Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Takin' everythin' in my stride

On June 7th I packed up my LSAT books and headed down to Joburg to take the LSAT with three other Moz PCVs. The LSAT went decently (and now on to law school applications), but the important part is that Joburg is AWESOME. Most people talk about the crime, etc, but for pcvs it was like a winter wonderland (literally since it was 4 degrees Celsius and I was freezing). There was a McDonald's (quarter pounder with cheese and oreo mcflurries, don't judge), a movie theater (The Great Gatsby in 3D), froyo, and other amazing things that cannot be found in Moz. Despite the fact that Bank of America decided to cancel both my cards (BoA for the win), Joburg definitely made up for the whole I-have-to-take-the-lsat thing. I headed back up to site and had a little over a day to prepare for my next great adventure - which according to usual moz fashion, did not go quite as planned.

I headed to Beira on the 17th on an awkward boleia and stayed the night in preparation for my flight the next morning which was just a little too earlier to make same day travel to Beira possible. Of course then my flight ended up being delayed for 4 hours . . . so I definitely could have made it to Beira that same day. Oh well, a great familiarity with the tiny Beira airport could end up being useful one day (I suppose). My flight was straight to Nampula, and I stayed the night there before boleia-ing out to Pemba. Which brings me to the awesome summary of my travel in the North - I went from Nampula to Pemba, Pemba to Ilha and Ilha to Nampula and spent under 10 dollars on travel across over 650 miles of road. Plus the rides I got were infinitely safer and more interesting than chapas or buses. Win.

Anyways, I made it to Pemba and stayed with some fellow PCVs who teach at a teacher training institute. I read, made awesome food (a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting made a reappearance), and sat on the beach for awhile. Of course this was also the part of the trip where I tried to re-piece together my original travel plans. The Moz opposition political party had created a roadblock across the Rio Save and there had been a couple of violent incidences in the area . . . meaning that my two original travel buddies, who were planning to travel up to Pemba from Maputo on the day the roadblock was implemented, couldn't travel anymore. So I was a sozinha traveler. Not the end of the world, but definitely the quieter route.

After Pemba, I a) remembered that I had a camera and should probably take pictures and b) headed to Ilha de Mocambique. Ilha is a pretty amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site and I took a ton of pictures (some of which will hopefully make an appearance on this blog tomorrow if I'm able to find a camera cord). You can read more about Ilha and its history here: The first day I more or less roamed the island, took lots of pictures (I had visited Ilha before, but for some unknown reason had failed to take pictures) and visited the old fort (built in the 16th century by the Portuguese). On my second day on Ilha, I went with some other people from my hostel out to the Island of Goa and across the channel to a peninsula. The water was wayyy to cold for my moz climate adjusted self (I have become such a temperature wimp it's embarrassing - I'm from the PNW and grew up playing in the Pacific/Strait for heaven's sake!), but the trip on the dhow was beautiful and it was a nice way to spend the day before starting another long stretch of travel.

Next post . . . Ilha to Nampula, Nampula to Cuamba (and hopefully photos!)

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