Before my dad left, he, my brother, and I traveled down to St. Phillips Mission in Swaziland to visit the two wonderful and hard-working sisters who run it, one of whom is an old friend of my dad’s. As I said last year when I visited, I have been here long enough to have seen many poorly run (or downright corrupt) organizations, so seeing such a well-run organization like theirs is very refreshing. They put us to work painting and we were happy to contribute and be kept busy each day. My body appears to have fully acclimated to the heat here in Mozambique, because I froze my butt off every single day and night in Swaziland!
My brother, Buck, and I were dropped off at the Swaziland/Mozambique border on Thursday morning. We walked through and stopped outside the gate, waiting for the next bus to pass. A car of people who had been going through immigration at the same time as we had pulled up and asked if we wanted a ride to Maputo, so we happily got in. We hadn’t discussed where they would drop us off, and I was in a fairly big hurry—I needed to go to the Peace Corps office to write up and print out a document, then take this document to the bank before it closed at 3pm, then get to another bank before it closed at 5pm. Few people actually drive into the actual city of Maputo, so I was prepared to catch a chapa from the outskirts of the city which is fine when you aren’t in a hurry, but can take forever on a bad day. They asked me if I knew where the French Embassy was. I did know AND it is only 2 blocks from the Peace Corps office! Since they were Swazis and didn’t speak any Portuguese, the odds of them successfully finding the French Embassy on their own were low, thus they were incredibly grateful for my help! One transfer, 8 transactions at one bank, and 5 at another, I enjoyed some delicious ice cream, the highlight of going to Maputo.
We have two family friends who met up with us in Maputo, both around my age. One had been studying abroad in Cape Town this semester, and her sister had come to visit and then travel with her around southern Africa. We met up with them in Maputo and then headed home to Inharrime the next day. The ride was fine and uneventful…except that the kid sitting on Sarah’s lap (one of my friends) peed on her. And then, after another passenger saw and berated the mother for not controlling her kid, he later peed on the floor next to Sarah’s feet (and a little on them).