Maputo

I’m here for nine days, attending a SADC education conference where I will make a presentation synthesizing what was learned about education data quality in seven SADC countries. I flew in from Nairobi on Air Mozambique. As in the United States, we had to land at the first port of entry in a small place called Pemba. We were required to get off the plane, with our carry-on luggage, go to customs and obtain an entry visa. Everyone had to pay a fee of $28 USD. I asked for a receipt for my expense claims but did not bother to check it. As required, I went through security and waited to board the plane. Total wait time was 1 hour for re-fueling and on-board security check. Once i arrived in Maputo, a seaside city on the Indian Ocean, I emptied my pockets in the hotel room and looked at my visa receipt. The amount was for $25 USD. It appears that the difference between what I paid and was able to claim was nothing more than an “administrative” fee levied by the customs officer! My first run-in with local “carrying fees”.
My presentation went quite well but the amount of last minute work we had to do to accommodate member countries’ concerns around some of the data quality assessments resulted in many late evenings prior to the presentation itself. Nevertheless, I had a chance to take some photos with my iPhone from time to time.
As a Lusophone country, I could not really talk to any of the locals while out shooting. One could see the residual effects of the long civil war and for such a large city, there are not that many cars. The hotel was beautifully located, perched high above the city and we were presented with a lovely panorama of the sea while enjoying the fresh fish at meal times.

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