Thursday, January 26, 2006



(top) The beach 10-15 minutes from the apartment- fernao velhoso,
this isn't actually the best swimming area, but it's the beach out in front
of the Hotel Napala, which the US ambassador- and I think she's probobly
right here- says you can get some of the best fish dishes in the whole

(bottom) This catholic church is right across the street from our house- in fact this view
is from our balcony. It's very pretty, but they just cut down a tree that was in front
of it, for no reason that I can see, and I'm really pissed about it.

(middle)Here's Eli, probobly not too happy about having her picture taken,
in our kitchen. It was probobly a really nice kitchen 20 years ago...
now I think it could use a re-tiling.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Gato- português for cat

Ok, so we just traded our cute (but obnoxious, loud, not potty trained and flea ridden) dog in for a sweet, cuddly little kitten. The dog, who´s name I won´t even mention, went to our landlord, who I´m sure will be sick to death of him before the week is over but who, also, is wisely keeping the dog outside. He also, sadly for the dog, will probobly not hesitate to chuck a stone at the dog when he´s being annoying.
We got our cat from our neighbor PCVs in Monapo- they didn´t really want the cat, who was left over from the previous PCVs. They brought us the cat (by chapa, and the cat was uncerimoniously kept in a rice sack!) along with 2 flea collars, flea shampoo, and some food. We made the cat a litter box out of a cardboard box and some shredded paper. The cat, like our dog, was never potty trained because he had always been able to go outside to use the toilet. This kitty though, learned to use our homemade litter box on his second try, so we´re quite proud of him (and a little relieved). We still haven´t decided on a name for the cat, we´ve been throwing around Kermit, Dilbert, Cujo, some Greek names that Eli seems to be rooting for (hermes?) and also just plain kitty. Let us know if you think of something good.

I´d also like to report that our water crisis is temporarily solved (although not the cities). We had completely run out a few days ago, and were really suffering- so we went to the street and stopped someone who had a truck loaded down with water barrels. He agreed to fill our water tanks up (we have about 250 liters of water storage in our house) for 300k (about $12). That actually took him several hours to go and get the water and bring it back. The next day our landlord brought us 4 big 20 liter containers, so now we have water, and we have containers so we can send our empregada out on a bus to bring back more water. Should be a sure thing, but Eli is still out there collecting rain water during our (brief) storms.

A lot of people have been wondering when we would start to work- some of you probobly thought that Peace Corps was one long vacation by the Indian Ocean (you went to Pemba and Ilha again??) Well, we´ve been wondering as well. The official word is- we start tomorrow at 8am with our teachers meetings and planning, and classes start on Febuary 2nd. We also just learned, from our landlord, that our school has a new director, and that the old director will be moving on (although still teaching a few classes). So we´re not really sure what to expect from this new director, and I´m curious to see if anything changes. However, I am really looking forward to going out and getting some work done, meeting my colleagues, and finally getting my class schedule. I think I may be teaching in the morning and Eli in the afternoon, if we get the classes we asked for. Also, it would be nice, and we might request this- to have either Fridays or Mondays off.

There´s not a whole lot more to add- our empregada turns out to be a really good cook, and we spent last night on the beach with a friend of ours. The AC in here is a lot colder than anything we´re used to, so we have to get back into the 100 degree weather and warm up. Hope everything is well for folks at home,

Paul and Eli

Monday, January 16, 2006


"Malapua"- dog in Makua

Sorry this is gonna be a short entry. Just wanted to let everyone know that Paul and I got a dog! He's all black, except for his white paws. As of now we call him Bacchus, but we're still deciding. He's sorta well-behaved, but still needs training. It's funny, he's not avery big dog but everyone is scared of him (when we walk him in the street, people avoid us and cross to other side!!). ANyhow, we'll let you know how it works out.
Another quick little story. Two days ago we went with our landlord to get water (just to keep him company, and check out the place). So we drive off with the pickup truck full of huge empty plastic containers, and a couple of guys to carry the water. We go farther and farther into the mato, and reach a tap in the middle of nowhere. There were about 100 people trying to get water, almostfighting to reach the tap. Meanwhile, water is spilling everywhere (beause people are pushing their way in), so people are slipping on the mud (with 20liters of water on their head!). Man, you forgot that you were in a drought with so much water around. In any case, Sausau (our landlord) drives thru the mud (gets caught, but the guys push him out), and starts filling up his water containers. After about 30 min, we're ready to leave, except that with sooooo much weight in the truck, there is no way to get out of the mud. Sooo, he calls 15 more guys to help him out of the mud. No use, the car is so heavy, it doesnt really move. Sooo, they empty one of the containers (300 liters wasted). Still no use. They take out the other containers (but keep thewater this time), but still no use. Eventually, the truck is completey empty, and after an hour of "chovar" (pushing) the truck is free. Then, they have to carry the water containers back into the car, and wash off the mud. A fight almost broke out when Sausau gave them 4dollars for their help, and ended up giving them 4 more (i think he got a little scared). EVentually, after another hour, we head on back out. Then, he took us out for beers, i think he felt bad that we had towait all that time, but it was actually very interesting.
Aight, one more thing. I'm a little worried because Paul got a bill for his school loans and I havent. I can remember what address i gave them, but i thought it was Laingsburg, but it couldve been Madison. Has anyone gotten a bill???? Please let me know, ireally dont wanna go back in two years, and havea warrant for my arrest waiting for me! THanks!
IHope you are all well andhealthy,

Saturday, January 14, 2006


A week at Pemba

We just returned from a four day trip to Pemba, 450km north and supposedly one of the best beaches and scuba places in the country. The whole trip was kind of spur of the moment- it started when our friends Rhett and Konstantine showed up (they were on a very extended trip across the country!) and wanted us to go to Pemba with them. They had hitched the whole way up the country, so we all decided to hitch up to Pemba.

Konstantine has a theory that trips can either start out really good, use up all your luck and end badly, or start badly and have no where to go but up. Ours was the latter. I woke up at 4:30 (ideal hitching time) ready to puke- possibly from my anti-malaria drugs, which can cause nausea- but decided to go anyways. Before leaving I tried to withdraw cash from my american bank- this being a vacation afterall, so we felt we deserved a little something extra- but the bank ATM stole my card! So I had to wait 2 1/2 hours until the bank opened to get my card back... which gave me a chance to get over the nausea at least.
Hitching rides can be a really long process, depending on traffic- and a lot of places here see surprisingly little traffic- and it took us 7 different cars to get to Pemba (Eli Rhett and I traveled seperatly from Konstantine and the Monapo girls), but we did meet an American couple that lives in Nacala as missionaries, and hopefully we´ll get to know them well.

Now Wimbi beach (the beach at Pemba) is pretty, but its not that much better than our own fernao velhoso to warrant a 450km treck. What it does have is some great coral reefs, and Eli and I spent a whole morning snorkeling around looking at fishes (I was also keeping an eye out for sharks...) We went out twice, the second time in a boat- which was basically a hollowed out canoe with two logs spaced a few feet on either side as stabilizers. It was fun to ride in. When we got to our reef I jumped out of the boat and turned to ask Eli to hand me my fins and mask, with just enough time to see the boat roll completely over, dumping out Eli and our boat guide. Oops :-) I guess I didn´t jump out as gracefully as I thought.

We managed to recover everything that fell out, except the sunscreen (the result- we both have nice sunburns, mine are itchy too) and still have a good time. The other big thing about Pemba is the seafood- our first night we each got 2 lobsters, one normal and one giant- for about $14, which I assume is a good price... anyways it was tasty. Secondly, Pemba is famous for its Makonde wood carvings, so we had to buy some souvenirs to decorate our apartment. We got 3 little monkey statues, covering their eyes, ears and mouth for see no, hear no and speak no evil respectively. We also- don´t ask me why because I´m still not 100% sure- bought a large drum. A really large drum, its like 2 ft. tall. Its pretty neat looking, carved and painted with a fur on the top and 3 wooden legs. It was $18 which seemed cheap to me but someone later told me it was expensive... it was a touristy shop afterall. Lastly Eli and I bought carved wooden rings, since we don´t have gold wedding bands here.

So after the start we had a really good trip- only the way back was less than perfect too. We decided to take a direct bus at 5:30am to Nacala- easier than hitching and we found out not to expensive. (the majority of moçambican transport is cramped and slow, but buses can be OK) The bus would have us home by 1pm or so- except we broke down in the middle of nowhere and had to wait 5 hours for another bus to come get us!!! Its amazing though, Eli and I have gotten really patient after 4 months here, so we just spread a sheet, sat down and read and played rummy for 5 hours.

Today we´re going to try to get a dog- we saw him last week before Pemba and he looks good, no open cuts. He´s not a puppy though, so we´ll have to see what kind of personality he has.
So, thats the situation. I dont know if I already mentioned, but eli and I have some good computer speakers (2 satelites and a small subwoofer) hooked up to our MP3 player, so the house is enjoying some good jams :-) Hope you are all enjoying your cold weather, we´re hitting 40 degrees C pretty regularly here. Also, my inbox is empty and we have yet to recieve much more than a post card from people! (some exceptions noted) Take care everyone!

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Eli´s Favorite Dish

I think you are all interested in the exotic and different foods that we are eating here in Nacala. Eli has already established her favorite dish- today she officialy ate enough Nestle Instant baby food to make her sick to her stomach. I know it sounds strange- and she might even say that I was the one who wanted to buy it because I thought it would be like cocoa-wheats, but thats not true- she´s just mad that I keep beating her in backgammon. (I will admit neither of us noticed the box was for 6 month old babies but...). No, that was a failed experiment, it definetly did not taste like cocoa wheats or cream of wheats, or much of anything, and it actually did give Eli a stomach ache.

On the other hand our emprigada, Angelina, has started working and thats going very well. We´re going to try to teach her to cook some American dishes, and actually already made a shrimp scampi with her. That went well, except that she left the shrimp heads on, which was strange to say the least. I have noticed that Moçambicans eat the whole shrimp head, usually with the shell on. The other day I bought a pile of fried shrimp at the side of the road, and when the vendor noticed that I was leaving the whole head he asked if he could have them, and then did, eat them. Very strange.

(**some notable animal lovers, like aunt barbara, may want to avoid this section**)
We thought we may have actually gotten a puppy yesterday- someone who was looking for us showed up last night with a puppy wrapped in a plastic bag. However, the dog had an open cut near the base of one ear, obvious fleas and something too horrible to say in its ear. So the search goes on. But every other puppy we´ve seen so far in Moçambique has been more or less the same, open wounds, and scared to death of people. Getting a puppy is definetly going to be harder than we thought. We´re going to hold out for a dog that doesn´t look abused, but its hard to see so many dogs in such bad shape :-(

Also water problems continue here- we haven´t had running water in 5 days and we only have enough drinkable water because of the camping filter we brought (I guess we could boil it...) We´re also expecting more visitors in the next few days, some of our friends are taking really long bus rides up here to visit Nampula. Should be fun, but hopefully the water starts working again!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006


Feliz Ano Novo!

Hi everyone and happy 2006! We´ve been having a good time up here in Nacala- two other PCVs, Pete and Kara, came up for new years (it was a little confusing because I had the date wrong and thought that it was new years eve on the 30th....people were confused when I showed up a day early in Monapo). Anyways, we went to the Ilha of Moçambique for New Years, and had a good time. We did snorkeling on new years eve, which was neat, but we went at a bad time, just as the tide was starting to come in, so we had to work offly hard and swim constantly, or we would be swept in to shore. At night on New Years Eve we went to an all you can eat sea food buffet that was being put on by the largest hotel on the island. It had some pretty good seafood (grilled fish, grilled lula, soup, seafood shishkabob and grilled chicken- plus some really great ´pudim´[moçambican for flan and pronounced pudin´]). Also they had a bit of a dance show and a DJ.
We stayed at a pretty nice little place, really someone´s house with a guest house, and they shared some cake and pastries with us on New Years Eve. I felt really bad because then I took the room keys back with me to Nacala.... hopefully they can come get those sometime soon...
Also, tomorrow morning our emprigada (maid) starts working- her name is Angelina- and I´ll finally have clean clothes again. Eli really doesn´t approve of my plans to do absolutely no domestic work once she starts but... we´ll see what happens.
Next week 3 of our friends from the south are comming up to visit which should be exciting- we´ve had so many visitors recently and we expected to see nobody else for 2 years.

I´m trying to put a picture of Atticus here:

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?