Thursday, January 12, 2012

Matando Saudades in Moz

In Portuguese, to say that you miss or have a deep longing for something, you say "tenho saudades." Saudades is one of those foreign words that doesn't quite translate perfectly to English. Here are pictures of my trip to Mozambique from December 19th to January 7th, where I had a chance to "matar saudades" - kill my longings for Mozambique. Sounds dramatic, right? I visited Maputo City and Namaacha (along the Swaziland border) in the south and Nacala, Ilha and Monapo in the north. I had a wonderful time visiting old friends and students. I apologize in advance for these photos not being in any specific order.

The art market in Maputo. You can find some really great stuff here but bring your A-game in negotiating. The vendors used to be on the streets but the city moved them to this really nice park.

This woman made really cool dolls out of capulana material. I couldn't help but buy one.

Maputo city

Me, hanging out with me and my roommate's former students in Monapo

Me with Fabiao, possibly one of the kindest and soft-spoken people on the face of the earth

The sewing master at the back of the market in Monapo. He made me two dresses and a skirt during my stay in Monapo. He used to make clothes for the first volunteers in Monapo and still has old fashion magazines they gave him.

Some of the dress examples he has on the wall. He said that he has made every kind in the pictures.

The Monapo market during a busy time.

Chamussa, a dog left by Megan, the last health volunteer in Monapo, watching everyone play basketball in the local gym. I met him once and as I walked up to the house of the new volunteers in Monapo, he came sprinting up to me to be petted. He is much calmer than Timba ever was.

Playing basketball with kids in Monapo and the new volunteers, Leah and Ariel.

The fortaleza on Ilha de Mocambique. This used to be the capital of the country and was led by the Portuguese. This is also a point for the shipment of slaves from Mozambique to foreign countries.

Walking around the fortaleza. It is an eery and empty fort, full of history.

The view of the beach next to the fort.

Me at the fortaleza on Ilha de Mocambique.

These little girls assumed that I didn't understand any Macua. Au contraire, little girls. I understand you when you call me an ugly white person. I turned around and said "n'sheni?" - "what did you say?" I never got so much joy out of a shocked and ashamed expression on someone's face before.

Castro with Ismael. Ismael was one of my best students in Monapo. He hated when he earned a score any less than perfection. He can converse really well in English and I think that if given the right opportunities, he will have a very bright future. He is full of opinions and never afraid to give them.

Fermino, one of my roommate's really sweet students, grilling the chicken.

Me, sitting and chatting with Ismael and Líle.

Castro, Assane and Fermino as we hung out in Monapo, making dinner one night.

One of my best students, Raimundo, and his cousin in Nacala. He is incredibly intelligent and hopes to study science in Nampula after graduation.

A Nacala sunset.

Some of the best and cheapest food in Mozambique is bar food. This plate of fish with rice and a potato sauce only cost about $3! Nothing tastes better after a long day of walking around in the sun and the heat.

A child taking a break at the Monapo chapa stop to fix his toy car. Kids in Mozambique are incredibly creative in making toys for themselves.

Timba is alive! He's alive! And he's bigger and more muscular and probably would have ripped my hand off if I had stuck my hand there. He didn't remember me but that's okay because he is thriving at the house of Monapo's priests, except for the fact that he has penchant for biting priests rather than thieves. He has now bitten two different priests because they were bothering him.

Women carrying water in Monapo.

Assane, my roommate's former student, working as a volunteer at Monapo's local radio station.

A giant form of mancala being played in the market while vendors wait for customers.

Beautiful nampula. Rock formations that look like they have just dropped from the sky.

Me with Eulalia, one of my students during my time in Monapo in 2007-2009. She is now 17 years old and she is going to be entering 12th grade later this month. She wants to work in the health field after she graduates.

Ugh, hello chapa (the main, sardines-in-a-can, form of transportation in Mozambique). We meet again.

The beautiful new international terminal at the Maputo airport. The Chinese are helping renovate the entire airport and are currently working on the domestic terminal.

The outside of a chapa waiting to fill before it can leave.

Me and my host family. Since I stayed with them four years ago, they have had 5 more Peace Corps volunteers come to stay with them and my host father is a chefe with Peace Corps in Namaacha in helping coordinate the housing of trainees.

I ate a meal at three different houses on Christmas Day and the food was delicious. Preparation of food for special events is a loooong process.

Walking to see the infamous, beautiful mountains of Namaacha.

A funny woman who saw us walking past and wanted her picture taken with me.

Castro and I

Castro and the mountains. Waaaay out in the mountains behind him is the family's "machamba." A machamba is where people plant their vegetables and crops and it is often far away from the family home and requires a lot of work.

Visiting Dona Olimpia, the host mom of my Peace Corps friend, Angie.

Holding Becky, named after a Peace Corps volunteer, Castro's niece.

Castro picking lychees on his mother's kitchen roof, the most delicious fruit in the world.

I got to Namaacha at prime lychee time.

Making matapa - a large pilao for pounding the leaves.

Aninha making batatas fritas (french fries) over charcoal.

Celeste, my host mother's niece's foster daughter. It's a difficult family web to untangle sometimes. She is such a sweet and curious little girl.

Me and Aninha, one of my host sisters with a wonderful sense of humor. She is now 17 years old and will be studying 9th grade starting later this month. She wants to be a doctor one day. She is constantly singing and I told her that she will need to moonlight as a DJ as well once she becomes a doctor.

Me with Pedo, my young host brother and a neighbor and my other host sister with babies. Nelinha, on the left, is holding her niece, Jazy, and Atalia, my host sister, is holding my host mother's great niece, Joyce.

Maputo city, looking good.