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Published: January 6th 2012
We got off the plane in Pemba, Mozambique and entered into the smallest airport I have ever been in, got our bags and entered into the open air off Mozambique. It was hot, humid and no one could speak English; we were frustrated, tired and stuck not knowing the language. We got a taxi to take us to the ministries we were staying at for the next month, arrived at the gate but we were unsure if we arrived in the right place. We put on our bags and walked up the dirt track and eventually saw some other white people, so assumed we were in the right place.
It was not built up, basic and had lots of kids about… it was like being back in Uganda. It wasn’t in a city like Kampala, where hope for life Katanga
is but out in the countryside right on the beach. Lots of space, greenery and is peaceful. We entered into the grounds to see loads of kids running around, playing, which we later learned is about 300 kids who stay at this ministry. We had an ‘induction’ into what happens and what we can get involved in but really it was very relaxed and it was up to us to get involved where we wanted.
There are so many projects and sections within the ministries that cover a wide variety of aspects, including babies 0-5, Playing sports with the boys or girly things with the girls, working on the farm doing arable work, preparing maize, rice and beans for the daily food, mechanical work for the vehicles and much more. We were told to have a rest day, after the days travelling previous, which we did by walking 2 hours in the heat of the day to go change some money.
The next morning we got up at 6am, had breakfast and went to count beans into 10kg bags to distribute on Monday. The beans came in 50kg bags and we had 70 bags to dish out, so we handled 3½ tonnes of beans. The afternoon is where we are at the moment emailing hope for life
and emailing this blog. We went out to a hotel for a bit of ‘English style’ food after eating the same meals all the time.
The routine of our meals was:
7am – 1 bread roll
12pm – rice and beans
5pm – rice and beans
The breakfast will change to 6am when the kids go back to school and the rice and beans occasional gets substituted for chicken or cabbage (dependant on whether any donations have been made by the volunteers). We have also been given half a banana at each evening meal time, which makes the beans and rice a little more bearable.
Everything we have been a part of and seen so far has reminded us a lot of Katanga but being in the grounds of an orphanage, in the countryside, meals provided, not smelling like the slum almost makes this experience a little different but just as hard. Being in South Africa was a much needed break for us but to come back into a culture of poverty and minimalism has bought back the emotions we had in Uganda.
Christmas came just a few weeks back and we were hearing from some of the volunteers who were here that the kids had an amazing time with the boys getting little remote control cars and the girls getting girly stuff and perfume. The amount of worth that seemed to give them was unbelievable, they said.
Internet is £5 and hour so this is where we leave you for a little while, with water leaking onto our bed from a holy roof, it so hot that you have a shower, dry off and find you are perspiring, feeling unclean again and us half way up the Indian Ocean with beaches all around.
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