Monday, March 10, 2008


Mozambique is the site of some riots. It’s funny. In the US, when gas prices go up, what do people do? They pay more and keep driving. Some say they’ll ride bikes or walk or take park&ride, but on the whole, in general, people just pay it. Over here in South Africa, there were actually less cars on the road the morning after gas prices went up 60 cents (in MY neighborhood). This immediately translates into fare hikes on taxis. And if some can’t pay it, they walk. Look at Mozambique, some workers had to now walk 3 to 12 km into Maputo because of the transport fare hike. Other people, refusing to accept this, caused riots in the city protesting the fare hike. The juxtaposition of that picture with US reaction is such a strange thing to apprehend. But even here in southern Africa, we are experiencing gas prices increasing and the translation to fare increases is immediate. No trickling down over time.

The tectonic plates of the earth do take time (in our time scales) to shutter and break and quake. DRC, with part of the country already ravaged by war and disease and destruction of health infrastructure, now must deal with earthquakes that have killed many and disrupted aid work, as well.

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