In Maputo it seems like all of the chapa drivers and “cobrador”s (the guy who collects the money from passengers) know each other, as they are constantly leaning their heads out the window to yell at each other as they pass by. When chapas get really full a handful of people inevitably end up with their rears sticking out of window (that is when they can even get the door shut, of course). This morning a chapa driver pulled right up next to our chapa, reached over, spanked the cobrador’s butt which was sticking out the window, laughed and drove away. Hence why I can justify eating the delicious samosas that have been sitting in the sun and heat in the market since 9am—that’s not what’s going to kill me here.
In a ride on the way home today the guy pulled over in a small town and said, “we are going to wait a few minutes sorry, they are preparing something for me.” Ten, then twenty, then forty minutes ticked away until finally two guys came walking out with a pig that clearly been killed and gutted in those forty minutes.
I finally got back to the mission after a week of being away and was devastated to learn that almost all of the younger girls from the orphanage will be leaving for the holidays in the morning! The mission is going to feel so dead and empty without them for the next two months. Julia, 9 years old, is one of the most delightful girls and easily one of the brightest, and I actually met her last December when I arrived because she had had Malaria and thus didn’t leave when all of the rest of the girls did. I told her that she needed to get sick again so she could stay here with me. Without batting an eye, she smiled and said “if God wishes.” I was hanging out with them in the dormitory as they all excitedly packed their bags, lying on one of the beds. At one point Margarita (the three year old) addressed me as “Mana Anatinha,” putting my name in the diminutive. I laughed and asked her who was bigger, she or I. She climbed up on the bed, looked down at me and with a huge grin said, “now I am, Mana Anatinha!”