After spending 1.5 months in Zimbabwe I wanted to share some of the not-so-commonly-known facts and some of my observations about this beautiful country and its people. I tried to compile my favorite 10 facts below:

1. Everyone is extremely friendly and warm.

2. Zimbo’s have a very weird english accent. To me, it sounds like a mix of British and Jamaican accents.

3. In addition to the accent, Zimbo’s have also adopted the character of the British. They are polite, reserved and have an interesting sense of humor.

4. They use some phrases in odd contexts. For example instead of saying “really?” they say “is it?” or “sure?” This one threw me off a bunch of times during my first week here.

5. Pronounciations of certain words in the "Zimbo English” are absolutely hilarious in my opinion. “Alright” is pronounced “Oorrrigghttt!” in such a manner that you think they are fed up with you. Some Zimbo’s (especially my co-worker Leo) pronounces “Sure” as “Sho?”

6. OK, enough with the language observations, let’s get down to the juicy stuff - food! Zimbabwe has the best chicken I have ever eaten. Period. When I was in the U.S. I had stopped eating chicken mostly because I had not idea how those poor chicken were treated most of the time. Well, Zimbabwe is a GMO-free zone and the chicken and beef are absolutely delicious!!

7. Sadza, Sadza, Sadza: This is the staple food of a Zimbo meal. It is type of a cornmeal of which variations exist in other African countries, such as Ugali in East Africa. It really does not taste like anything but when Zimbo’s eat with their hands, they dip Sadza into the sauce of the beet, mix up with some veggies and here is your perfect bite! I tried it a few times in my first week but it makes you very, very sleepy!

8. This USB mp3 player that attaches to the car charger. Literally every car I rode in has this tiny device.You basically plug a USB stick into it that has thousands of pirated downloads of local dancehall tunes and get to listen to it over your cassette player. Yes. Back to the basics my friends.

9.  Whatsapp: No wonder Whatsapp is valued at $14billion! Come to Africa and observe how insanely popular it is. If a Zimbabwean starts texting like a maniac while you are talking to them, do not worry. They can multi task really well. Those Whatsapp messages need to be answered immediately! The local service providers even have “Whatsapp bundles!”

10. You know when Latinos type “jajaja” for the laughing gestures on text messages. Well, Zimbo’s write “kkkkkkk”. For about 2 weeks I thought it was just another way of saying “Okay”. Well apparently it actually is for the laughing sound of “kikikikiki." I am not sure who laughs like that though...
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