Tag Archives: visitors

Friendly Visit

Earlier I wrote about how I get excited about visitors and start sampling my activity list before they arrive. The visitors I was referencing are two of my oldest buddies who came to see me in June.

John came all the way from London and Neena from the US. We’ve been friends since we were kids, so when we get together we’re a trio of chatter and giggles. Well, John is a quiet soul but Neena and I are not – so we made more than our fair share of ruckus laughing and being stupid together.

It was the first time for both of them to visit Africa, and since they were in Mozambique for just one week so we had to jam pack their trip with as many of the local sites as possible. I always like to take guests to the Red Dunes because I think they are one of the most beautiful and unique locations on the coast here. Luckily we ran into a local friend who was heading that way, so we quickly bought sandwiches, beer and chips and zipped north of town, past the paved road and through deep sandy roads to get to our destination.  We sat in the shade eating our snacks and enjoying the breeze, dunes behind us and shallow aqua seas in front.

Later, we were traveling in a chapa and even I was impressed with how many people they fit in the van. Normally chapas are overfull with 20 people, but somehow 28 humans managed to cram into the car for the 5 hour journey. Poor John was smooshed into the smallest tini-tiny spot having to hold his neighbor’s baby.

Oh how I wish I had a camera to capture John’s face at that moment. It was priceless.

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Photos, Parents’ Visit Week 1

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(Many thanks to Irene for sharing her photos!!!)

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Vacation Life

The week flew by as we spent our time enjoying the perks of living in Vilankulo. It’s hard to explain the calm happiness of waking up, making a big cup of coffee and quietly watching the sun rise over the water. Though I am partial, I’m pretty sure my front porch offers

 

One luxury of going on vacation with parents is getting to indulge in all the things that I know exist, but I don’t often (or ever) have an excuse to do alone; like dinners at restaurants that I normally can’t afford and getting a real massage at the hotel.

Of course, the biggest benefit of living in a beach town is definitely the proximity to great water activities and adventures. We took a two day sailing and camping trip out to the archipelago.

We snorkeled at Magaruque Island and 2 Mile Reef.

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At night several friends met up with us at the campsite in Chigamane. My friend Michaela’s daughters are 7 and 9. I’ve really missed having kids around since the Peham family moved back to Austria, so it was great to spend time with both the girls who are adorable. Since they have very short hair, when we’re together they love to play with mine.  While we all sat around the fire chatting and drinking wine, the girls took turns brushing and braiding my hair. I was very well coiffed by the time I retired to my tent. 

On the second day we sailed out to Bazaruto where we snorkeled and explored the northern beaches of Benguerra Island. It’s totally isolated and pristine. (No wonder it costs hundreds of dollars to stay at the island lodges!)

 

And then, as the sun was setting, we sailed on the dhow back to the mainland.

 

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The Parents are Coming!

I know it seems that I have only been writing about visitors lately but tis the season, and honestly the arrival of guests is the most noteworthy of events in my life. Six weeks after Christopher left, my parents have begun their excursion out this way. In fact they arrive this afternoon.

I think one of my favorite pleasures of traveling out side the U.S. is the joy and anticipation of waiting for and watching people step off the plane. They emerge from a little door, walk down a few stairs onto the tarmac, look up at the tropical surrounding and see you waving and smiling. There is a bit nervousness (are they on the plane? will they recognize me?) but then… Instant Happy!


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Visitors from home!

I have known Andrea since I was in second grade and Alexi since eighth grade. 

Both Andrea and Alexi live in NYC. But they love me so much, that they got on a plane and flew from NYC to Dubai to Johannesburg to Maputo then to Vilankulo. Two days and four flights later they arrived. All this for just one week in Mozambique.

This is how we spent our time:


A & A brought me gifts from home:


I made them walk around in the hot sun and go to work with me one day. So to make up for the sweat, we went to Casa Guçi, where

We caught a 3 am bus down to Tofu, where

Feeling bold and full of adventurous spirit, we hitched hiked to the nearest ATM.

We bought chocolate and lozenges,

They almost passed us by, but then stopped and came back. They took pity on us because they said they used to hitch when they were young. 

The next day we relaxed and were lazy.

We then made the long trek back to Vilankulo.


On the last night we went to the market and bought fresh fish. So we



The next day, it was time to pack up. Lexi didn’t have much to do, since her bag never arrived. After lunch and one last dip in the Mozambican Channel, Andrea and Alexi got in a taxi and headed back to the airport.

Now, I have a quiet empty cabana all to myself.

It’s the sudden empty space and feeling from when people you love go back home. The vacuum reminds you of how grateful you are for your friends that travel half way around the world, but it also reminds you that you live half way around the world. 

 

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