Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Emma and I went up to Inhambane to get a few things before heading back to Tofo beach to meet up with Becky, Stephanie, Vic, and Chelsea. The beach was wonderful as usual, and then we headed home in the afternoon. Our chapa driver on the way home drove like a maniac. The philosophy of chapa drivers here is to stop for every person, as to stuff as many people into the chapa at once, to earn the most fares. Sometimes I want to sit down with them and show them the math that if they didn’t stop every 100m, they would be able to make more trips in a day. So while they may not make as much money on each trip, they would probably end up making more money that day. Especially when you factor in the fuel-inefficiency of stopping and starting every 100m (especially since the chapa drivers here floor it for those 100m in between stops), as well as how having an incredibly loaded down car kills gas mileage. But I am here in the education sector. Perhaps someday Peace Corps Mozambique will introduce a Chapa sector.
Our driver was one of those drivers who floors it whenever possible, then slams on the brakes every 100m to squeeze one more person into an already over-full chapa. We are doing this when suddenly he slams on the breaks again: there is a police check ahead, and the chapa is 7 people above the legal limit, so they have to deposit those 7 people by the side of the road. Sorry better luck next time guys. Our driver was stopping so often that at Jangamo (roughly 65k north of us) Emma turned to me and said “let’s place bets on how many more times we will stop before we get home. I bet 17, Emma bet 21. We were both very wrong. 31.

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