As I traveled to Vilankulos last weekend to post my other blogs, I was reminded of yet another thing that is different in Mozambique. The length of the (only) one lane road leading into Inhassoro is lined with red and white striped poles – which I had never really given a second thought about until the other day when, in the middle of grading, it felt as though we were having a minor earthquake. I was a bit confused, especially as they continued over the next couple of days. But then I met a couple of employees of the de-mining crew that is living in a camp outside of Inhassoro. Apparently the mini “earthquakes” that I had been feeling for the last week are so were actually exploding landmines. The road between the EN-1 (one of the main roads in Mozambique) and Inhassoro apparently cuts directly through what (to me, anyways) seems to be a fairly large minefield. Although, thankfully, I have no frame of reference for the size of “normal” minefields - so my judgment might be completely off.
While it’s obviously great that Mozambique is dealing with the problem of landmines, it’s a bit petrifying to think that the entire road that my chapa barrels down to get to the EN-1 is even more hazardous than I previously thought. These landmines are also one of the more salient reminders of the fact that Mozambique underwent a devastating civil war that ended less than twenty years ago and that, as a stable independent country, Mozambique is still fairly young. I try and remember this when teaching/the education system frustrates me.