Contrasts within 10 meters

Posted my travelstories. Working on other stories now. Independence of the Mozambiquan television. Doing research on that. Besides: enjoying the good life in Maputo. Contrasts like all the cities I´ve been in Africa. It is getting dark now and still a lot of women are selling their goods in the streets. Collecting a small income to feed their families. When I have guests in Nairobi people tend to say: ´Look at this poverty, it is so bad´ My answer always is, that on a world scale only 25 percent of the people are living a so called Western life. The other 75 percent is struggling in poverty. The difference is that you notice the contrast in Africa within 20 meters, you can see people dying in the street and others enjoying a croissant with an espresso while they check their agenda in their PDA. What is the difference between contrasts

Celebrations of 30 year independence in Mozambique

Big parties all over Maputo. Fashion, music, dancing the whole weekend. Just attended the speech of the president on the square in front of city hall. Did some sound recordings, will try to put them online. Finishing stories for my customers now. Preparing a trip to Swaziland for reports. I bumped into a scientist who did research, tested a whole townhip om HIV-Aids. I couldn’t believe my ears: 80 (yes, eighty) percent of the people was infected. Imagine this in your own town, village, block of houses, classroom… and imagine how this effects the way people interact with each other….

Other things…

‘You know, Arjen, my friend’, says Costa, international known local painter over a Laurentina (a local beer). The full moon being reflected in the ocean. Hardly any clouds. Dance beats being pumped in our ears. ‘You can make different stories here. What I can say: Trust is an important thing.The people who come here to do business and the locals should trust each other.’ I am nodding. We talk while we watch back packers dancing in a beach bar on Western music. The staff are the only locals wondering around. Diving seems to be the talk of the evening. Hours before people told me that they were admiring me. Why? Because I travel with the ‘horrible’ local Oliveira Bus. It was hard not to laugh. Compared to European airconditioned busses, with airspings, video, personal sound system and hostess serving free drinks, these busses are horrible, yes. But until now travellig

Terra de Boa Gente

Doing research on tourism. The price of wood to construct a house doubled in two year since a lot of building activity is going on. Same happened with the price of rice, staple food here. Explored a stretch of beach yesterday. Felt like Vasco da Gama, who called this land Terra de Boa Gente, The land of the Friendly People. Walking on unspoiled land, palmtrees, bleu see, nobody. Suddenly between the palmtrees: a grass hut, a few pairs of eyes looking at me, people smiling, waving. Within years the whole strip of land will have lodges, people running around half naked and the smell of sun lotion and braaing tourists will take over the smell of the ocean, giving the growth of Mozambique’s GDP a boost. ‘We are happy the tourists are coming’, Domingos (‘Born on Sunday’) a 19-year old curio seller tells me. ‘But only a few people make

Tourism dillema's

Still in the main tourist area. The coast is unspoiled, sand dunes, long beaches as far as the eye reaches. Somebody told me that during civil war all the plots I could see were bought by South Africans for almost nothing. Since four years, they have started developing the place. Prices of the land are going up, local people can’t buy their own land, and the unspoiled coast will change into a place with lodges, hotels and Scuba diving schools. The unpaved roads will be crowded with four wheel drives with mulungu’s (‘white men’) Even now tourists are already driving the unspoiled beaches with Quad Bikes. The average income here is most propabely less than 40 euro’s in a month. There is nothing wrong with doing business, it’s always interesting to see what is does to the local people. Should they really be happy about what is happening her? Sitting