I got back from Mozambique yesterday at about 8:00 p.m. It was one of the best Easter weekends I’ve ever had! I have now been to four African countries! Mozambique is incredibly beautiful and diverse in its landscape and geography. We spent most of our time on the road, on long combi and Intercape bus rides, so we saw much of the countryside. We also saw a lot of poverty. It was the first time that I saw shoeless, emaciated children in Africa, just walking along the roadside. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world with some of the lowest infant mortality and life expectancy rates.
Mozambique was colonized by the Portuguese in the 1500s. When the country gained its independence in 1975, the Portuguese pretty much just up and left. There was no transition or easing into complete lack of control.
I wrote this entry on a computer in the UB library. When my Macbook decides to turn back on, I will certainly put pictures up. There are pictures of Maputo, the Mozambican capital where we spent one day and one night before taking a seven hour trip north to the breathtaking beaches of Tofo. I have about 200 pictures to choose from of the sunrise over the Indian Ocean in Tofo. Also, on our first night in Tofo we watched the moon rising over the ocean during our dinner at a restaurant right on the beach. The backpackers’ place (Fatima’s Nest) where we stayed in Tofo was great – location and price-wise. We stayed in the cutest four-person grass hut …though the bed bugs weren’t so cute. We had a couple great fresh seafood meals for the equivalent of $4 – 6. Women sold us cashews through the window at a quick stop on the bus ride from Tofo to Maputo. They were fire-roasted and delicious.
The Intercape bus ride from Joburg to Gabs yesterday was a bit strange for one reason: we watched a video that made it seem like we were on a fundamentalist Christian bus, not a secular one. For about a half hour, two white men preached about how evolution did not happen. An example of how they ‘disproved’ evolution was calling an airline and getting rejected when requesting a ticket for an orangutan with the justification that human beings are related to primates. It was possibly the most ridiculous thing I have ever watched. It made me miss the U.S. a little because if anything ever happened like that on the good ole Megabus, I and other passengers would’ve gotten that crap off the screen in no time. But here, people just sat and watched it.
It was good to spend some time away from the UB environment. I was getting a little antsy with my courses here. My descriptions in an earlier entry “School” still hold true. Professors still ask me to make sweeping generalizations about the United States. They still make assumptions about me and other Americans based on stereotypes. Students still do not participate in class, even 3rd and 4th year students. I’m getting back into the swing of things here, not that anything’s terribly swingin’ about UB.
My time is almost up in Botswana. After this week, there are two more weeks of classes remaining. I have one month left before I board my first of three planes home at the Sir Seretse Khama Airport in Gaborone.
If you have any questions about my time in Botswana, about anything that has happened to me at all, or what I think of something compared to the U.S., or absolutely whatever, please leave your question(s) in the comment section. If you’d prefer to remain anonymous, my e mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be happy to answer them in my next post(s)!