The cursor hovers over the "send and receive" icon and I hesitate before pressing enter. I haven't heard from my parents for a week. Although I know the telephone line had been faulty, I desperately hope that it has been fixed – however temporarily – simply so they can reassure me they're OK.
I have three new emails. The first informs that I have enough FlyBuys points to purchase free electronic products online. It has been 19 months since my husband, two children and I settled in Australia, and yet, I'm still amazed by the giveaways, promotions, sales and bonus offers.
The second email is deleted immediately. It's advising me to resend it to seven friends within 10 minutes or be cursed with years of hardship. It's already disappeared, but suddenly I feel superstitious. I'm a Zimbabwean. For years I've binned emails like this. Perhaps all my fellow countrymen did the same? It certainly seems that nothing but misfortune and bad luck have shrouded our beautiful country for more than a decade.
The third message is the one I've been waiting for. I'm relieved and happy, eager to hear my parents' news. I still retain a desperate longing to keep up to date with the dismal state of affairs unfolding at home. The recent flawed election process has once again propelled Zimbabwe into the news and my appetite for information about the situation is insatiable.
My parents, left in the capital, Harare, form part of a population subjected to unabated, deplorable actions sanctioned by their government. In five months' time, I can initiate an application for a visa that will hopefully give them the opportunity to begin a new life with us here in Australia. Whenever I hear from them, left behind there, I feel a terrible sense of guilt, and find myself wondering.... Could I have made a difference had I stayed?
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Monday, 25 August 2008
Farewell my beautiful Zimbabwe