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A goat looks over his village in Xai Xai, Moz.

We are stangers in this land. Not only to the people, but to the way of life.

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Men prepare for a day of selling fruits and vegetables at the market.

We oscillate between surrounding ourselves with people the world has forgotten and people who consume the world.

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An abandoned building sets the stage for a local hangout near the beach in Beira, Moz.

Begrudgingly, we belong to the second race and will never fully understand what it means to be forgotten.

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A popular wall for sitting the day away.

We stick out like shiny new hotels surrounded by a crumbling infrastructure. Like a cactus in a desert sucking all the water for itself and pricking those that try to get their share.

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CBD, Beira, Moz.

Our interaction with everyone is pleasurable and I feel an innocent happiness here, but a feeling of heaviness follows me around like an anchor with the threat of pulling me to the bottom of the sea.

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Xai Xai, Moz

The poverty runs deep in this place, oozing out of the ground, washing up from the sea, and permeating the air around.

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The sun sets in Beira, Moz.

Mia Couto writes happiness is made up by the wealthy to trick the poor, but I’m not sure I believe that. I think many people are genuinely happy here, retaining a deep connection with the earth that both gives and takes away. A lack of materials inhibits construction of the walls we place around ourselves at home, leaving space for close physical contact and a feeling of connectedness on first encounters.

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A txopela driver awaits his next customer.

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Cooks at our favorite local restaurant.

Of all the things I’ve witnessed here that break my heart, an equal amount fill it to the brim with joy.

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Girls enjoying some fun in the sun.

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Beach boys of Beira.

Two weeks is not nearly enough time to know a place, but places such as this always remind me that the things of this world are fleeting and only serve the purpose of taking up space in our hearts meant for human relationships.

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Waiter at our favorite restaurant. He has the best smile, but pictures are a serious matter.

We are always happy to come home to our comfortable life.  But it is important for us to step out of this comfort zone as often as possible and realize this is not a normal way of life for most. These comforts make life easy, not joyful, they bring satisfaction, but not happiness–without human connections, love does not exist.

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A family cools off in the oceans caress.

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Brothers for life.