Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 3 Quelimane, Mozambique

Day 3 Quelimane, Mozambique

Today was an intense day of training at ORAM, a grassroots Mozambique rural development organization. Eleven representatives from four villages and ORAM staff practiced videography and editing with help from Fawn and me. Terra Institute, a land tenure nonprofit group based in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, arranged the session, which was sponsored by CALS International Programs. Lourenco Duvane and Catherine Ribeiro, the Director and Executive Secretary respectively, had an air conditioned room set up to provide relief from the 90+ degree heat. All was going well until we experienced a power surge. ORAM’s computer whiz, Osvaldo, had to uninstall and reload some programs, but got us back up to speed within an hour. That gave us a chance to snack on the best mango and pineapple I’ve ever tasted. The Mozambican journalists have been using Sony’s Vegas Movie Studio to do their editing. We introduced them to another Sony program, Acid Movie Studio, an easy-to-learn music composition program that uses loops. Within five minutes the editors were composing music and feeling pretty confident about the software. As it turns out, Vegas Video is pretty popular in Mozambique. At dinner, we inquired about some Afro-Reggae music we heard playing off a laptop at the next table. That conversation led to an invitation to join a pretty eclectic group of local musicians, health workers, and activists. Don Karigambe is a Djembe player whose group was featured in a music video edited on Vegas Video. He’d worked with loops before, but hadn’t heard of Acid. One thing led to another and I brought out my laptop and showed him how it works. He, in turn, gave me some .mp3s of songs he had recorded. Here's a sample:

His friends included Xavier, who works for an HIV-AIDS education project, his friend Nyllon, and Luis, a Portuguese vehicle inspector. Fawn and I had wonderful conversations about world music, politics and dirty tricks, the media, the dissemination of American pop culture (both good and bad), educational systems, and Aid to Africa. Conversations like the ones we had tonight are the best part of travel.

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