Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How i spend my weekends, arrival of Mathias & INHACA

Usually I spend Fridays together with friends in the "zona". This has actually been the case the last two Fridays within the last three weeks. You might think it could get boring but it doesn't. On Saturday, 19th I joined Samito and Dario on a trip to Marracuene which is still in the Maputo region but 30 km away from the city. There some friends of Dario have a house for the weekend. We spent the whole day and night there, eating, drinking and basically doing nothing, which felt awesome! I love the hospitality of Mozambicans. They share everything! I ate my first cake in Mozambique which was incredibly delicious. When we headed back to Maputo we stopped in Xipamanine, another zone within Maputo where we met with some friends of Samito and Dario.
Sunday, 20th I spent at the beach here at Costa do Sol, together with Adao. Just chilling and drinking some beers. Later on I got to know his girlfriend who cooked together with her girlfriends a delicious dinner for us.
The next weekend I went with Geny, Sandra, Carina and Adao to a Carnival party at the train station. By the way, the train station was awarded as the 4th most beautiful train station in the world, created by Gustaf Eiffel.  On Sunday Samito and I went to Lito’s house. Lito is my neighbor, he has an apartment in the city as he works in the city but usually he drives back to his house every day. It's a little bit outside of Maputo. His whole family was there and we basically ate and drank the whole afternoon. I was lucky enough to got to try Gazelle meat which I liked a lot.
On Tuesday, I picked up my friend Mathias from Austria who came to visit Mozambique due to the project in Namaacha which his company supports. I was so happy to see him! Unfortunately their bags didn’t arrive at the same time. A problem which happens quite often with South African, at least this is what I have been told. I didn’t have any problems with my flight. Thanks god their luggage arrived the next day. We drove to Namaacha where we met the family he’s staying with, visited the convent and all the Sisters of the Precious Blood. At the convent I also met Anne’s parents who have been travelling around with Anne since three weeks.
On Wednesday, 2nd I went to the center in Namaacha and played with all the kids until Papa Augusto took Anne and me to Swaziland as I had to get a new visa. Entering Swaziland was exciting. To be honest with you, it didn’t look much different to Mozambique but just the fact that it was another country was exciting. The official language is English but the people we met had hard times to speak English. At the post office we saw a picture of the king who’s also portrayed on their money. I already forgot how many wives he exactly has. Probably I don’t need to mention that the AIDS rate in Swaziland is extremely high.
On Friday, March 4th Mathias and Anne reached Maputo and we met at Novo Milano for a Pizza. After that we picked Samito up and went for the concert at the Franco-Mocambicano where Stewart played, a famous Marrabenta singer.

Stewart live
 Unfortunately we were quite late so we only saw him performing two songs. After that we went to Elvis bar and then to the Havana bar.
 It seems Friday is not the favorite day for people in Maputo to go out. Nevertheless we had so much fun. After only three hours of sleep we had to get up in order to catch the ferry to Inhaca, 200 Meticais for a ride which is 4 Euros. Inhaca is three hours away from Maputo. I used the time to sleep. As we came closer to Inhaca I was amazed by the beauty of the island. The island charges 200 Meticais for tourists and we didn’t question the price. Later I got to know that for citizens the price is only 100 Meticais. Anne’s parents were already there since Thursday.  Me and Mathias stayed at Cool Running’s place. What a cool location! This weekend was the most relaxing I had so far. The same day we went to Santa Maria which is a beach where almost nobody was. A car took us there which was very adventurous  by itself as the driver did quite a lot of speeding which sometimes doesn’t feel too good in the sand.  We did some snorkeling and discovered beautiful shells and all different kinds of fishes along the reef.  

Beautiful Inhaca

Sunday we came back after chilling at the beach. I introduced Mathias to my family. I called Adao to ask him what he was up to. I knew Adao’s brother, Meleco, had an engagement party the day before but as Mathias and I went upstairs there was still a party going on. This weekend Meleco introduced his future wife officially to his whole family which is a every important event. It was awesome! A friend of them taught Mathias some Portuguese and they brought him all the food they had for him to taste. I had some really nice conversations with their Mom.

Meleco and I at his engagement party
One cultural thing I still have to cope with is the behavior within families when they have a party or a ceremony. I already observed several times that women sit in another corner than men. Usually they serve the men food and cook while all the men sit together and enjoy the food and their drinks.  Whenever I’m invited I’m usually with my male friends there. This is why I sit together in the ‘male’ circle. After I while I usually sit together with the women and talk with them but this is not necessarily a thing that happens on the countryside I also recognize it within the city. This was also true at Meleko’s party. While the women were sitting inside, all the men set together outside.
Probably it’s just striking for me as we are not used to such a separation. In former times women were not allowed to take a nap in the same bed together with their husband throughout the day...

On Monday Mathias joined me to visit Massaca and he got to know my kids there...

Playing after lunch with the smaller ones

They loved him!

Enough for today, be good & until next time!
Love from Maputo,

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