Showing posts from February, 2017

Further Up & Further In; Thoughts for the Pilgrimage

Some things seem too familiar to be unknown.

The peculiar lilting of a laugh. The certain bending of a road. An uncurtained window frame spilling yellow light. Perhaps a face...are we sure we haven't passed this way before?
So it is, that we the pilgrims, sojourning in this foreign land, yet find glimpses of a home.

Left behind
Waiting ahead
Eagerly sought
Life isn't what we'd thought it would be when we first heard the call to, "Leave your father's home and go to the land that I will show you."

Sometimes, the old seems new and the new, intimately old.

How is is that, speaking the same language, we can yet so thoroughly misunderstand?
How is it that language barriers are sometimes no barrier at all?
How is it that the new can fit as easily as last year's sandals?
So it is for those born of the Spirit...
It's by leaving home that we learn to construct our own; to pick up the tools of faith, hope, and love, and to build something new but familiar.

A child …

Water & Entitlement

Journal entry: January 24, 2017
When the water actually works properly, I aproveito to the hilt.
Wash the hair! Wash the laundry! Wash everything!
It began as a generic, zona-wide water shortage, which translates to practically non-existent water pressure in our fourth-floor apartment (or no water at all and having to dip into the reserve buckets). Then it escalated to our pump going out right before Christmas. No sooner did the new pump, after much trial and error and return visits from Sergio and Jorge, become fully functional, than the faucet in the tub broke off. So now the water supply to half of the bathroom is shut off to avoid having a mini fountain in our bathtub. Because, as posh as a mini fountain sounds, it isn’t terribly convenient. Fortunately, the mysterious workings of the Mozambican plumbing systems were in our favor this time around, and even though the tub faucet (which may well have been a relic of colonial days) betrayed us, the water supply to the sink and the sh…

For the Outsiders

For me, in Mozambique, the unsettling thing isn’t the heat, or the dust, or the water outtages or the public transportation, or the weird food shortages (one time, the entire city ran out of eggs). It’s the fact that I am constantly under observation. 
Sometimes the observation is hilarious. A few days ago, I unwittingly provided free advertising for a chappa by the simple act of getting into it. The coprador started yelling, “this is a great chappa! Even the white girl’s using it! Everybody, get on! What are you waiting for?” and I really felt like I should print some stickers, WHITE GIRL APPROVED, for them to affix to the bumper.
Sometimes, it’s disturbing. Like the creepy guy who knew exactly where I lived and kept following me around asking for my phone number so that he could be my boyfriend. 
And sometimes it’s gratifying. Like the time I (completely unintentionally) blasted a ton of rich white girl stereotypes out of the water by cleaning a bathroom. Apparently, Flavia uses thi…

On Grey Hairs & Histories

I parted my hair down the middle this morning, and, with the way the light was coming in, I noticed all the grey.

I'm going grey at the ripe old age of 24.

The funny thing? I don't even mind.

First of all, I don't subscribe to the notion that the only way to be beautiful is to look young. I've known far too many wonderful old ladies to ever believe that.

Secondly, my grey hairs stand for something. Every single one.

I got my first grey hair at the age of 18, after my first trip to Mozambique.

I joked that Moz had turned me grey.

Ha! Ha! Little did I know...

The return to Mozambique in 2014 gave me plenty more opportunities for hair-greying adventures.

A prolonged sickness
A bout of depression
A painful change
Another sickness

Each left its mark behind.

I've come to expect a further sprinkling of grey in the aftermaths of all of life's particularly rough patches. I don't bother trying to hide it. Why should I? It's the physical manifestation of my histor…