Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ilha de Moçambique

Ann on Ilha de Moçambique (Mozambique Island).
On Monday we started a little trip to the coast with my sister Ann and cunhado (bro-in-law) Mike. First we went to Mozambique Island, one of the most famous places in East Africa.
After driving onto the island (on a kind-of-scary one lane wide, three kilometer long bridge) we immediately found a gigantic tree that made everyone think they were 12-years-old again. Mike, Victor, and Ann climbing in the tree.

And then they each departed the tree by swinging off on these big Tarzan vines.

After that we went to lunch at a great little restaurant.

Ann, Mike, and Victor all had shrimp in red coconut sauce over rice – they all loved everything about it except for how tiny the portions were.

After lunch I went outside and took a picture of this boat because it reminded me of all the pictures I saw of pirates in the news a few months ago. This water (in this picture) is in the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Victor and me.

Ann, Victor, and Mike walking.

Ann and Victor had many intense conversations and Mike listened “thoughtfully.”

Me in front of some ruins.
The Portuguese came here around the same time that Christopher Columbus first reached America. Then until 1975 (almost 500 years) they ruled Portuguese East Africa (present day Mozambique) from this island. They did a few good things (like pretty architecture) and tons of bad things (like slavery and killing and exploitation). I won’t go into details about all the bad stuff they did on the island but basically the Portuguese built up this island with magnificent grand palaces, a massive fort that they even had sea battles against other European countries from, churches, houses, mansions, and everything else. They ruled the whole country from here and made Macua people work for them as slaves (in Mozambique and shipped to Brazil). The Portuguese probably imagined what they had built on this island would be indestructible and ruled by them and their ancestors for hundreds of years more. I’m sure they imagined that after their time here passed people would be in awe of what they left behind. But now, a few very short decades after Mozambique won independence from Portugal, everyone and everything that had ever been on the island before the Portuguese got here is right back on again. Now it is as if the Portuguese had never been here at all. All the grand stuff they left behind is still there – but the people are living how they always used to live right on top of it. I kind of like that.
Besides the ruins there were a lot of things on the island that kept reminding me of Rome, like this.

Ann, Victor, and Mike.

Look how pretty people paint the boats!

A dramatic cross next to a church on the island.
It seems that we can not go anywhere without it being way too “eventful.” We planned to only go to Mozambique Island for a few hours and then go to Pemba for two nights. But while we were on the island the alternator on our car stopped working. So we had to spend the night there!
Mike and Victor relaxing at the really cool hotel that we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy if our plans had gone through.
The next morning we got up and had a great breakfast of omelets and bread with ginger papaya jam. Then we just prayed that our car would still make it off the island (on the one-lane wide, three kilometer long bridge) before breaking down.

We were relieved and thrilled to make it off the bridge and then we followed directions to a “mechanic,” which was basically eight little boys playing one-on-one-on-one soccer under a tree between the local opposition party headquarters and a mosque. Mike and Ann just want every experience to be as adventurous as possible so they loved the whole thing and were immediately in the soccer game.
Victor called the orphanage truck to come get us and several dozen people came to “help” get our car in our truck.

This is how we had to ride back to Nampula.

The view from our seats. Getting in our car IN our truck was funny enough. But I could not stop laughing my head off the entire three-hour drive home, imagining everyone we know in the streets in our neighborhood in Nampula seeing us riding in both our car and our truck at the same time.

Here is where they get salt. The ocean water comes into this shallow place divided into sections and then when the water dries up only the salt is left.

Unloading the car from the truck back in Nampula.

Ann and Mike were pretty disappointed to miss seeing Estefano and Pemba.

But they were happy to resume their playing with the kids back at the orfanato.


The Kaysers said...

Yea, so the funniest story I have read today! It is so great to hear from you, I got the FB request, saw the blog and was just so excited! We just got back from Ukraine in March with our two new children. We now have 5 total and have such a heart for orphans. God Bless you all! Keep in touch and checkout our journey!

Anonymous said...

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1 Corinthians 7:5
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans - Chapter 12:18
Numbers 6:24-26
"The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."
Who provideth for the raven his food? when his young ones cry unto God, they wander for lack of meat. Job 38:41



june said...

Hi, Im thinking about to move to Moçambique, can you help me? My email is:
Hope to hear from you soon...
Kisses Jaci