Bumping along a dirt road for five hours, I caught my first glimpse of Zimbabwe’s rural villages rising up from the dust.
The capital, Harare, seemed modern and wealthy. The contrast with the poor country villages was extreme.
Yet the mood among the rural people was upbeat.
We arrived just after the harvest and people, poor as they still were, kept offering us freshly picked fruit and vegetables.
But the drought that stalked Zimbabwe for two years could come back at any time.
Crops would die and parents might skip meals to feed their children. Disease and malnutrition could even carry some youngsters away.
Despite all of this, I am optimistic about Zimbabwe’s future.