Tag Archives: zinc

Rainy-day vengeance

In the squatter settlements of many South American cities, building a house with a flat roof is a mark of distinction. It indicates that someday, somehow, you plan on building a second floor. The steel reinforcing bars sprouting from the … Continue reading

Posted in Brazil, Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The world is an egg

A couple of months ago, at an embassy function here in Maputo, I ran into someone who I was friends with in elementary school, in Maryland, and who I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years. Since then I’ve repeated … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments


When most people go to the Island of Mozambique (the former colonial capital and slave-trading port from which the country derives its name) it’s to walk among centuries-old coral-and-lime fortresses, chapels, and mansions, and to breathe in the exquisite decay. … Continue reading

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Wood and zinc

In my last post, I mentioned the wood-frame, zinc-paneled homes that one finds scattered throughout Xipamanine, relics of a time when such a home was for African families the upper limit of luxury. You can find dozens of wood-and-zinc houses … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Helicopters over Xipamanine

A standard interview begins with the boring question: When were you born? Usually I get the simple answer, and we move on to more interesting things. Ana Magaia, the actress, answered the question with the date (December 27), the year … Continue reading

Posted in Maputo, Mozambique | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments