Chris and I are still discussing and processing a lot of what we saw, heard and felt in Zimbabwe, and how those we've known have been affected by different things.
One of the striking contrasts for her was the difference between the young people of Zimbabwe and those of Bosnia Herzegovina that she visited a couple of years back to help with Novimost and their youth work. It seemed the main ambition of a Bosnian youngster was to get a good education so that they could leave the country and get a good job & have a typical wealthy western-style career. Entirely understandable when you see the kind of expectations that are presented through TV etc.
Contrast that with those we've known in England from Zimbabwe, most have either expressed a desire to return or already done so.
Now the outlook and circumstances ARE slightly different: those going back to Zim have already had an excellent education, and have an expectation of a reasonable lifestyle, or at least one they will enjoy due to experience and expectation.
But there's more than that. It's a whole different world view: the Zimbabwians have an expectation to succeed, even in spite of racial discimination and some of the other, darker things that have happened. I don't think this has come from being the children of the 'ex-ruling class' as some might see them, but instead from their strong Christian faith, and an expectation that God will be at work in their lives, giving them a sense of calling and success.
There was also a conversation I wasn't party to about patriotism, but which Chris has mentioned a couple of times, and that's generally a sign it was significant. Someone said that they were not patriotic, but from what we've seen it seems Zimbabwians are more intensely patriotic than pretty much any other race I've known, even if the country they are patriotic towards mostly exists in memory at the moment. I've certainly been turning different aspects of this over in my head a fair bit since returning, but haven't yet firmed up conclusions.