If it weren´t for moments like these….
If it weren´t for these people we´ve met…
And for these beaches…
I would have to admit that Mozambique was one of the most difficult countries for us and is one of the countries where we would choose not to return.
It is always difficult for me to point out the country I like the most, there is always something marvelous in each and every one of them, something that inspires good feelings and wonder and a desire to return some day for another visit. It could be history, beaches, food, music, culture, people… Of course, It is easier to think of a country I would not want to return to, there are so few.
Most of our nights in Mozambique were spent in Missions as they came to feel like the safest places. At the missions, we were housed by nuns from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela and Spain. They were always surprised to find us at their door. I have great admiration for these missionaries living in Mozambique; their lives are nowhere close to easy. I got a glimpse at how vast love for others can be and I feel deeply grateful to have experienced it.
Sometimes I wonder, “where would we be without such people in the world?
If it weren´t for the wonderful moments that were able to shift everything, or for the reunion with our traveling friend Charly Sinewan, if weren´t for the fondness of a few it would have been unbarable.
We often felt not like human beings, more like walking ATMs, the word for “Money” was deeply etched in our minds and became the most common denominator when someone approached to speak with us. If we asked for directions to get to a place, we knew the answer. If we asked for help to push the car when we get stuck, we also knew the answer. “Money” was always the first answer. Without money, nothing could happen.
One day on the road to Mission of Madre Aurora. Edited by Charly.
The following day
One day we “lost” the gasoline jerry can, then it was Tehue’s shoes that disappeared, on another day it was the Old Car Club emblems that decorate the trunk, then a computer and backpack, and another attempt to remove a speaker. So many of our few possessions were disappearing as we moved through Mozambique. Worse still, all at different moments.
In 15 years we had only lost one plastic chair and a tripod that was attached to the outside of the car. Then in just two months, all of this.
Of course one must take into account that Mozambique is a poor country. Unfortunately this seems to be a question not of poverty but of culture.
Finally, we were confronted with something that we had feared all through our travels in the Amazon, parts of Asia, India and especially in many countries of Africa: We discovered the reason Herman had been feeling so terrible was that he had contracted Malaria and it happened on Ibo Island, where there was no possibility to transit the car!
This is the house where we suffered Malaria
It was 3 terrifying days of relentless high fever, muscle aches, tremors and constant bouts of shivering cold. We had to change mattresses and could even wring out the huge amounts of perspiration from the sheets, blankets and clothing.
We got back on the road with Herman in a state of weakness and it took him a couple of weeks to fully recover.
Waiting for diagnosis at the Island Hospital
This was what happened during our two-month stay in Central and Northern Mozambique. We didn’t have the chance to visit the southern part of the country and would love to be able to say that it might be different there.
We crossed gratefully into Tanzania, even before our visas expired. The change in culture was very welcome and we were relieved to again feel the wonderful warmth of people that has always surprised us on this journey.
With great visions of something different we said: