Zimbabwe: Expectations vs. Reality

I’ve been awake for the last 3 hours because of this little thing called jet lag 🙂 It’s good to be home, back in the USA, and I know that I still need to write about how my trip ENDED (I will do that soon!). For now, here’s a little video I recorded the first week I landed in Zim.


Where Dreams Go To Die (and why mine is still on life support)…

You want to know where dreams go to die?

Monday. And the day after that. And the day after that. The “everyday grind” is exactly where dreams go to die. Why? Because almost every one of us have moments of time (even days, or weeks if your lucky) when we feel very inspired. We feel like we can do anything, be anything, achieve anything. We can make a difference. And we can make the world suck a little less by helping others.

Then, we get sucked into the overwhelming responsibilities of everyday life.

So, that is exactly what (almost) happened to my dream. Last summer I was sitting on my living room couch, talking to my parents about this phenomenal idea that I had just thought of. My dream was to build a school in Zimbabwe. At least one. Just one. Build one school, then I could die happy.

Yeah, I was in that honeymoon phase of dreaming. Everything was exciting. I was ambitious. I created this blog. I posted it on my Facebook timeline. Over 70 people viewed it. And then…nothing.

To my defense, I’ve been in school full-time since last June. This is my final year of college as an elementary education major, and I’ve been grinding away! In fact, I just began my final semester, student teaching.

Which brings us to now. Now what? 

This Christmas break, I spent a lot of time catching up with many of my friends via phone calls, Skype, and even going out to eat a few times. Undoubtedly, all of us 20-somethings were discussing what was coming next in our lives. I have an awesome friend who is an author and speaker. I have another friend currently living and studying in Lebanon. I have yet another friend who just spent some time in D.C. interning at a law firm. Many of my friends are workingtoward meaningful goals and jobs and vocations.

And myself? I had gotten to the place where I was complacent. I’m graduating this spring, and I’ve already been asked by any and everyone I know, “What are you doing after you’re done?”. I was considering teaching abroad to make some money and start my career. Or maybe staying here and beginning my career in teaching. Now, none of these options in and of themselves is wrong. What is wrong is selling yourself short when you know God has called you to something else.

Today, I re-decided that I really want to do this. I still want to go build schools in Zimbabwe.

Not 1. Not 36. But a 1,000. I may be 80 by the time I’m done, but (God-willing), it’ll get done.

Why? Because this dream actually makes me feel alive. Terrified. Hopeful. Passionate.

I’m all in. But. It will begin with me revisiting my original plan (see above blog post). Which is why, though I’ve “fallen off the wagon” once already, I want to try this…again. Posting a couple times a week, and keeping you all updated on the good, the bad, and the ugly.

This dream is not dead. But it is on life support! I’d appreciate your prayers as I continue to ask God to lead.

Where Do I Begin?

About a month ago, I was inspired to do something big. Like really big. I came up with the idea to raise money to build a school in Zimbabwe.

Let me back-track. I’m a senior in college in the US, who is currently studying elementary education, and I’ve always had a passion for children and teaching.

My plan for this summer goes something like this:

-Officially register my non-profit organization “Tine Vimbo” – Schools Providing Hope.

-Launch a website for the organization

-Blog on this WordPress about the ups & downs of the process of…building a school

-Raise $10,000 for a 3-month trip to Zim next summer from May-July to buy the land for the school, meet with administrators/teachers, and get government permission to build

-Contact my relatives that live there. Contact people I know that live there. Contact err’body and their mama.

-Plan, plan, plan. Make a to-do list. Make a timeline. Get serious.

As you can tell, this is a bit much for any one person to-do, which is why I’m trying to surround myself with wise people. I will be taking at least one other person along with me on my journey, probably my father, so that I won’t be alone.

But I might need a team 🙂 We’ll see about that – everything is still so new!

On a visit to Zimbabwe, by my Gogo's [grandma] house when I was 3 years old.

On a visit to Zimbabwe, by my Gogo’s [grandma] house when I was 3 years old.


Why a school? Why now?

I have conversations with my friends all the time about “changing the world” and “doing big things”. It seems like our generation, more than others before, is obsessed with making a difference and leaving our mark on the world.

For me, it’s personal. I was born in Zimbabwe. Yes, I came to the US when I was 2 months, and I am now officially an American (as of last summer), but I still have Zim blood pumping through me.

My grandparents live in Zimbabwe. Some of my extended family still lives there. It’s home.

And though I haven’t visited since I was 12, it stays in my heart.

I was heartbroken when a month ago I read about the issues that my home country is still facing today, especially with education.

Read this article by UNICEF for more in-depth information.

Anyways, to answer the question of “Why schools? Why now?”, this is what I say…

If someone doesn’t take action, things will only get worse.

I’ve got a burden on my heart for the children of Zimbabwe. 

Welcome to my journey.