Aparna in Mozambique

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Elections are in the Air

Morning all,

Cloudy Sunday morning in my Maputo. In my pajamas with my pot of coffee, the BBC, and lots of things on my mind for the week ahead....

Well, the biggest thing on everyone's mind is the election in Zimbabwe and what is going to happen. So far, the opposition is saying that they won, but Mugabe is still insisting that although he wants to be fair, he won't acknowledge another winner. Sounds like a fair deal, right??

So, everyone is buzzing about with the excitement of an election. Results won't be out for a day or so, but still. And it makes me think of this year's election in the U.S. and the promise it holds. I think that most people agree that a lot more is at stake in this year's presidential election than before and people are really charged to go out and vote.

One of the things that always amazes me is the amount of coverage of the U.S. in the local press. This week, for example, in the local independent newspaper, the entire speeck of Obama's on race was printed in translation and it took up an entire two pages! There was also an article critiquing Obama and calling him Obambi for being soft. My friend thought this was very Maureen Dowd of the article to make up names like that, but that is besides the point. I realize that the paper in the U.S. covers other countries, but I find it interesting that in a country with much greater ties to Europe, the U.S. gets so much coverage. It makes a lot of sense, that the U.S. as such a large donor country (and war faring country), has an impact on other people's lives, but still, I find it really interesting.

I've been thinking a lot about getting ready to go oup back to the north. I have really truly been enjoying Maputo and all that it has to offer in terms of culture and learning opportunities. But, I also feel that I'm just about done getting my background information and its time for me to put some of my skills back into practice. Still waiting for lots of approvals in Maputo though for the project I'm on here so my trip to the field has been very long delayed. But, in the meantime, I've been putting together some of the work I need to do up in Beira and learning about the history of Mozambique and other Luso-phone countries in Africa as much as I can. Knowing your history never hurts, right?

My life past August is still up in the air, but I've come to accept that. I have the ability to stay in Mozambique until the end of November if I'd like, so it is good to know that there are options for me. There is certainly enough to learn and enough projects to be done, and I am feeling a lot stronger than when I got here. When I got here, I felt very out of place and irrational needs to go back to the U.S. But now I'm feeling a lot more well-placed and patient. It is interesting how just a month back in the states made me so anxious and wanting to return to something that I wasn't even necessarily a part of in the first place. Ah well, I guess its just that sometimes you can long for a place or state that exists for someone somewhere or maybe in your mind, but that you have never yourself experienced. Its having nostalgia of something you don't know right, but maybe think you would like to know? I guess sometimes this compells you to action and to planning and to good things, but sometimes its just wasted thinking on things that are not immediately important to you in your day to day life.

Who knows. Last week my friend from Malawi came to visit and it was such a breath of fresh air. We were all over town and it was so nice to have someone else come and take a look at the city with fresh eyes. She loved it of course. Cafe culture is to be appreciated when you are coming from Blantyre. And we spent a lot of time walking, talking, eating, and generally enjoying life and each other's company. My favorite kind of visit. We also took a trip to the beach, which was my first trip since I've been in Maputo. Also, she inspired me to finally get my act together and perfect my driving skills so I cut a deal with my favorite taxi driver's friend and have my first lesson for "stick shift" set up for Monday. I figure that its a safety issue and if I don't learn now, well then it will be that much longer.

As usual, I am thankful and feel blessed (or lucky as my dad would say) for this opportunity. I am finally getting to the point where I feel like I know something and am realizing, probably with my looming birthday, that I am at an age where people take me a little bit seriously (well, only when I don't smile every 5 seconds). I wish everyone a wonderful week and hope you enjoy the pictures (More to add to the album but these ones of the girls are fun for the time being)!!

Sarah's Visit to the Big City

Lots of Xs and Os,


Blogger The Bear Maiden said...

I got your email with questions about music, darlin. Email me again when you have a chance...

11:18 AM  
Blogger Acacia said...

you always start your blogs in your pyjamas!! reading between the lines it sounds like you are not completely settled but struggling on never the less, you are such a trooper. well done apsy, tell us more about the project you're working on...

2:06 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home