on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

In Mozambique on June 14, 2008 at 3:29 am

I am terminating my contract with Humana People to People and ADPP a month early. I will be heading home next Tuesday. I have many reasons for this decision which I’ll get into later.
The weather is dipping low right now. We’ve had freezing cold evenings where I lay awake shivering. Evenings so cold, I can see my breath when I am outside drawing water from the well. Yet during the day, the height of the afternoon, it’s hot – so hot. I don’t understand. This probably explains why I have a cold or maybe a sinus infection. I don’t know what I have yet, but it sucks.

In other news, we’ve now completely run out of water. We’ve hit the bottom of the well. The only water available is thick  brown and murky. It’s pretty disgusting. The water is basically runny mud and smells strange. I’m afraid to bathe. My roomates and I are turning into beasts of the bush. Luckily for me, I’m in town, hence the internet access, where I’ll be able to take a hot shower at Akisha’s tonight. I feel for our neighbors, we all share this well. I wonder how they are getting by?

To further complicate matters, we’ve got no gas in which to heat anything  and our “lovely” organization is refusing to pay our gas bill. According to our contract, they are supposed to take care of our gas. This means we have no access to drinking water and we can’t cook. We’ve been waiting on a water filter for three months and it hasn’t arrived. The closest bottled water is an hours walk away. The going has gotten tough. I’ve started to hoard water. I need it to rain so I can collect rain water.

My friend Akisha threw a going away party for me and Wendy on Saturday. It was really nice. Her garden was recently landscaped and the event was beautiful. I made fudge. I ate tons of cheese. We had an enormous cake. There was fresh squeezed passion fruit juice. Life just doesn’t get much better.


This week I sat in on a panel at work to grade the students as they take their oral exams in English. It’s nice to have work to do. It’s nice that we are fed not only bread, but bread with cold egg for breakfast (really tasty actually-just a pinch of salt and …yum…). It’s all a giant mess of course. The oral exams aren’t so much oral exams as they are presentations, most of which are not very good. However, when I do get that rare student who nails it, it’s exciting. Some of the students have extremely strong futures ahead of them.

Our little dog Macuti, well, the project dog (Clara’s four year old daughter Suri’s dog to be specific) , is growing up before my very eyes. She now has her real big-dog teeth. I’m proud of her. I watched her develop from a yappy little palm sized creature to an adolescent of sorts. Soon her puppy years will be behind her. They grow up so fast.

Oi my throat is burning.

Time to take some more Sudafed!

There is nothing like a good hot shower. Thank god for my benevolent friends in town with running water and indoor plumbing.
So fresh and so clean clean!

Yesterday I said goodbye to Akisha. She left for South Africa for a well deserved month long vacation shortly after hosting our Friday the 13th pow wow. I’ll miss you akish-kish. C’ya in New York in December.

One of my favorite things about traveling is the fact that you encounter some of the most amazing people. I have met some of my favorite people while traveling. Travelers tend to be of a different breed. Most of the travelers I have encountered on my sojourns are truly open, genuine, caring, and adventurous people, I appreciate that. I will miss my circle here. It’s one of those things I didn’t think much about until I had to begin my goodbyes.

I gave a lecture at the Eduardo Mondlane University for Hotel Tourism. It was a very memorable experience. I spoke to a class of second year students about recycling everyday materials to create useful items that can be used in restaurants and hotels. It went over really well. The students were so creative. It looks as though I have inadvertently started a campus recycling club. I can’t wait to see what the students come up with. They promise to email and keep me posted.

I spent a good portion of my morning running around the city of Inhambane filming. I want to show everyone what Inhambane looks like because I am certain that this city or town, depending on your perspective, will defy all stereotypes of what a town in Mozambique, in Africa, looks like. I also got some great footage of the beautiful bush.

I regret that it will be a very long time, years, before I see another full moon over the savannah. I am saddened that the milky way won’t be the backdrop of my everyday life any longer. I will not miss the insects.

Signing off. Preparing for a girls night out in Tofo- second to last night!

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