9 months has passed since we landed in this hot place, were hugged on both cheeks by people as they made kissing noises and then given hamburgers with eggs on.
Now here we are, 273 days later.
For every day a new experience. Sometimes small, sometimes big, sometimes bad, but most times good. I can now say, with all honesty that hamburgers with eggs are a brilliant invention and greeting people with hugs and kisses is incredibly friendly.
I have still to miss the heat, but I am certain it will come as I am walking through a winter storm in some months’ time.
Nevertheless, this is just scratching the surface of what we have been through from here:
The beginning for me was mostly a lot of questions; “where is this”, “who is that” and most of all “how does this work”. Especially the last one had me thinking for quite some time and straggly enough it kept coming back to me. Even now, I have no clue what this guy is doing even though he has been passing our apartment twice every week since we came.
Regardless, I did manage to sort some things out and get the hang of the Mozambican way, more or less. A big help along the way, both in term of learning the language and getting to know the city has been the “chapas”. Ohh chapa…
Let me explain. The chapas are Maputo’s main public transport. The small minibuses, which you see all over the city is marked by color and name. Strangely enough, you pay 10mt and it can take through the whole city or just to the next corner. A chapa is just like any other public transport except for what I think is the very essence:
They are small, but never full.
Anyway, one Sunday in October, like many before I decided to get on a new chapa. I had been seeing this green one pass by our home with the name “Museu” on it. Little did I know that we lived only a few hundred meters away from Museu. As I was sitting there trying to explain in my broken Portuguese that I did not have a destination and I just wanted to go as far as possible, something they did not understand at all, I was interrupted by the lady sitting next to me. In a chaotic mixture of English and Portuguese she managed to get me of the chapa, show me around the area; art galleries, concert locations and even taking me to eat soup.
The experience was nice, but we never met again and that is how it often is. You make all these small relations and connections without any obligation of keeping in touch, which I assume is what makes getting in touch so easy to.
The road until now is long and I could go on and on telling about the time we went hiking to the execution rock in Eswatini, played in the weeding party of a man dressed in a marine uniform who weren’t even a marine and when we worked all through the night on a festival with no real task other then looking like we were doing something useful. I could tell about all the classes we gave and about all the classes we were supposed to give, but never did because people didn’t show up.
I could tell about all these things, but I have heard that people prefer short texts with a lot of pictures.
Regardless, we have done a lot of things. And that is just it, it’s not me, it’s us. I came here thinking that MOVE was going to be about music, and I was right, but it was also about traveling, food, volleyball, culture, language, 40 degrees, sweating, mosquitos and meeting people on the chapa, but through everything there was one consistency: us. I couldn’t have had it any other way then to be here with this diverse group of strange people. Yes I might get pissed off by dirty things in the sink, but it is nothing compared to what they have given me.
So thank you guys for 9 good months and I hope we all meet again.