Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Tale of Potholes

This Friday I was lucky enough to get a ride to and from Vilankulos with a local restaurant owner. I had been debating whether or not to go to Vilankulos this Friday – I really didn’t need to buy anything, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to go next weekend. Plus I had at least one care package at the post office (turns out I had two, thanks Aunt Arlene and Uncle Arnie and the Hall Family!). My mind was fighting a war between the cost of an up to eight-hour round-trip chapa experience (last week I was in an 18-person chapa with 19 other people and over 20 cases of tomatoes. For four hours) and the potential benefit of care package chocolate (I obviously have too many econ major friends). But when I found a ride, the debate obviously was weighed heavily in favor of chocolate J Unlike a chapa, which rides a bit higher off the group (one of the only benefits of this mode of transportation), this car was rather similar to a Subaru-y car – aka it sits very close to the road. On a normal road (in the states anyways), this isn’t really a problem – but on the EN-1 between Vulanjane and Pambarra and the road from Inhassoro to Vulanjane are both filled with potholes. Actually I’m not even sure if the word pothole adequately describes the holes that line the EN-1, I swear there are a couple that I could take a bath in. Anyways, for the 45-minute drive to Vilankulos, I feel like I’m living in some sort of video game or obstacle course.
Recently I had reason to hope that road repairs were underway – rumor has it that a natural gas company is coming to Inhassoro and that they are helping to enlarge our one lane road to the EN-1. This past month a construction project sign appeared as well as mounds of sand along the road. While I know next to nothing about road construction, sand did not seem to be the wisest choice – but I was still hopeful that the road would be expanded and that the game of vehicular chicken would finally be over. As it turns out, this sand is simply being used to smooth out the sides of the road to make it pretty for the president’s visit to Inhassoro next week. A couple million mets are being spent to line a 15km stretch of road that the president will probably never see (he will be traveling by helicopter). As a point of comparison, I’m pretty sure most Mozambican teachers make about 5,000 mets a month. The sand will last until our next rainstorm (which hopefully won’t occur before the president’s visit).
In other news, I’m only a couple of weeks away from finishing my first semester of teaching – only three more semesters to go! Also, Inhassoro now has an airport, so it has become even easier to visit me – I’ll be the girl taking a bubble bath in a pothole :)

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