Blogs from Beira, Central, Mozambique, Africa


Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira November 13th 2010

8th – 13th November 2010 Pemba – Ihla de Mozambique – Nampula – Beira We left Pemba just after 4am and had a quick drive down to Ihla de Mozambique (only 5 hours) which was pretty uneventful except for the driver trying to demand more money from us due to the high price of fuel. It was very picturesque driving towards the island and over the causeway with turquoise waters and white sand beaches. We were staying at a backpackers place called Ruby’s that we’d heard great things about so got dropped off there and luckily they had a twin room available. It was so hot on the island, there was no wind and the sun was beating down but after a quick rest we went off to explore the island. It’s not a big island, ... read more
Funny kid, Ihla de Moz
View from Ihla de Goa
Fixing the fishing nets

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira August 25th 2009

The TCO bus is an anomaly in African transport, like a readable passage in a Harry Potter book. Though not hitting Argentinian heights of comfort, it makes the 16.75 hours to Beira pass in a trauma-free fashion. The promised toilet and AC are present and correct, and the secret to reaching our destination in just one day lies in infrequent stops and certainly none for fruit and veg shopping. I wonder if the ripping sound I hear is the tearing apart of the very fabric of African travel. There is one cause for concern, however, and it unexpectedly revolves around Westlife. The bus has insufficient DVDs to last the duration of the journey and, though we only get one showing of "Operation Delta Force 2:Mayhem", the Westlife Greatest Hits DVD gets repeated. I consider myself as ... read more
Stonking TCO bus
Wall detail

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira August 2nd 2008

Everyone’s getting ready to get the heck out of dodge. Today, all we had on the schedule was to take the bunk bed parts to Dondo, assemble them, and spend the rest of the day cleaning, packing, and preparing to go. Our vehicles were all gone, either in the shop or in use by other Care for Life people. All we had was a small covered pickup. So we had to pack the beds tightly in the truck to take them out to Dondo. The truck was way beyond bottomed out. And we strapped a bunch of mattresses to the roof. The security guard who was helping us load laughed and said that we had learned how to be Mozambicans with our overloaded vehicle. So there were a couple loads of stuff and people out ... read more
Full load o' bunk beds
Assembling bunk beds
Lunch time

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira August 1st 2008

We’re coming into the homestretch of the trip. This morning as I was getting ready the lady who cleans the place mentioned that it was her last day. I said yep. She said she had a favor to ask. I said what. She said he son doesn’t have shoes and could I give her some. I thought that was a little forward but of course it’s impossible to say no under the circumstances. And she’s a nice, poor lady. So I said sure, and gave her the choice between my sandals and my running shoes. She took the sandals. I also took her picture and printed it out for her. She really liked that, and I told her that if she comes back tomorrow, I’ll take one of her whole family. She also said, you ... read more
Dinner time

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 31st 2008

A couple days ago, Ryan received a text message saying that Care for Life had won 85,000 metacais (about $3,500) and a motorcycle from the phone company. We figured it was probably not legitimate, but it didn’t have any of the normal earmarks of a scam. It wasn’t asking for money, and it told us to go to the phone company rather than some other address. So we thought it was worth checking out. That’s what we did this morning. Unfortunately, it wasn’t legit. While we were out we visited several places looking for a Mozambique t-shirt. We saw a couple, but they were all too small. I bought one anyway. I suppose it’ll fit Ben. Or if I get really buff at some point I can squeeze into it and strut my stuff. Today ... read more
Sanding bunkbeds

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 30th 2008

Big day today. We went to an orphanage called Nhamantanda, about a 90-minute drive north of here. There were some pretty interesting things to see on our way there. One thing we saw was a government office along the road that looked like a weigh station would look in the US. There were six or eight speed bumps in the middle of the road, so we were crawling along for a quarter-mile or so. A bunch of guys trying to sell bags of cashews ran along the car for the whole time, trying to get us to buy. I probably would have if I hadn’t been so surprised by the whole thing, didn’t have my money out, etc. One of our group was taking pictures of them as they ran along. I thought that was ... read more
Watching the photos print
Street-side oil vendor
Busted phone?

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 29th 2008

Today we went back to Casa Banana to finish teaching sewing stuff. Before we did that, there was a brief Care for Life lesson on “the rights of children.” It’s interesting, I’ve seen several references to the “rights of children” here. They talk about it much more than we do in the States. Maybe that’s because as a practical matter children do not have many rights here. Among the rights they listed were the rights to “freedom from abuse,” “free time and toys,” “health,” “education,” “hospital,” “family,” “a name and nationality,” “a proper house,” and “food.” I guess that stuff sounds good but it ain’t the reality on the ground around here. Maybe that’s why they talk about it, because the goals are aspirational rather than actual. The Casa Banana kids finished sewing their puppets ... read more
A Red Rover casualty
Playing with the parachute at Casa Banana

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 28th 2008

This morning Warner Woodworth, a BYU professor in international development, left for home. He’s been here with us the whole time, although usually doing different things. When I went to the meetings with villagers, he was the one I went with. He’s a pretty interesting guy. Remember Oulessebougou, Mali? He was instrumental in starting up that whole thing. He is involved with the church’s international aid and with various microcredit organizations, and similar stuff. He lives on half his BYU salary and gives the rest to similar kinds of organizations. Hmm, I remember when I was planning on doing that. The guilt-meter is starting to buzz. The only problem with the guy is that he’s a Democrat. In the morning we went to Dondo. We helped repair a decrepit swingset that has probably injured as ... read more
Now that is one beat-to-crap tire swing
Kids with their loot
A new blankee and a car

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 27th 2008

Today was Sunday, and we went to a nearby branch in a place called Inhamizua. The rented “chapel” is in a pavilion sort of place, with open-air rooms mostly surrounded by netting. It was pretty cool, though if the weather was bad that wouldn’t be the case. The branch is small enough that they meet for just two hours, basically omitting Sunday School. When sacrament meeting started ten minutes late, I counted 17 local members in attendance, of whom 14 were men or young men, one was a woman, and two were children. I understand that’s very common here—that the men always greatly outnumber the women. I can’t imagine how the church would grow well under those circumstances, but there you have it. As I looked around during church, it quickly became apparent that there ... read more
Church family
Inhamizua Branch
Another Inhamizua family

Africa » Mozambique » Central » Beira July 26th 2008

Today was fairly uneventful. More of the same, really. In the morning we worked on a machessa, and in the afternoon we did some work and played with orphans at the Dondo orphanage where we’ve spent time several times before. At the machessa we tied grass into long bundles that will go on the roof. There were a lot of villagers who showed up, which is a really good thing. The more they put into it, the better it is for them. If it’s just white people showing up and doing stuff for them, there’s little or no long-term benefit. The downside of having so many villagers there was that there were kind of too many people for what needed to be done, so we didn’t have a full morning of work. Which was okay, ... read more
Two primates
Government well

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