After traveling by airplane and boat from Maputo, I arrived at the hut of farmer Pedro Kumpila in the village of Mtimbe, Mozambique—100 miles from the nearest road. His mud hut was among 40 others, each with its own cassava field.
Kumpila, my host for this trip, had spent half a lifetime forging a path to his life here. When war was raging in Mozambique, he fled Mtimbe and was a refugee. Then a peace treaty was signed in 1992, and he returned to Mtimbe to rebuild. More disaster came: a mysterious wave of disease drove parents from their cassava fields to their deathbeds, and children became orphans.