Tuesday, March 22, 2011


A Mozambican man was talking to me today and asked me what I thought about the situation in Libya. I was pleasantly surprised that he had even heard of the situation, since so few people here read or watch or check the news. He told me that he doesn’t think democracy works in Africa, that Africans want, need, and even love dictators. He said that in places like America and Europe democracy works because the people are educated and open-minded, but here in Africa people need to be told what to do. He said that Samora Machel (the first president of independent Mozambique) was a dictator and it was exactly what the country needed. He said that Africa has had chiefs and kings for so long, and that the people can’t adapt to a new system and are not ready to make the necessary decisions.
In class we had learned family vocabulary, so for an assignment I asked the students to draw their family tree and to write ten sentences describing it using family vocabulary. It was obvious that some students simply had no idea what they were doing, but from the assignments that coherently done, I learned that allegedly 7 of my students are married and 4 of them have children (marriage in Mozambique is generally what would be called common-law in America, they live together and often have a child or children together).
One of the women who works at the mission recently gave birth and apparently there has been drama because the baby is very light-skinned and the man she lives with is claiming it’s not his, but a white man who lives nearby. The baby is clearly not white, this is ludicrous. Also in my limited experience, it seems that a lot of babies are pretty light when born and get darker with time.

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