'Fim De Monde'

July 26, 2008

Since our last entry, things slowed down to a snail's pace, and we kept things local in the village of Chiwembe for a week or so. T'was great to be back there seeing everyone again, and we ended up staying with locals every night (a teacher, some local friends, and the current project trust volunteers). Everybody looked after us extremely well, cooking up some great food - spicy Burundian chicken, boiled cassava and goat's milk tea, plus tonnes of rice (as expected). Not much has changed in the village since 2005 (i've - Frank - have got fat, according to lots of people) except everyone's got garden fences now, some sort of status symbol i think - the demand for which is probably why every tree in Malawi is being hacked down.

School fees at St Theresa got bumped up (the school's doing very well, apparently - probably nothing to do with me) so lots of pupils have moved on. Most of the staff are still there, though, plus my old guitar, minus a couple of strings. I was happy to hear that Mr Chisale left the school after winning a 5 year battle with the government over a dodgy sacking. Basically he won and got 5 years back-payment from a government school, on top of the wages he got from St Theresa. Rumour has is he's bought a minibus!

Over 1 month in and it was sad to miss Mum's birthday - luckily, that weekend marked the birthday anniversary of another wise, infamous, well-respected teacher: Haile Sellassie. Basically the Rasta population of Blantyre came together for a big concert, one which we enjoyed very much. The lineup included old Malawian favs such as Sister Fire, Nameless and The Likoma Island Boys. Nameless is actually mega famous in Malawi after a song which has liable written all over it! A few years ago, popular RnB artirts Kc and JoJo were supposed to play a royally expensive gig in Malawi - everyone was very excited, and people did everything they could to get hold of a ticket.  Then they didn't come. No one got a refund and everyone got angry. Apparently one guy sold his house to fork out 40 quid for a ticket!

The weekend had some downs though - Mr tickle must live in Limbe because we stayed over with Mr Nyauti and some toe-rag got in through the window and nicked our phone - so now we don't have a phone, for anyone who (may have) worried. There's something not quite right about Nyauti's village though, we got there one night to see a massive brawl taking place, one which Nyauti felt totally comfotable walking through as though it happened every day. Two white guys definately got the fear that night, and since then Lawrence carries a jock off knife (''gun's for show'' and all that...)

So after relaxing for a week we grabbed a visa and headed to Mozambique. You know that dirt road that goes behind Simon's mum's house that you can only get through in a hummer (or betsy, RIP) - well add some banana trees, massive termite mounds, and tonnes upon tonnes of dust, then basically you're in northern Mozambique. Locals call the region were in 'Fim De Monde', literally 'the end of the world! we travelled 130km and barely saw another car.

From first impressions, Dylan's lyrics about the country are spot on...
I like to spend some time in Mozambique
The sunny sky is aqua blue...
...And you see why it's so unique to be
Among the lovely people living free
Upon the beach of sunny Mozambique.

This is (and lonely planet can testify to this) one of Africa's 'last frontiers'! The country's only been free of war since the early nineties (a civil war which wasn't all that civil, but between the socialist govt  and some Zimbabwean/South Africa and western-backed troops on some sort of destabilization campaign), but people here are friendly and welcoming as anywhere else! We stayed in a mining town called Cuamba, which was boring. very boring. So boring, in fact, that we ended up watching Blood Diamond on the hotel's TV. We're not too sure what was worse though - Leonardo's crap Rhodesian accent or the fact that we were watching the film in the gemstone capital of Mozambique, a country only recently out of conflict. The irony wasn't lost on us, although i did shudder when a small boy came in with a plastic gun (honestly, no joke!).

We then rekindled our love with train journeys a took a 11 hour trip to Nampula, where we are now. Loz is doing his best to breach the language barrier with a freebie thomas cook phrase book, permenantly up to his nose in it - Even with phonetic translations, you can still tell he's only one of two boltonians in Fim De Monde. On a serious note, it's no joke translating english to portugese in an east africa dialect, especially in rural areas where no one speaks portugese anyway, but one of the 15 independent languages scattered around the country. We only know the portugese for chips, so we're eating well... (Karl would be proud...)

Yeah, so now we're in Nampula, the country's 3rd biggest city. tomorrow we're heading to the Ilse of Mozambique, something we've both been looking forward to for a long time! Hope you're all well, lots of love. Frank and Loz

Pictures

Donny and frank
an interesting book
A flock of Children
African transport
 
 

1 Comment

mum:
July 27, 2008
hi frank
it's jack I like your bed and we are having fun at your house. We ar making biscuits it s fun doing it.and having alaf. we arrived on saturday in bolton.its sunny and hot. what are you doing in Africa now? we are going to james on tuesday and watching him play football in oldham. not sure how long we are staying at your house it depends how jadek is. I'm keeping your bedroom tidy. we have been playing footdall.we have deen watching wall e at the cinema with josh and joe. look after yourself. from jack
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