|Zimbabwe may be grabbing world headlines, but Mozambique has
bigger problems. Whereas Zimbabwe has started to slide into economic
oblivion, Mozambique is already there. A costly seventeen year civil war took a
heavy toll. Then the winners of the war, the communist party, did the rest to ruin
the economy. Now Mozambique has instituted a free market economy and is hopefully on the
road to recovery. As we drive towards the coast, the landscape becomes greener. The small towns and
villages are less developed than their Zimbabwe counterparts. As we drive by, people try to sell
us food by waving a leg of goat, lifting a whole guinea fowl (still feathered), or raising a flapping
chicken. The most interesting thing we notice is the road itself; it continues for miles without
any exits, a thin ribbon of asphalt that connects the coastal cities to the Zimbabwe border.
|Towns spring up along the highway that forms mainstreet for every one of them.
|In contrast to Zimbabwe, huts are built from reeds instead of clay (must be a result of
supply - these coastal areas have a lot of reeds but no dried clay).
|During our daily drive we passed a few schools. No school building, just classes outside
underneath large trees.|
|Three percent of Mozambique women are pregnant, a high percentage. However, the child mortality rate is
even higher (believed to be approaching 20%). All women carry their babies with a blanket wrapped around their waist - it
seems to be an effective 'baby backpack.'|