Countryside, Mozambique

(Notes from a journey to Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia, Sep/Oct 2015.)

Rural Mozambique provides ample evidence of the country being among the ten poorest in the world. Villages abound in mud-brick homes with reed/straw thatch roofs. The only pucca buildings seem to be mosques and churches. Most of the basics of human development—primary education, healthcare, clean drinking water, transportation, nutritional diversity—are quite meager and they worsen as one travels north and west. Few find employment in jobs outside subsistence farming, nor are there any cattle. Of course, many in parts of India are not much better off but a higher proportion in India seem to have escaped this level of poverty in recent decades, whereas the vast majority of rural Mozambicans still seem to be in its grip. Our two-day road trip from the Island of Mozambique to Mandimba at the border of Malawi was the roughest part of our journey. My favorite aspect of this dusty road trip—including stretches on dirt roads in overstuffed minivans through dispiritingly poor rural settlements—was its beautiful landscape dotted with rugged inselbergs. [—Namit Arora, October 2015]

Villages in the north

Mud-brick dwellings

Reed/straw thatch roofs

Typical rural scene

Village mosque

Village church

A small town market

"God knows best"

Children at work

A child at work

A child at work

Children at work

A loaded mango tree

Two boys (more)

Woman and child

Woman and child

A nicer-than-average village home

Vendors on the highway

En route to Cuamba

Small town between Nampula and Cuamba

Rural vista (more)

Rugged inselbergs

Captivating contours

Rural vista (more)

The northwest

Approaching Malawi

A rock hill

An inselberg (more)

Rock left after erosion of surrounding earth

Sharply ascendant

Beauty in stone

Hyperpacked chapa to the border of Malawi

Baobab tree

Two village women

Barber + cellphone repair shop

Baobab tree


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