If websites were portals, this blog of mine would be the cave in Indiana Jones with cobwebs, dust, and skeletons; sans jewels.
A year and a half into life in Mozambique has seen the romance cool. The honeymoon is over. I was so excited to be returning to Machanga following my trip home to the states, and indeed I am happy to be back. But, the novelty of the place has worn off. The other day after a 5 hour chapa ride that should have taken 3, I awaited the canoe as the sun set. I just wanted to get home. 25 minutes later it arrvied, but the chapa motorista left with a boy to collect his 10 metecais fare. 25 minutes passed and dusk had set. I was ready to pack it in and stay at my friends' hut when he appeared with three other men carrying a freezer which was loaded into the boat. The night was very romantic with the stars reflected in the waters and illuminating the night. I just wanted to get home. The other side, we met students returning home from break who paid extra. We had to bring them back across the river. I stayed in the canoe because well...I didn't get back until 9 at night. Mac and Safiyya must have thought I'd been swallowed by a crocodile. What was remarkable wasn't that I visited new areas of the river or saw my shadow by the light of the moon for the first time, but rather that I didn't care! I had one blah week in which I longed for nothing more then a job stapling papers and weekends to go to TGIF or somewhere else predictable with coworkers to get something deep fried and expensive. Predictability and familiarity. Still, roomate Mac and I agreed this would get old in 2 days or so and we'd be pining for adventure again.
That all being said, there's still highs. I had a volunteer visit my site and as we left I realized we'd stopped countless times to speak to students or former students, all of whom I introduced without thinking: 'This is one of my best students!' I was really impressed at the connections I'd amassed and the real fondness I feel for those students.
That's that for now. Hope you're all living well and walking lots.
Oh. And books. I need tell you of the great books I've read here. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Beautifully written, well constructed, vivid characters. I read 'All the King's Men,' again, great characters and beautiful writing, and some pretty heavy themes. I read Vonnegaut's Cat's Cradle. Cute and just a little tragic. I read a woman's letters from a holocaust deportment camp in Holland called Letters from Westerbrook. She still found life to be beautiful despite the awfulness about her. Her last letter thrown from the train said she and her parents left the camp singing. I read too about Percy Fawcett who cut his way through the Amazon Rainforest seeking a lost civilization. He disappeared but left countless followers who followed him into the jungle hoping to find what happened to him. It fired the imagination and impressed me with the man's courage and grit. I'm reading Tale of Two Cities by Dickens which so far has some incredible descriptions of the squalor, filth and lawlessness of Paris in late 1700s. And this weekend two Great, great movies: The Fighter with Mark Walberg, and True Grit with Matt Damon and Jeff Bridges. Fantastic. Inspiring. Now I've got to get to my writing.
Hope y'all is fine and dandy and I do hope to write again sooner then later. You all deserve something a bit more poetic and sincere.
My love and regards to you all.