Monday, March 5, 2012


Last night I walked into our outdoor bathroom. I was about a stride in when I squealed and ran back to the house yelling “cobra, cobra!” As you may have guessed, cobra means snake in Portuguese and there was a black and bright yellow striped one sitting in the entryway to our latrine. We all agreed that bright colors on a reptile are never a good sign, so we took care of it and disposed of it. Growing up in central Illinois all we had were garter snakes, and I used to catch them and play with them for fun. My mom didn’t think it was as funny. But here in Mozambique, where the national soccer team is the Mambas, I am a little more cautious.
We are logged into the computers here in Namaacha, but due to a shortage of office keys (one set, to be exact) we can only work there Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, which is frustrating. My favorite part of the office is the sign on the back of the door that informs you that it is “EXTREMELY PROHIBITED” to poop in that bathroom.
The other day Anna and I met a man who was originally a Rwandan refugee who ran away from there when he was 14 and lived in a camp in the Congo for a few years before running away to Angola and living there for a few years before running away again to Mozambique, where he has been for the past 11 years. I asked where he had citizenship and with a smile he replied “I’m a citizen of the world.” He has a refugee passport and has applied to become a Mozambican citizen, but has not yet been granted citizenship. He must be very good at some things, because he owns a small store in the town over from ours, which is a huge deal here. I’ve said this before: one of the best things of this experience the past 2.5 years is the all of the incredibly interesting people I have met and their stories.

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