Risking Reproduction in Central Mozambique
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: Vanderbilt University Press
Table of Contents
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Gra�a Machel opened my eyes to the human costs of the right-wing insurgency that our government supported in Mozambique and moved me to commit to practical and socially conscious work there. Prexy Nesbitt, Steve Gloyd, Kathy Sheldon, and Steve Tarcynski connected me to the Mozam-bique Support Network and helped build the bridge I crossed to the coun-...
1. Reproduction on the Margins
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It is early morning, and patches of mist linger by the roadside. I yawn as I stand in line at the little bakery in the town of Gondola, where I frequently buy loaves of warm bread to eat with Dona Javelina Aguiar, my research assistant, before heading out for a day of work. On these mornings, Javelina’s two sons and a flock of cousins and neighbors’ children dart in and out of ...
2. The Road to Mucessua
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Radical hope first drew me to Mozambique. In 1989, I was active in the anti-apartheid movement in Los Angeles, California, where I worked with a local branch of a national grassroots organization, the Mozambique Sup-port Network. Its objectives were community outreach and education about Mozambique and the externally funded civil war there that began soon after ...
3. The Nova Vida
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In Mozambique, I am always caught off guard by the juxtaposition of contrasts. The way beauty and pain often resided side by side, or a scene of violence could give way to tenderness or, equally often, the reverse, evoked amazement mixed with despair, elation wrapped in dismay. I saw contrasts everywhere; in the profuse purple bougainvillea erupting from the lower ...
4. Reproducing Reproducers
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“It was so hard to conceive. It was my first husband who couldn’t conceive. We searched for treatment as far away as Zimbabwe. I finally conceived a child with another man after my family counseled me to leave and divorce my husband. I always loved that first man, but he had always blamed me [for the infertility] and never accepted treatment himself. I did not make any ...
5. Controlling Women: Reproducing Risk
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In Mucessua, people around me paid as much attention to the invisible and the unseen as they did to the visible, as they navigated a world vigorously inhabited by spirits and animated by rumors, gossip, prayers, rituals, and magic (West 2005). Another force at work in every aspect of Mozambican life is the not so invisible hand of the market. Under economic reform policies and ...
6. Seeking Safe Passage: Pregnancy Risk and Prenatal Care
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“Ah, Dona Raquel. Since we last met, I have suffered so terribly.” Two weeks after giving birth, exquisite, cherub-faced Amelia was puffy in the cheeks, dark under the eyes, and thinner than I had ever seen her. Her health had been poor on and off near the end of her pregnancy, but she had given birth to a healthy baby boy, James, named after my husband. She proudly held ...
7. Segredos da Casa
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No one dies of natural causes in Mozambique. People may have heard of someone who lived the right life and died peacefully in old age, but nobody actually knows this person. For a person to have an accident or to become sick and then to die, there has to have been some breach of protection, and people work hard at finding it. Following a death, there are always stories ...
8. AIDS and the Politics of Protection
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Each time I have returned to Mucessua over the last ten years, it seems at first that very little has changed. There are still no paved roads or city plumbing, except in the older colonial houses along the Beira Corridor. The district’s largest open-air market has moved west down the Corridor, but the bazaar, as it is called, and the individual market stands in the bairro look ...
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Page Count: 280
Publication Year: 2010