Mozambique 2014

  • Off to Mozambique

    Winter is coming and I’m flying south. Over the next two weeks I will report from Mozambique on health care issues such as childhood vaccinations with the International Reporting Project. The project takes journalists to parts of the world that are underrepresented in the mainstream media. As far as I can make out, the tradeoff is a free trip funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in exchange for providing exposure for issues that wouldn’t otherwise make it to press. As part of my initial research and in response to questions from friends and colleagues, here’s a brief primer with very basic information about Mozambique. Where is it? On the eastern side of southern Africa, right across the water from Madagascar. Is it safe? Things were bad in the immediate wake of...

  • Signs of the Times

    Take a walk to the American Cultural Center in Maputo and you’ll find yourself on the corner of avenues Mao Tse Tung and Kim Il Sung. Many of the major streets are named for communist heroes, as Mozambique had a brief fling with Communism after independence from the Portuguese in 1975. Fittingly, the street signs commemorating North Korea’s founding father and the leader of the Chinese Communist Revolution do not appear directly outside the American center, however I snapped a photo of the building on the other side of the intersection. As is often the case for American institutions built with the purpose of fomenting neighborly relations in a foreign nation, the center is the most fortified building on the block. America welcomes all with its tall metal gate and signs warning passersby not to take photographs. After passing through the most...

  • Pumping adventures on the way to Mozambique

    Remember the International Reporting Project (IRP) fellowship I said I had received to travel to Mozambique and report on child health and immunizations? Well, I’ve been here just under two days and have had the pleasure of meeting all the other awesome colleagues I’ll be working alongside. Tomorrow will be our first official set of program events, and I’m already excited to learn more about the country and the stories I can tell. Expect to see a number of updates about the trip from me here over the next two weeks, starting with today! The trip over here was relatively uneventful, but catching four flights over two days was grueling: Peoria to Chicago to DC to Addis Ababa to Maputo. The trickiest part for me, though, was pumping. My husband, mother-in-law and mother are taking...

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