasize music as part of their daily interface.

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