So we have arrived to the end of our first official InAGlobe expedition. As we headed to Pemba airport with our favourite taxi driver, Abou, we could not help experiencing a fruit salad of emotions. The trip has taken us half way across the globe, into a country none of us had ever been to, following a drive, a motif to build something that creates a new tool for development and innovation for developing countries. As well as giving education in Europe a new dimension. We have learnt countless things, ranging from small cultural cues to critical thinking during hypercritical (and constructive) interrogations. We have learnt that a partner’s scepticism is just a piece of advice to further define something we were not accounting for. We broke many cultural prejudices, we built a bridge across two cultures in our mind that had been kept apart throughout our lives. We have learnt the satisfaction of hard work, the satisfaction behind exhaustion, the kind caused by the nomadic nature of our work. We committed our minds to being sponges to this incredibly diverse country, of which we have only seen a small portion. There are several things to address in this post, not all as emotional as the previous paragraph, but all valuable for the InAGlobe cause.
Firstly, what is our next step? Jaime and Alberto have made their way back to Spain, where they will begin applying for funding, revising the project plan (based on the Mozambican experience) structuring the platform and countless other tasks that are pending for the formalisation of InAGlobe Education. Throughout this process, close contact will be kept with all the partners involved, ensuring that the design is in line with a shared vision. Jaime will then head back to London to resume his studies, where InAGlobe will occupy the remainder of his time. On the other hand, Xavi will remain in Africa, currently resting (we all know he will still be constantly in contact with new ideas, and reasoning) in Tanzania and Kenya. After which, he will remain in Nairobi where he will meet with incubators and accelerators to then meet with social entrepreneurs.
Secondly, we wanted to round up the overview of the trip that underwent. We began our trip in different corners of Spain (except Alberto, who was dead in the middle: Vigo, Menorca and Madrid. Coming together in Lisbon, where we headed to Maputo overnight. Rather than staying in Maputo, we headed straight to Fundación Khanimambo, (in Xai-Xai), where we spent two days and one night. That weekend, we spent in Tofo, preparing ourselves for the marathon of meetings that we were going to encounter in the next 12 days in Maputo. These included a weekend, in which we kindled a great friendship with Muheti. In Maputo, we managed to meet with four universities: Universidade São Tomas de Moçambique (USTM), Universidade Pedagógica (UP), Instituto Superior de Ciências, Tecnologia e Engenheira de Moçambique (ICSTEM) and, the largest university in the country, Universidad Eduardo Mondlane (UEM). In addition, we met with 9 International NGOs: Medicus Mundi, I-Tech, Communità Sant’Egidio (CSE), Population Services International (PSI), Growth Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Consejo Interhospitalario de Cooperación (CIC), Medici con L’Africa CUAMM, Ingenieria Sin Fronteras (ISF) and Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF). In addition to these, we met with several players from the Spanish and Italian Cooperation Agencies, and had a phone call with the British Cooperation. Furthermore, we had the chance to present to a world-leading Malaria research centre, the Centro de Investigação de Saúde de Manhiça (CISM), and had the chance to visit a DREAM project AIDS/HIV and Tuberculosis health centre, as part of CSE. After Maputo, we made our way to Casa Do Gaiato, in Massaca, in Maputo Province, where we spent a night. The following day we headed back to Maputo, so that we could then make our way to Ponta D’Ouro. In Ponta we had the important task of crossing the border to renew our visa. After Ponta we made a titanic journey, via Maputo, to reach Nampula. The following day we headed straight to Ilha de Moçambique for a 3-day stay. Next, was Pemba, where we had the chance to meet with Ayuda en Acción, the Spanish honorary consul – a member of the Spanish cooperation agency -, and with Helvetas. In one of these days, we headed with Helvetas into the province of Cabo Delgado to observe the logistics and the work they did on the field! Once again, we were on the move to the island of Ibo, where we remained for 4 days, 1 of which was spent with Fundación Ibo. Then finally the trip back home commenced, but not before fitting a meeting with Oikos, and a dinner with two volunteers of Semillas de Esperanza, in Pemba. And that brings us to where we are now, Alberto arriving in Madrid a day before Jaime, who spent a transit day with Xavi in Dar es Salaam, and Xavi in Zanzibar enjoying a deserved rest!
Next, we wanted to make an incise on what will be posted on the blog from now on. As mentioned, there will be updates coming on the progress in Kenya, giving small insights onto the meetings and the possible collaborations that may arise. In addition to this, the blog will become a platform where our critical thinking on the project will be presented, this will be done through articles and essays on a range of different topics involved with innovation, analysis, development or anything that may come to mind related to the InAGlobe cause. Our aim is to make InAGlobe a tool for exchange of information and knowledge, and sharing our thoughts on the vastly different experiences in Mozambique, and how they may shape our approach we feel is something that may be of interest!
Finally, we would like to express our most profound gratitude to all the actors involved throughout the trip, members of NGOs, educational institutions, friends, bag-packers, volunteers, taxi drivers, cobradores, hotel staff, waiting staff, children, adults, fathers, mothers, teachers, you name it… and that includes all the readers of the blog!