I had a great time in Angoche for Christmas and I returned to Monapo for New Years because I didn't feel comfortable leaving our humble abode for that long. And lo and behold, someone had stolen our capulana tablecloth through a little hole that isn't covered with netting on our barred back windows. I'm actually fairly impressed, besides being disappointed at the loss of my capulana. They went fishing for that sucker and got it. With that much work, they can just have it. If I see someone walking around with that capulana on though, I'll know that they stole it or got it from someone who stole it because it's a capulana from Maputo and they seem to vary with regions.
I am in the city for the day and it's turned out well. At the beginning, not so much. I caught a chapa where the cobrador (the guy who takes the money) was practically sitting on my lap (he should have been paying me) and I was pushed up against a young mother who was continually breastfeeding her baby. Being from a non-public-breastfeeding country, I wasn't sure where to look. My knees weren't crammed against the seat in front of my though so I had little cause to complain. The real problem came when I got to the chapa stop and I was stopped. They claimed that my passport copy wasn't suitable and that they required the real deal. I assured them that it was an official copy from Maputo, pointing out the stamps and signatures. When they kept pressing me, I told them I could have them talk to my contact person in Nampula and he would sort it out. Then one of them said "so you have a lot of credit to talk?" So he was basically saying, you have a lot of money. To this, I said "no, I am going to have him call us." They didn't want to talk to him though (surprise, surprise) and after about 10 minutes, they let me walk away. It wasn't scary. Just an annoyance really because I definitely got the drift they were looking for money and I wasn't about to buckle. And when I got to the Peace Corps office, I found I'd gotten packages from the family and my next door neighbor in the states (thank you, thank you, thank you!). Using the internet to talk to everyone and pick up mail makes the cobrador's lap dance and the passport stop totally worth it. :)
I have been reading like a fiend at my house while I am waiting for life to become busy. I am also writing four pages in my journal pretty much everyday and going to the market, so I am not lacking in things to do. It is lonely but not that bad. My roommate should be coming back tomorrow or Monday from Angoche so I'll be able to speak in English again. Hallelujiah! :) I have been chatting with a tailor who has a sewing machine on the side of the main road in Monapo each day too and I told him I'd buy a capulana and have him make me a skirt out of it. At first when he started speaking to me, I thought he was talking in Macua but it was portuguese. I felt pretty stupid.
There is a little boy who comes by our house about once a day and yells out for my roommate and when he tires of her not responding (since she's not there and I'm too lazy to get up), he calls for me. Yesterday I told him I would play soccer with him after lunch but then it started to downpour. The rainy season is starting here but I'm excited because that means that more vegetables and fruit are coming down the line eventually. I have been eating a lot of garlic bread and egg sandwiches, which I must admit, are delicious. It seems like one out of three eggs is usually bad though so I always have to crack them open in a bowl first to make sure they're not going to make me use the bathroom at 2 am.
Here's my address for packages and mail now that I have moved north. It's in the city but I'll be coming here probably once every two to three weeks to check on mail and buy stuff.
Erin Lynum, PCV
Corpo da Paz
Rua dos Continuadores No. 24-A
Cidade de Nampula, Nampula