After a wonderful week at Tsene we headed down to Maputo for a few days. Since my visa is still not ready I had to apply for another declaration to be able to leave the country and come back in. Getting it was a process, as are all things in this country. I went in on the date that they had written on my receipt to return, but of course the visa wasn’t ready yet and they acted annoyed with me that I was there already. When I asked for another form the woman asked what I did with my other one and I explained that the woman at the border from South Africa had kept it (like she was supposed to). The woman responded, “well why would you leave and come back in again?! You are on holiday, you should have left and just stayed out, rather than leaving and coming back in and leaving again!” I wanted to tell her where she could put her opinion on how I should spend my vacation, but instead I went out looking for a place to copy my receipt because, although they needed a copy, they had no copy machine there. So on the morning we traveled down to Maputo I had to run north to Maxixe to pick up this form since, on the other day I was there the power was out in the whole city and they weren’t able to process my form. We eventually made it down to Maputo—traveling in this country is always a process. When we eventually got to the Junta, where all the buses drop off in Maputo, we walked to where the taxis are and I started talking (in Portuguese) to one guy about where we were staying. He didn’t know it initially so we called the hotel and had them to explain how to get there. After we knew where we were going and put our bags in the car I asked him how much it would be (which I realize I should have asked first). He told me twice what it should be and even when I informed him that I knew what the real price should be and we weren’t paying that he wouldn’t budge. I told him to open the trunk and take our bags out, we were taking a different taxi. He sneered at me “all the taxis here are going to charge the same.” I smiled back at him and waved my phone “don’t worry, I have plenty of numbers of taxis who won’t try to rip me off.”
We spent one day in Namaacha visiting my host family which was fun, now they have met my entire real family. And baby Anata, Anatinha, is a full 5 months old and so healthy and always smiling. Unfortunately my four year old brother wasn’t there, he was visiting family actually very close to where I live. But I got to see my mom, Anatinha, my grandmother, my eight year old brother/cousin, and another cousin. A lot of the living arrangements have changed since I left, one other brother who is three is living with Anna’s host family (cousins of mine) on the far side of Namaacha now so I didn’t get to see him. But it was a wonderful visit.