June 25, 2012 - Independence Day in Mozambique

In 1975, the African nation of Mozambique won its independence from Portugal.

Then it became a communist nation.

Then there was a lo-o-o-ong civil war.

Sigh. For fifteen years a war was fought between different factions of the country.

You know what civil wars do to a country, don't you? Not only did thousands of people die from fighting, thousands more died from starvation, because war tends to get in the way of growing crops. Five million people were displaced as their homes and towns were ruined. And landmines injured many people and are still a problem today.

Because of all that horrible trauma, Mozambique has a terrible economy and the lowest life expectancy in the world.

There is lots of wildlife
in Mozambique.
And really large spiders, too!

Hopefully things will continue to get better for Mozambique. The good news is that there are supposed to be wonderful rivers, lakes, forests, and grasslands, complete with elephants, water buffalos, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, zebras, and many more animals. Tourism sites manage to describe Mozambique as a paradise: It has “stunning beaches, excellent diving and magical offshore islands,” according to Lonely Planet. We are advised that, in Mozambique, you can “[g]o snorkelling around the Bazaruto Archipelago, sail on a dhow through mangrove channels or laze under the palms in the Quirimbas Archipelago, take an off-beat safari in the wilds...wander along cobbled streets past stately colonial-era buildings...sip a café espresso at a lively sidewalk café (or maybe a caipirinha at a jazz bar), watch the silversmiths at work on Ibo Island or dance to the country’s trademark marrabenta music.”

Plus, according to Bob Dylan, Mozambique is very sunny! 

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