Mozambique and I – in 2018

Spring in Maputo was very different this year.

It was hot, very hot, over thirty-eight degrees. My suitcase was packed with clothes for a chilly spring day, long-sleeved T-shirts, thick winter pants and half-high boots.

So, quite impractical in the face of climate change by El Niño in southern Africa.

Mozambique - Maputo

My heart opened as I was welcome extremely warmly that I almost cried. I was assured with laughing eyes and heartfelt gestures. Finally I understood the word “Saudade”- as it is sung in the Portuguese Fado – heartbreaking and loving, which my colleagues expressed for me.

You think that was only playing and only in the beginning, but no, I dipped in a warm bath of appreciation, respect and laughter.

If you come from Germany, you areused to cool business conversations, interrupted occasionally by a smallest smile. But here in Maputo it has overwhelmed me again, that there is such a lot of sympathy, deep looks in your eyes, eulogies, loud laughter, jokes and you just feel comfortable in the presence of the others.

I saw many great results and artworks from “my” projects that had already been stimulated and started a few years ago in my times working in Mozambique.

The message of this painting, which will be used nationwide, is that intimate contact between people who do not know each other well enough could lead to transmission of serious diseases.

This artwork will decorate a bus which will travel in remote areas without electricity, films and theatre plays will be shown in order to inform about various diseases and how to prevent it. The team of the bus will offer different measures and medical advices, for example various health tests such as measurements of blood pressure and offer HIV tests.

A real surprise for me was a newspaper article in late September 2018. It announced that the Mozambican parliament will open to the public for the last three days of the month, offering discussions for young people with their deputies, historical photos about the development of the Parlamento Popular as it was called at the beginning in the times of Samora Machel.

Samora Machel was the first presidentof the new democracy during and after the devastating civil war(until 1992, Lusaka Peace Agreement). Up till today, he is admired,was then and is still the darling of his people, but also of theworld community, their funding paid almost everthing without anyconditions.

That was not really good for the growing corruption.

Unfortunately Angola is not a real good example. On the contrary. In this photo, the Mozambican parliamentary president Veronica Macamo meets with the long-time President Angolas Dos Santos.

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