It’s a curious feeling, building a life in a totally new country. I’ve always come to a new place with either a trip, a home or a job at least semi planned. In Mozambique, were really starting at zero. This makes for both a great adventure, and big frustrations. We’ve been lucky to meet loads of people who know a guy that can help us with project x or paper y. But, it’s time consuming.
My first impression of Mozambique is that it is passionate about paperwork, bureaucracies, sidewalk cafes, great coffee, and chicken. This has defined the first 3 weeks in Maputo. The city is by far my favourite African capital and we’ve been busy cooking prawns, going on very long walks, and figuring out how to turn Spanish into Portuguese. We’ve learned that due to the influx of Portuguese looking for jobs, the country is very unfriendly to people coming to look around for more than a month. They’ve set up a gauntlet of expensive hoops to jump through if you’d like to be here as more than a short term tourist… And we’re jumping. Conversations with people from all walks of life has helped us find the puzzle pieces needed to stay and hopefully were making progress. Finding a job will be key to letting us stay… And so starts the job hunt.
While we look for a job, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to hit a whole wack of life milestones. I sit here writing this blog with a tiny puppy at my feet, and a tiny truck outside. The truck was the first priority since this really is a country best accessed by 4×4. We spent days (Bryce spent more) hovering around the Pakistani car dealerships that specialize in used Japanese cars. We finally found our truck, a Pajero Jr. Not likely you’ll have seen them at home since it caps out at 80km/hour, but it will move us around for the time being.
Our pup we found on the street outside the apartment we share with a wonderful Zimbabwean woman. We noticed upon moving there that dogs were always for sale at “puppy corner” and after a few walks by, we couldn’t resist. Josa is allegedly a 2 month old German Shepherd/Rottweiler cross. Quiet at first, she’s turned into all her name means and more. Josa is short for Corajosa.. A Portuguese word that means: courageous, brave, fearless, venturous, bold, intrepid, spirited, spunky and adventurous. Our first week with her has rocketed us both into a routine set around her bathroom and hunger needs. With some walking, car ride and bathroom victories, I feel like we’re getting into a decent – albeit early morning – rhythm.
For the next few days, the three of us have made a return to South Africa for immigration issues and some discount shopping. It’s a nice break from Portuguese (or my best guess at the language), but were antsy to go back and make this work.