February 8, 2008


8 Things I Learned This Week…

1/ Where I live, in the city of Maputo, there is electricity and running water. This I knew.
2/ When the city shuts down due to rioting, the electricity shuts down too.
3/ When there’s no electricity, our big back-up generator kicks in.
4/ When there’s rioting in the city, there is no diesel to run the big generator.
5/ When the big generator runs out of diesel, the little generator kicks in.
6/ The little generator runs on diesel too.
7/ At least there’s plenty of hot water because it’s heated by gas.

8/ The hot water, although heated by gas, runs on electricity and, when there’s a riot in the city…

What else did I learn yesterday?

* That the average income of a Mozambican is less than $1 a day.
* That many Mozambicans cannot afford to catch a chapa (minibus) but must walk everywhere they go.

* That many of those who can afford to take a chapa, spend much of their meagre income on this, the only form of transport available to them.
* That chapa drivers are finding it difficult to make a living by driving their chapas due to rising gas prices.
* That poverty is a complicated issue about which we cannot make sweeping generalisations.

How to meet the needs of the chapa drivers and the people who use them? I don’t know but God has a plan.

* Let's pray for change that is long-term and brings health to the economy and, thus, better quality of life for the people.

* Let's pray for wisdom, courage and integrity for the Government of Mozambique and for President Guebuza.

* Let's pray for God to make the way ahead for this nation as it struggles to overcome years of devastating poverty.

* Let's pray for change that will return dignity to the lives of the 21 million people who live here.