Monday, April 13, 2015

Cris - From Leeds to ALG in Mozambique and loving it!

Two young ladies, Cris R. and Patricia F., have just landed in Mozambique as volunteers with our sister charity UPG Portugal. They will stay for 2 months helping our projects and travelled with a team of 2 staff members from Portugal visiting the local operations.

These are her heartfelt first impressions of the ground!

Chongoene, 11th April 2015

"From Leeds to Oporto in Portugal and then Lisbon - the is how this trip started, so long but so, so longed for! In Lisbon I met Mana [big sister] Patricia, another volunteer and my travel companion for these two months. I also reunited with UPG Portugal's Mana Anabela, Head of Sponsoring, and Mana Joana, Projects Assistant. They shared lots of valuable tips and we got off to a great start!

As we left the airplane in Maputo on Thursday morning, our first shock was the weather - so hot and humid (so different from England..). Thankfully our bodies get used to things quickly!We passed lots of customs burocracies and immediately fell into the warm arms and welcoming smiles of Sisters Aparecida and Beta, ALG Local Partners on was like arriving home and having our families waiting for us :-)

Past the traffic and confusion reigning on the streets in Maputo, we were welcomed in the Sister's house with a lovely breakfast (what a nice bread!!) and we spent the day in town taking care of all the logistics for the following days. On Friday, after a much needed rest, we took off to Xai-Xai with Sister Beta on the wheels and the company of the young Mano Hilario, ALG General Coordinator in Mozambique. It was a long but very cheerful trip where we even enjoyed a great snack with caju nuts on the way. 

I think this was the moment when i stopped and realised - I have arrived to Mozambique. it is difficult to find the right words and not even photographs help you describe the richness and immensity of the landscapes, the people, the colour of the earth...!
In Xai-Xai and Chongoene we met Arnaldo, a very entrepreneurial young man who is also a Local Technician for ALG and just launched a new income generation IT centre. We met the Sister community in the Escolinha do Andre, sponsored by UPG Portugal since 2008, who waited for us with lovely coffee and cakes - Sister helena, Mum Victoria and so many others who all received us with open arms.

A huge khanimambo to you all!"
Crist R. with UPG Portugal team Anabela N. and Joana P, and Sister Aparecida from Chongoene - fully loaded with presents for the ALG children!
Cristiana has launched 3 amazing personal fundraising campaigns on behalf of ALG to date - including an impressive bungee-jump over a year ago. Her latest challenge here was to raise funds to ALG's School Feeding programme in the SLM School.
You can still help her contribute to the over 800 meals served daily by ALG at that school - Donate now!

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