I came across an article the other day on Mozambique, worlds poorest nation becomes fastest growing economy, very true, but what is poorest, I went over there in the mid 90’s after the end of the war, what was there? boarded up empty shops cardboard instead of glass in the windows the streets lined with 1960’s wrecked cars and vans bombed out warehouses and potholed roads, that was on the surface beneath all that were complete sub-cultures of industrious entrepreneurial people going about there daily lives creating a living for themselves. They did not have the luxuries of what we in the west would call essentials but there were no pot bellied babies or queue’s of starving people with hands held out waiting for a hand out what was there was a proud nation ready to make the best of every situation, yes the hospitals were scary the police corrupt bandits ruled at night as the presidential motorcade hurtled through town with sirens blaring forcing everyone out of the way.Then came Billiton and built a 5b$ aluminium smelter and all this changed for some in a big way and for others the spin off was there to be had, within one year all the scrap cars had gone Japanese imports flooded the country shops reopened highways were built and the economy boomed for some, out in the country not much changed land mines were slowly cleared the locals carried on planting their maize and few veg living from hand to mouth eking out a survival day to day oblivious to the wealth of the cities.
This was a place I called home for close to ten years a place I came to love and a people I came to respect one of the most polite and respectful people yip there were great groups of baddies around like anywhere but if you treated them well they did amazing things for you.
Over the next few blogs I will share some experiences from those times, like buying a hand carved bed made by landmine victims,till then smile, make some ones day
Below some photos of the beach at Bilene a shallow warm lagoon, sort of like paradise.