Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From the drawings of children...

While in Caia and Marromeu I had some of the children draw pictures. I did not ask them to draw anything in particular and it was a random selection from different villages and as you can see, the children seemed to capture the very situation in which they found themselves.
Below are just a few of those drawings...
you'll notice that most all of them include a helicopter which just a few months ago would never have been a part of their drawings nor probably even their imagination!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

pictures of the pair

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lunar eclipse and other random thoughts

There was a lunar eclipse on Saturday night, March 3. I was at an OXFAM party when we noticed the eclipse around midnight. By near 1am the earth had almost completely shadowed the moon. The few of us who were left at the party grabbed a couple of mattresses, turned off the car stereo as there is no electricity without a generator in Caia and laid in the middle of the dirt road to be able to see the sky more fully. It was amazing and beautiful precisely because there were no lights for miles and miles. The stars were so clear and bright the darker the moon got. By 1:30 the moon was completely shadowed and we were all getting tired so I didn't end up watching the entire process but wow, what a joy!
So, what is a lunar eclipse?
The moon has no light of it's own but shines because of sunlight reflecting off it's surface (which i suppose is why people are so curious what the dark side of the moon looks like, the side that never gets any sunlight). During a lunar eclipse the earth blocks the sun's light from reaching the moon. Some of the light still gets through, but it goes through the earth's atmosphere so the moon doesn't go completely black, but has a deep reddish orange color. This makes it amazing not only to watch the color of the moon change, but also for the ability to see so many stars while the moon is dark!
The last total lunar eclipse i watched was while living in Togo around November of 2003...i think they happen more often than this though!
Just a side note..
There is an unlikely pair that live together here in Caia..a dog and a Vervet monkey. They are inseperable and adorable to watch. The monkey generally just clings to the dog's back and they sleep cuddled up together. The dog doesn't seem to mind at all! i'll try to post a picture of it as soon as I am in a place with a better internet connection..and i just learned the name for a group of monkeys. I'd been wondering about that for a while..are they a pack? a herd? a group?...anyway, they are called a troop!
from Caia, Mozambique..until next time,

Cyclones and such

Cyclone Gamede is sitting on the eastern shore of Madagascar and will possibly be the next cyclone to hit Mozambique this year. Last week Cyclone Favio hit the village of Vilan Kulos (where a group of us spent the holidays and got scuba certified) just a couple of hours south of Beira. It pretty much wiped out the entire village. So, i'm sure you're wondering what the difference is between a cyclone, a hurricane, and a typhoon...well,
If a tropical storm is located in the Northwestern Pacific it is considered a Typhoon.
If a tropical storm is located in the rest of the Pacific or the Atlantic it is called a Hurricane
If a tropical storm is located in the tropics it is called a Cyclone
learn something new everyday :o)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Situation Report

It is the rainy season in Mozambique and the Zambezi river is flooding here is the latest report on how it is affecting the area:

As of 13 February, the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) estimates that approximately 74,000 people have been displaced due to the floods. An estimated 29,000 people are currently in accommodation centres and an undetermined number in resettlement centres that were established after the 2001 floods. INGC estimates that 285,000 people may possibly be affected by the current emergency in the worst-case scenario.

Below are some pictures of the flooding and a link to a map of Mozambique and the specific area the floods are affecting. I am concerned about the villages surrounding Marromeu as these are where the Child Development program have been specifically working.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


A picture of some of our staff in Marromeu. Ricardo (Program Support Officer) is sitting chewing on some sugar cane, Ramus (driver) is sitting next to him in the green shirt, Pascua (CDP Promoter) is standing cutting the sugar cane, Rosa (CDP Promoter) is standing in the background, and a guy from the village.

Jewel Anita is sitting on the mat. She is the head of all the CDP Programs worldwide and is the person I was in Bolivia with for 2 weeks of training before myself becoming the CDP Manager. Tomas is sitting next to her. He works with me in our Beira office and does some Communications and some Admin.

Me, on a trip back from the village

Solomon, my PSO in Nhamatanda

Joshua, Communications Coordinator in the Beira office.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Experimenting with Zoom

Experimenting with the zoom feature on my camera...

A monkey outside the hostel I stayed at in Zimbabwe

A monkey in the trees

A grasshopper

The beginnings of a bunch of bananas

A cashew tree

A flower...or a weed? Either way I liked the colors!

A close-up of the flies on a child. Not sure if you can see from the picture, but there are 3 under her nose, 3 on her forehead and 2 on her shirt

A bat in the office

Vilan Kulos at High Speed

Some clearer pictures from my camera of Vilan Kulos...
A picture from the dive shop of some of the fishing boats in at low tide
The dive shop...called Odyssea dive
The captain of our boat, Mario, and to the right was our dive instructor Ben. He and Vicki came over from England to open the dive shop and have been working and living in Vilan Kulos for about 3 or 4 years now.

more photos

A final picture before leaving Vilan Kulos..
Lunch and a nap under some trees on the island between dives. We did 2 dives on the 3rd day to 12meters and 2 dives on the last day (4th day) to 18meters.
On the way to our first dive site..the waves were quite large and despite the boat being made of rubber, whew...it hurt to bounce around on the edge for a couple of hours!
Getting all the gear on for our first dive in the pool..

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vilan Kulos on dial up speed

The beach in Vilan Kulos...these pictures are from a friends camera and for some reason they seem hazy. Once i get the pictures off my camera i'll add them. Wireless internet has been hit and miss for the past few weeks so we have been relying on dial-up...it takes a good 15 minutes for one of these pictures to download. I don't think i have the patience left in me to attach any more pictures!
After a day and a half of watching dvd's on how to scuba dive, it was finally our turn to get our hands on the equipment..how to put it together, take it apart, and check to make sure everything functions correctly. Next step, the pool for some lessons on breathing under water!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

short stories

Women getting water from the pump in the morning in Mucodza. Already there is a line of people waiting their turn. Can you imagine sharing one source of water with your neighborhood, or even just one spicket for water within your own house?
I took this picture to show how scrappy and mangy dogs are in the village. And then i looked at it and thought the dogs look really sweet and cute, but that is definitely not the reality. The animals are never treated well and the dogs are neglected, kicked, have rocks thrown at them, never fed, always scavenging and if i think about it too long it makes me a bit sick. This picture was taken while out in the field giving some peanuts to a farmer to plant. The green plants are corn that is being grown.
A picture of some of the children who were out in the field with us...

A village just outside of Gorongosa called Tambarare. This is one of the communities we (CDP) will start working in possibly in the next year or so. We chose a neighboring village to start with named Mucodza.

Children taking advantage of a rainy day and playing in the water, you can't see in this picture but there are also women washing clothes and people collecting water.

We were eating dinner at a restaurant called Pappas, when the owners son (10 years old) came in and picked up the remote control and started watching cartoon network. He then proceeded to wait on customers and did an excellent job of pouring the beer on tap (on the left in the picture). It was amusing to watch a 10 year old take charge of the bar :o)

more creativity

Some examples of the creativity of the children in the village...

Monday, December 11, 2006

and the rain came down...

A picture from my apartment of the effects of the rain in my neighborhood...

Some pictures trying to get into work this morning. The rainy season has definitely arrived...