Fear

One day, when I feel tired of writing about the sea, I might as well start a blog about fear. Why not doing it? Just because I’ll rather write about things giving me pleasure and showing better our present reality than bringing back ghosts of the past or worries about the future.

My parents taught us to always behave as if the man in front of us was a robber and the man behind an assassin. Even with all their care, they failed to avoid some terrible misfortunes. On the contrary, my own family escaped unhurt by the worst times in Mozambique. Sometimes I failed to protect my daughter, still the fates were kind with her. She is happy and strong. At least she is sure of her choices, while me, the overprotected one, I am still a child lost in this world.

I don’t know how many tales of fear I could pull together but I am sure that there would be quite a few. For a start, if you walk around this town you will soon discover the “fear architecture” developed over the past years.

In countries such this one, where poverty and riches exist in such extremes, it is not a surprise that crime is on the agenda. I cannot criticize the fear architecture myself, because violence gave birth to it.

The worst violence of all is against your own family. I am giving here two examples for you to see what I mean. One day my youngest boy went outside for a bicycle ride with a friend arrived from the USA. They were both nine years old kids. A few minutes later, they appeared in silence and a bit shaken. What happened? It was like trying to take out a cork inside a bottle of wine. Finally they told me that, as soon as they arrived outside, a big guy pointed a pistol to their heads and told them to give him the NBA caps they were using. It is a terrible thing to see a son at risk because of a basketball cap!

The other day my daughter wrote about an episode of our past I was trying to hide in some hurt locker. When Paul had to travel, I stayed home alone with the children. One day, while we were upstairs, we could clearly hear the insistent noise of someone trying to break into our house. The boys were very little and my daughter was only twelve. She looked at us and took the pistol from my trembling hands. Knowing that I would never pull the trigger, she went downstairs decided to do it herself. When she arrived at the back door, the man or men saw her from the window, got scared and run away. I think they knew they would find us alone and were trying their luck. How can we forget moments like these?

Violence is a sick form of expression from someone hurt inside and without moral background to act in any other way. In the Mozambican micro cosmos it is possible to find all sort of violence and one thing is for sure: if economical and social conditions don’t improve, violence will get worse and worse and the “fear architecture” will grow like unwanted weeds.

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