The thing that was just an idea is now a project! This was what I was thinking last Friday. The day of my departure finally came. I was surprised at the airport by several friends who came to bid me farewell. Suddenly, the moment came to fly away. After 10 hours of flight we (myself, Mamã* Anabela and Mana* Joana arrived in Maputo, around 06:30 am. During the morning we had the chance of meeting Manos* Bernardo and Filipe, and visited the Arts & Crafts Fair.
Maputo is quite different from the cities I’ve known so far. Although it is a capital city, poverty is striking; old buildings without adequate maintenance; semi-tarmacked roads, non-paved sidewalks, loads of dust …
As soon as we said goodbye to the Manos*, we head out towards Chókwè, which is more than three and half hours away. The draught has had its tool on the landscape. As we head towards the countryside of Mozambique, the buildings became rarer and we saw mainly houses made out of mud and reed. Next to them we see their inhabitants, mostly barefoot and wearing second hand clothes, some worn out, others torn apart.
In Chókwè town the dust is a constant presence, as well as the awful smell coming from the dumpsters and the lack of hygiene conditions. In the meantime, the poverty level increases as we proceed through neighbourhoods and communities.
In every city corner it is possible to buy phone top ups, fruit and vegetables. In the market (which looks more like a labyrinth) it is possible to find anything: vegetables, second hand clothing, shoes, ironware, traditional cloth (capulanas) and sewing and hairdresser services. To every product we have to add a layer of dust from the market’s ground, and… let’s not forget the added cost for being mulungo (white person).
Unfortunately, reality is sad, nevertheless, on the face of these people we can easily find a smile. Mozambicans are friendly, kind and curious.
The adventure begins!"
Adriana L. is a volunteer with our sister charity Um Pequeno Gesto and will spend the next 6 months spreading attention and lots of joy to our children. Follow her adventures here (in portuguese).