Two weeks went by in a blink.
Would I go back again? Yes.
I was asked what my biggest surprise was? And I don’t know if I was surprised by anything outright. I would say there are things I didn’t think about until I got there that were obvious ‘oh yeah’ moments.
I think coming from the U.S. or any western country for that matter, where there are so many options, and opportunities in everything we do. And the fact that we have so many choices this has been the biggest impact on me. And I’m not talking about big life choices like quitting a job and traveling. But things we do on a daily basis, that we don’t even think about as a choice.
I think the best example I can give of an easy choice we don’t think about is food. Food is something we can all relate to because we all eat. And if you don’t eat then you’re probably a robot.
If I feel like making something, or crave something, I can go to a grocery store and buy whatever I want. I can make something for lunch and then make something completely different for dinner. I can read a recipe and buy what I need, because it’s available. This is not the case where I was in Mozambique. So many people eat the same thing for breakfast and then the same thing for dinner, day after day. Certain foods are a luxury, like coffee or cheese, or milk. I did bring coffee to drink from Italy, but I now have a special place in my heart for instant decaf coffee. And then cooking things and finding ways to substitute ingredients that aren’t available. And if something isn’t available then having to make it yourself. Christina one afternoon, made and rolled out a stack of flour tortillas, which might be the only place to find handmade tortillas in Mozambique.
I am in awe of Victor and Christina. They are both so busy, and so involved in the operations of the school and There is always someone showing up to the house looking for Victor. He’s running around having meetings, driving people places, involved with buildings on the property, buying supplies for the orphanage.
There is a plot of land that Evanjafrica owns that he sees as where the new orphanage will be and a hospital and I forget what else. He sees as part of the next step a community neighborhood. Victor has a vision, and I have no doubt that he can make it happen.
Christina who is a teacher by trade, and taught high school kids in Seattle, is involved with the curriculum of the school. She’s teaching a group of teenagers English. She’s taking classes online to keep up her credentials, Not to mention they’re both taking care of their own kids and themselves. And then the orphanage and everyone else after that.
I can’t help but think about community while being here, because to live in Mozambique you can’t survive without the help of others. And I think that’s what I’ve been thinking about the most. Is that without people life is really hard. This is a real obvious statement, I know.
When I began this journey, the day I left LA, I watched ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ which is this really sweet, kind of sad movie. Ryan Gosling plays this guy, who is on the spectrum of some sort, and has a ‘girlfriend’ who is a sex doll. And in this community where Lars lives with his ‘girlfriend’ they all act like it’s totally normal, and give him support and friendship in what is an unusual arrangement. This is not a new movie, but if you haven’t seen it, I am not giving away major spoilers. In the movie, this town has this ideal community where people look after each other, and are supportive, even in a super strange situation.
And watching that movie, and thinking about communities that have shaped my life. I feel like I start so many sentences with “It’s a long time family friend” or ” It’s a friend who’s like family.” It was pointed out to me that I have a lot of old friends. And I responded that we just keep our friends for a long time. But because of having friends for a long time, I would not have been able to go to Mozambique.