Showing posts from July, 2015

Tagged! (I'm It).

I just responded to two blogging tags over on The Aspiring Bard, but then I got tagged again by Jessica. And, well, I couldn't just ignore her. Anyway, her questions were genuinely interesting and I had fun answering.

1. What's the best thing that has come out of blogging for you? The consistent writing practice has been really good for me. I've begun getting acquainted with a few other bloggers, and it still confounds me (in a pleasant way) whenever someone talks about enjoying what I write here. I still write mostly for personal enjoyment and fulfillment...and everything else just sort-of happens. 2. What's one thing you've learned recently? That a bisha is not, in fact, a female bisho (bug), but a queue. I was massively confused when Dino came in talking about how Maquininho was 'full of bishas'. The mental images were alarming, to say the least. 3. Describe yourself in five words. I'll try. You can laugh. 4. Where is your favourite place to write? Ideal…

Savane in Pictures and Few Words

Sometimes, life here isn't all chappas and crowds and dust.
Sometimes, when life gets crazy and my hearing becomes too much a stranger to the sounds of nature, I pack my capulana and my books and my camera, and head to the beach.

Wind in my hair and sand between my toes, and something coiled up deep in my middle begins to unwind.

Clear, blue water, Clear, blue sky, Unpolluted by proximity to the city. 

An endlessness. A vast expanse. A fitting place to cast anxiety to the wind And watch tension recede with the tide.

To remind myself of my gifts. To stop and marvel.

To treasure.

And to breath and breath again the clean, salt-laden air.

Linguistic Blunders: Open Mouth, Insert Foot

I have now arrived at the point where I can successfully put my foot in my mouth in TWO languages.

Oh, the joy.

When I first got here, I was the linguistically inept white person who laughed nervously and uncomprehendingly at everyone and everything. Now, I'm the increasingly confident, comfortable person who can chatter along in grammatically incorrect but still intelligible sentences.

My confidence can sometimes be a trifle...uncensored. Especially when I'm exhausted and I've spent most of the day stretching my brain between two languages. I just open my mouth and unexpected things fall out.

Like the time when a girl came up to me at church, and it wasn't until she was right in front of me that I realized that 'she' was not, in fact, a girl, but rather Media Team Danny with a capulana over his head to ward off the cold.

The first words out of my mouth?

"Oh, Danny! Você apareceu como mulher!" (You appeared like a woman).

Or the time when I got all b…

Linguistic Blunders: Car Gods

Sometimes, my worst linguistic confusions come, not from Mozambicans, but from my fellow English-speakers. 

I was chatting with a South African couple when one of them casually mentioned the existence of 'car gods'.

"Of what?"

"You know, car gods."

Of course, of course. Who doesn't know about car gods? Just one dumb American, obviously. They were so off-hand about this (to me) novel form of idolatry that I was embarrassed to inquire further. So I faked comprehension and let them continue with their story.

But my mind stuck on the subject of car gods and ruminated there for several days. I conjured a mental image: small, portable, probably gold-plated. Something like a beneficently grinning Buddha to sit on the dashboard of an unattended car and charm the thoughts of all passers-by away from would-be theft. Or maybe, the idea was to leave the window down so that thieves would steal the golden idol instead of messing with the car. In that case, brass was …