Monday, February 29, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pebane District

Pensão Isalaura

Pebane main street

That's right. I had four of these for dinner, with coconut rice. But I could only eat three.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lua Cheia Sobre Quelimane

Vôo Maputo a Quelimane

Outskirts of Maputo

Maybe somewhere over Inhambane?

I'll spend the next two weeks in Zambézia Province. The provincial capital is Quelimane. I'll be in the province for two weeks. Tomorrow I'm going to Pebane, a district that borders Nampula, the province where I lived when I was in Peace Corps.

I didn't get a good overview of Quelimane City. Maybe on the way back to Maputo.

Here is some interesting information about Quelimane from Wikipedia:

Quelimane (Portuguese pronunciation: [keliˈmani]) is a seaport in Mozambique. It is the administrative capital of the Zambezia Province and the province's largest city, and stands 25 km (16 mi) from the mouth of the Rio dos Bons Sinais (or "River of the Good Signs"). The river was named when Vasco da Gama, on his way to India, reached it and saw "good signs" that he was on the right path. The town was the end point of David Livingstone's famous west-to-east crossing of south-central Africa in 1856. Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, and many residents of the areas surrounding Quelimane speak Portuguese. The most common local language is Chuabo.The town originated as a Swahili trade centre, and then grew as a slave market. Quelimane was founded by Muslim traders (see Kilwa Sultanate) and was one of the oldest towns in the region.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Samora Machel: Collect them All

Água da Namaacha brand of bottled water currently has a campaign with various photos of Samora Machel, accompanied by quotes, appearing on their water bottles. Samora Machel was an independent Mozambique's first president, from 1975 to 1986. This would be kind of like Dasani putting George Washington's portrait on the side of their bottles, but also kind of like putting Bill Clinton's face, in a variety of expressions.

The quote on the bottle on the left:

Trabalhar sem estudar é andar às escuras...grandes são os riscos de nos enganarmos no caminho, de tropeçarmos e cairmos!

To work without studying is to walk in the dark...great are the risks of getting lost on the path, of tripping and falling!

The quote on the right:

Um responsável...que não ferve a água de beber, que continua a recorrer a curandeiros, conduz o povo a fazer o mesmo!

A responsible figure...who doesn't boil drinking water, that continues to run to the (traditional healer), drives the people to do the same!

I found the second quote to be very interesting and had some interesting discussions about it at work today. Part of the project I work on engages curandeiros (traditional healers) in the care of HIV positive patients - trying to get them to refer patients to the health facilities. But history becomes an obstacle: when Mozambique first achieved independence, it went through a modernization process and many traditional figures such as village chiefs, healers and herbalists were marginalized, considered vestiges of a primitive culture. Some curandeiros remember that time - the same era when the quote above was probably made, in the early 1980's - and resist integration into any government program. 

More Samora Machel bottles to come. I plan on collecting them all. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Nashville to Maputo

Nashville last week

Outside my hotel window in Maputo

It's good I'm in the zona de silêncio - I'm so sleepy!

OR Tambo: Hello old friend

Let me dust off this blog. I haven't written on it since 2012! A little someone came along and suddenly blogging wasn't the most interesting part of my day! I have a new job now and I will be traveling to Mozambique several times a year, so I thought it would be fun to return to Maruvu. In case you forgot, Maruvu is the word for palm wine in Angola. 

I'm not sure how many hours it took me to get from Nashville - my new home - to Maputo, but it felt like a solid two days. I left home at 10:20 am on Sunday morning and checked into my hotel at 10:30 pm Monday. Somewhere in there I lost a day of my life. 

Of course, the journey took me through the airport in Johannesburg. Tyree and I used to spend a lot of time here when we lived in Angola, so it brings back nice memories of being a Silver Card Frequent Flyer with South African Airways and being able to hang out in the SAA lounge. About six months after leaving Africa, SAA sent us a letter saying we had been demoted to Blue Card, which is the lowest level. I almost cried. I don't think I will be able to reach Silver again as I now have to be patriotic and fly Delta.

I noticed a few changes. One, there were several efforts to make Chinese passengers feel welcome, such as the news stand above and the Chinese decorations below. There were many Chinese moving to Angola in the years we lived there, and I think this is true in all of Southern Africa. I wrote about that here. Second, pigeons have found there way into the international terminal and fly freely about this enclosed building. It's really funny.