Monday, July 18, 2016

Things are happening.

Things happen.  And you just figure ‘em out.  I believe that I was meant to come to Mozambique.  I also believe that I wasn’t meant to stay here (as lovely and wonderful as it is…and, man, will I miss being by the ocean).   But this week I will be getting on a plane and heading back to Zambia.  As crazy as that sounds, it also feels really perfect.  So, Zambia, I will see you (again) soon.   

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bilene.

My fabulous friend from Zambia came for the long weekend to visit me here in Mozambique.  Even though it’s winter here, we were determined to see the beach (well, I was anyway).  Since coming to Mozambique a few months ago I haven’t gone outside of the city and was feeling like I needed to venture up the coast to see some beach!  Bilene is a little town about 3 hours to the north of Maputo .  Bilene is located on Uembje Lagoon which is a huge stretch of water, about 8km wide and 27km long. The shores are shallow and are ringed by beautiful white sandy beaches with rolling sand dunes.  I had been told about a lodge that was situated right on the beach which you could either get to using a 4x4 vehicle or a boat (crossing the lagoon).  We, unfortunately, picked the driving option which was not the best idea because we got lost.  After driving on the sandy dunes for a couple of hours we finally gave up and just called the lodge to come pick us up….but when we did get there it was lovely.  Cold, but lovely.  Mostly we walked along the beach, enjoyed reading in our room and sitting on the porch with an amazing view of the lagoon (covered in blankets).   We did dip our toes in the water but that was about the extent of our “swimming.”  Anyway, we headed back to Maputo after a day of relaxing (using the boat this time) and were able to explore some of the city which was also really fun.  We had sundowners at the Polana Hotel (a posh hotel in the center of town), went to a fabulous Mozambican designer’s store (Taibo Bacar), walked around the market and had a fabulous dinner at a new restaurant.  Overall, a really great weekend (a few pictures over there to the side)!

Bilene, Mozambique. 



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weekends in Maputo.

This past weekend I had a friend decide to visit at the last minute.  While I love having visitors, you have to realize I am in a new country where I don’t know…anything.  I’m pretty immobile without a car, I can’t really speak the language yet, I don’t really know anyone outside of work and I’m not that clear where things are if you were to ask me about shopping or restaurants or, well…anything.  So showing a visitor around is a bit tough.  But, luckily, we made it work and figured things out together.  Walking along the beach, sipping coffee at a small little cafĂ© (that we got lost trying to walk to), finding a very helpful person willing to do some sign language ordering (and using google translate to supplement), having drinks with extended family, and then taking a beautiful boat ride with some newly acquired friends to the most amazing little beach (although both of us got a bit sick it was still worth it).  All in all it was a great weekend and I always feel lucky in times like this when I’m struggling to find my way.  It’s like the universe knows that I need a little support.  Or maybe that’s just my friends who know.  So, thank you. 


I’ve put up a few pictures over there to the right so take a look!     

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Maputo.

I made it to Mozambique.  I have to say…it’s not Zambia.  But it is a lovely place.  It’s a strange feeling to leave your life on a Saturday, a life where you feel grounded and connected and loved, and end up in a completely new place the next day where you don’t know anyone.  Maybe that’s why I feel so unsettled.  And tired.  Why do I feel so tired?  Like I just aged 10 years in one weekend.   I’m trying to be my yogi self and embrace the change.  But it’s hard.  My first few impressions of life in Maputo (and remember I have been here for only 5 days):
  • The ocean.  Maputo is on the ocean which is so nice after being in a landlocked country. I took a nice long run...along the ocean.  Ahh.  
  • Yep. I must learn Portuguese.
  • I went from living alone in my cute, little rondavel to living in a college-like dorm (not my favorite part of Mozambique life so far).  See?  I sound so old and fussy.  I lived in a village with no running water for 2 years.  Why is living with a couple of 20+ year olds so hard? 
  • They don’t have chai here which makes me sad.
  • But, they do have very good caipirinhas which makes me happy.
  • I did find out that there are yoga classes in town which is fantastic because I definitely miss my yoga. 
I suppose I’m just in that phase.  You know, the one where you feel like your old life was so good and this one, well, it isn't quite measuring up.  Give me a couple of months and I will probably be singing a different tune.  Mozambique this and Mozambique that…I won’t be able to shut up about how amazing it is!  For now, I will work to embrace the change.  And have another caipirinha. 

Flying into Maputo...it is a beautiful city. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Changes.

I cannot tell you how much I love Zambia.  I never imagined when I moved here that I would stay this long…but now I have and I can’t imagine leaving.   What will I miss?!
  • My little rondavel house
  • Running early in the morning when no one is awake
  •  Friday afternoons with friends. Friends. I will miss the amazing friends I have made. 
  • Chitenge!  So much chitenge…
  • My yoga classes with the most wonderful students ever (see my previous post). 
  • Work. I will miss my work at JSI.
  • Daily power cuts (okay I don’t know if I will really miss these but I’ve sort of gotten used and will miss talking about them all the time).
  • Sundowners (and the amazing sunsets that accompany the sundowners)


Change isn’t easy.  At least it isn't easy for a Libra like me.  I am not great working through the transitions of life.  I love coming out on the other side but moving through the change?  That’s tough.  I have worked very hard to build a life that is wide…filled with people and places and work that is fulfilling.  But that has meant that change is inevitable.  As I prepare for another change I am so excited about the future but still working through the sadness of letting go.  It has been an honor to live and work in this great country, meet amazing and wonderful people who have helped me to grow and will forever be a part of my life, and don’t worry…I will be back.  

Mozambique.  I will see you soon.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

America.

I have to say that going home after a very long time is amazing.  And hard.  When my sister came to visit in October I started thinking that maybe it was time to make a trip back home.  I had missed 5 Christmases, too many birthdays to count, the passing of my good friend and mentor, kids growing up…and you know what I realized?  That time keeps moving forward.  People’s lives don’t stop when you aren’t around.  Which is how it should be, of course.  I have moved forward in my life here.  I share the things that I can and try to stay connected to the people that I love but as my youngest nephew pointed out, “Africa is far.”  Luckily technology makes it a bit easier and I’m grateful for that…at least I can text or call or skype with friends and family.  I’m not sure how people lived across continents without the luxury of social media. 


I had a wonderful time seeing as many people as I could fit into my very short trip home in December.  I also did some very fun things like go to the DMV to get a new license and get my passport sorted.  I drove on what is now the wrong side of the road and ate a bagel.  I shopped at amazing stores including my favorite store (yes, Walgreens).  I got to see snow and a desert sunset again.  I took really long, hot showers (more than one in a day…just because I could).  I also didn’t worry about my phone being charged because there was power all the time.  America really is an amazing place.  But you know what?  I sort of missed the chaos of Africa.  Somehow it sort of just makes sense to me now.

So, happy new year everyone (a bit late as I get caught up with life)!   

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My Sister in Zambia.

My sister!  She finally made it to Africa.  I have to admit that I was a little bit stunned when she said she was coming.  This is a woman who works full-time and takes care of 3 amazing boys.  I just didn’t think she would have the time to make the loooong trek…but she did it and I’m so happy she did! 

Although our time together was short we managed to pack in a lot…I dragged her around to see some “normal” moments of my life here in Zambia.  We went to “quiz night” with my friends, visited my office, worked out at the gym, and spent Friday night at my favorite hangout spot.  These were the moments that I probably loved the most.  Having her see that my life here really is just normal?  I mean, yes, we have power cuts and women walking with buckets on their head but it’s just another city even though it’s in another continent halfway across the world.

But then, of course, we did the typical tourist things that you can only do in Africa.  Walked with a cheetah, swam to the edge of one of the 7 natural wonders of the world (Victoria Falls) and saw plenty of African wildlife (lions, elephants, giraffe…).  These are the amazing things that I am lucky enough to have in right in my backyard (well, a few hours away) and I'm also glad she was able to see what an amazing place it is here. 
  
It was a fabulous week.  I know it’s not an easy trip (lots of sitting in planes and waiting in airports) so I am so grateful and happy that she made the journey.  Now she can share with her family that Aunt Wendy isn’t crazy living in Africa.  And one day maybe the entire family will come and visit.  Maybe. J

Although she put lots of pictures up I have a few here as well!  Love you sis! xoxo