I just got back from the trip of a lifetime: an African safari. I had the good fortune to visit South Africa (both Cape Town/Cape of Good Hope and Krueger National Park) as well as the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls. Wow. If you have done it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, it’s so worth it. No tigers or bears, but lions galore. And elephants and rhinos and hippos (my favorite) and monkeys and I could go on and on. Even ostriches and penguins! It’s something to behold. Of course it’s hard to go the entire trip without making Lion King references or Book of Mormon jokes.
The trip wasn’t 100% perfect in that I had a particularly fun bout of whatever the African equivalent of Montezuma’s revenge might be called (Mugabe’s revenge?). But, while inconvenient and generally nasty, it did afford me a field trip around the Zimbabwe health system. Wow, that was another sight to behold. Basically Zimbabwe has no health system. The government doesn’t fund one that meets any standard you might assume should apply (average per capita spend by the government on healthcare is about $20/per person according to those with whom I spoke – yes, you read that right). The average American probably spends as much at Starbucks every month as the Zimbabwean government spends on public health. (more…)