Saturday, May 20, 2006

On the Road Again

Well I think I’m finally ready to leave for my trip next week. My colleague Cremildo and I are heading up to the Central Mozambican provinces of Sofala and Manica to work with the branches of our partner Banco Oportunidade. We will have a VERY busy week. We are assisting BO conduct an impact assessment of the HIV/AIDS trainings that they have been offering their clients and staff. We will also be we carrying out our regular interviews and focus group discussions with the staff members and community bank clients about the challenges of HIV/AIDS and microfinance. Needless to see we will have to maximize every minute of the day during our week in the field.

Working in the field is of course the most rewarding and inspiring part of my job and I cherish every moment of being able to connect the academic with the practical aspects of my job. This trip up to Sofala and Manica has been an interest of mine since I arrived in Mozambique because this region has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in the country at 25-28%. There are a number of factors that has caused this rapid escalation of HIV infection but one of the most notable is that the two provinces lie along the “Beira Corridor,” the main lifeline between Zimbabwe and the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique’s largest and busiest port. The highly transient population along this route gives rise to rampant sexual promiscuity and prostitution, providing a festering ground for HIV/AIDS. With the disease having such a high impact on this region and its people, it will be very interesting to see how one of our most impressive partners is confronting this challenge through innovation microfinance strategies.

I’m also looking forward to taking some vacation time after this week and I will be spending a few days in Manica hiking around the Chimanimani mountains along the border with Zimbabwe. Of course I will have the camera and my notebook with me so I will definitely post some pictures and stories of the next week and a half’s events when I get a chance.

Cheers everyone!!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great balance Jared! Good work followed by good hiking! I hope you are well and happy! I am looking forward to seeing you in the summer to share stories. kj

12:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Mom said...

I know you have spent numerous hours preparing for this assignment. Good luck with the assessments and discussions. Beware of dangerous critters while hiking (such a typical mother comment).

12:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best way to avoid dangerous critters is to cut your hair. Just sayin'

4:29 p.m.  

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