I share this story as a simple lesson in unconscious bias. As pastors in training we demonstrated our own prejudice. No doubt we demonstrate such prejudice every day without thinking as we did in the comfort of our classroom. Prejudice is sin; prejudice is a deep rooted sin in the church and we need to reflect, acknowledge and repent of our sin.
It was an honour to hear first-hand from men and women who had survived the holocaust. A few years from now there will be no more survivors; their generation will have passed on from this life. As he spoke Peter said, “Try not to hate; hatred gets you nowhere.” I want to learn the strength and power of the decision to love.
One week I am waking up wondering about the safety of a journey across Harare to the airport, the next I am taking my kids to school then heading towards the Houses of Parliament. One week I have no internet due to the Zimbabwe government shutting it down, the next I have easy access to high speed broadband and 4G wherever I go. One week I am in glorious sunshine the next I am wondering if the snow might settle or if it will just blow around a do nothing.
Our hearts were certainly in our stomachs as we crept along. It began with a sense of tension that we could feel from our driver and the team leaders of our trip.
I wonder about the history before Rhodes, but this is a history almost destroyed by the era of colonisation and post-inpendence. I'm concerned that only looking back to the days when Zimbabwe was apparently known as the breadbasket of Africa will not bring the answers Zimbabwe needs.
Lesson 1: Don't be an arse! Lesson 2: Respect and honour. Lesson 3: Wear Sunscreen! Lesson 4: Don't frighten the wildlife. Lesson 5: Be prepared for rain. Lesson 6: Observe the sky. Lesson 7: Expect surprises.
As I travel I am more than aware of my privilege as a white male with a British passport. I hope I learn some lessons and meet some people that will allow me to make a difference. I hope I am able to use my undeserved privilege for something worthwhile for others.