Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Selling of Mozambique

The news was interesting today. ‘Mozambique Sells the North to Brazil’, the headlines read. Apparently the government has invited Brazilian farmers to come and rent land for 50 year leases for extremely cheap. Apparently the Brazilian banks are advertising and gearing up to give loans to these farmers. They say it is to benefit the country because Mozambicans will learn a new way of farming with big machinery. It seems suspicious to me. Why not take the Mozambicans to Brazil so they can see the farms in Brazil and return to Mozambique with new skills? Why does Mozambique need to rent cheap land, as  little as $2 a hectare per year, to foreigners instead saving for their own people?

My colleagues say it is the selling of Mozambique and it will be the seeds of war and strife for future generations. Tete province has already been sold to Brazilians and Australians hungry for coal and oil, the forests are being shipped out to China as fast as it can be cut and they say Manica will be next if precious metals are discovered. It is a new colonialism with a different image than that which was started by the European powers in the past. This time it is not ivory, trade or slaves, but coal, oil and lumber. The next generation will wake up with the land again commanded by overseas nations protecting the settlers they have sent to Africa. Again it will be others who command the land and have the power over the inhabitants. Only this time it will not be Europe.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Rain Day Fun
It rained today, so Nadia and I were not able to make our usual trek to the park. So we made cookies instead. Here's Nadia decorating our creations.
 And with the finished products:
I only had Christmas "frinkles" (sprinkles in Nadia-ese) but it was cold today, definitely winter here in the sub-tropics.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Simple pleasures

- Walking with my daughter to the park and listening to her sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and the alphabet song
- Nadia’s version of the alphabet: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, K, K, lmnop, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
- hanging laundry on the roof of our apartment building and enjoying the breeze and quiet solitude of being alone high above almost everything around
- buying fresh vegetables from street vendors and conversing with them
- seeing my husband’s excitement to try new recipes from his new wok cookbook and searching out the ingredients to make them
- a quiet evening at home—Nadia in bed, Joél practicing his guitar, me writing and our neighbors not making noise
- washing dishes in warm water and the resulting clean kitchen
- cup of tea
Nadia’s imagination

Child development says that children between the ages of 2 and three start developing an imagination. Nadia is 2 years, 1 month and 1 week. Today I saw her imagination.
We had grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch today. She often will eat the soft bread of a sandwich before (if) eating the crusts. Today as she worked on one of the crusts of a quarter of her sandwich, she said to me. “This is a kitten.” Then she held it to her chest protected by her bib and proceeded to pet it. Then she told me, “The kitten is soft. I yuv [love] it.” This happened for a few minutes until the crusts separated from each other. I felt awkward because I wanted her to finish eating her sandwich but didn’t want to encourage her to eat a kitten or to stop her imagination. When the crusts broke apart, she told me, “The kitten broke.” Then carried on eating her sandwich with no more comments about a kitten.
Then later on in the day, she went to the potty. She sat for a while then stood up, and proclaimed, “I made mud!” (poop in her words). Then as she looked at it, she told me, “It’s an elephant!” “It’s a snake. Sssssss.”
Welcome to the world of imagination!