Back to the bush…

And so I continue my sojourns into the unknown world of social media, blogging and online advertising through storytelling…

Next week will mark the one year anniversary of our return from beach to bush (with a trip to the drizzle of London in between).  Bean and I have spent the weekend looking back on our two years spent living a beachcombers life in Mozambique: our permanent residence a beach shack made from reeds and thatch, the shining waters of the Indian ocean just a stone’s throw away from our verandah, and our staple diet of oysters and fresh fish.

Our days were spent dodging between the waves for an early surf, working amongst the coconut trees, and transforming fascinating wax print capallana cloth into interesting, but mostly quite bizarre products to sell to raise funds, such as bean bags that pop when someone sits on them (covering the sand in a kind of squishy white snow), quilts (never needed in such a hot climate, but a nice idea non the less) and cushions (make great beach pillows for tourists).  Evenings were a culmination of busy days, sunburnt skin and salty hair, stories exchanged and drinks chinked beside a roaring fire overlooking the moonshine on the darkened surf.  

Paradise? Pretty close.

That is the best way to remember what was, for us, a remarkable experience and inspiring two years, that brought us closer, helped us grow as people, both emotionally and intellectually.  However, as we trawl through our Monday morning here in Monzi, Bean and myself are also reminded of the sadness, the trials and tribulations, the difficulties, the impossibilities of living in a village such as Xisondwe, next to a South African resort such as Zavora.

Our working days are now, typically, a struggle with education, childcare, attitudes, sickness and ill health on a backdrop of severe struggle, poverty and disadvantage caused by both circumstance and (current, not past) regime.  This was also the case in Xisondwe, slightly less sickness, slightly more prejudice, slightly less problems caused by regime, more by circumstance, bureaucracy, hatred, illegal activity, and jealousy.  These are the memories we try to hide.  

Rather better don’t you think to remember the paradise, and leave the sadness to the company who has now taken over the day to day running of our beautiful school in Xisondwe, and the guardianship of the children who gave us so much pleasure.

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