It was just a ‘small’ moment in Mozambique…

Does leaving Mozambique make her sweeter? Maybe yes.

After living in central Mozambique for almost 7 years, I sit in my new country with a bright future ahead, thinking of all that I have left behind. I’m flicking through my photo albums, fighting that annoying little tear that seems to be perched in the corner of my eye, attempting to break free. I wont let it. Because I’m realising fast that life as an expat requires balls of steel(or is it a heart of steel?) when it comes to saying goodbye and moving on! And I’m pretty sure, this wont be the last time.

But allow me to indulge for a moment. I love Mozambique! It was there that the little ‘light’ switched on for me. A place that offered everything from extraordinary beauty to gut wrenching tragedy. A country with a war-torn bloody history and a nation desperate for peace. Yet a future that is ‘dabbling’ with violence and danger. A place where I found true friendship; friendship that disregards age, culture and race. A place that could push my buttons; and make me explosively angry or sometimes scared. A place that made me laugh, that offered me absurd ‘only in Africa’ experiences and a place that made me learn Portuguese! A place I called home.

Mozambique was a constant source of inspiration for me. The good and bad all rolled into one made living there a profound, life changing experience. There have been brilliant, in your face times. But there were also the small, uneventful moments that could have potentially gone unnoticed. Sometimes I was lucky enough to have my camera with me to capture some of those ‘small moments.’  Here is a  Mozambican story in images of small moments.

What can you tell about Mozambique from these pictures?

Safe spot      fish market 011      It's mine

“Some people read palms to tell your future, but I read hands to tell your past.

Each scar makes a story worth telling. Each callused palm,

each cracked knuckle is a missed punch or years in a factory.”

                                – Sarah Kay

      The hand      The man and his colonial coin       The Tailors hand

It’s when we don’t have water that we realise how much we need it.

Hot Day 085   Young fishermen   Rainy season 1 082

There is colour that bursts, explodes and makes you wonder whether you have woken up in a real life painting…

Beira 2 216_edited-1     Art is my work

IMG_9924  Starfish  Young Woman

There are times when your heart breaks. And the ugly truth is that you cannot help everyone. You turn your back.

    Troubled  Sweet dreams, if anything  fading light 2_edited-1

There are times that make you smile.

Football  Invention   Sisters

There are scenes like this that are so common, that you stop seeing them.

 bicycle    Hot Day 097    estate jan 2014 013


Everyday a story plays out.

It’s been 10 days since we left Mozambique and I sit here in my big, empty Malawi house, waiting for my furniture and pondering where to start, how to make this home? I’m a little nervous to tell you the truth! Malawi is different. Good different that is. I see lots of colour, a constant bustle of people and interesting scenes playing out. I see opportunity and potential. And I know that in a few months time, I’m going to be in the thick of it, in the thick of Malawi life!

But allow me to be sad for just a bit, I miss my Mozambique! Especially when I remember magic moments like this…

Baobab    the plains   Pomene 2013 625_edited-1

But tomorrow is a new day and I have a new adventure on my doorstep. It’s time to open that door.

Note to self: Theme for tomorrow-

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

                                                            – Elizabeth Taylor


22 replies »

  1. I can relate 100% with what you wrote and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’ve only stayed in Vilankulo 3 months, but those 3 months really changed me as a person and the ideas I have about life and people. I’ve never been happier in my life and the reason for my happiness was the ocean and the beautiful people that crossed my path every day.
    A friend of mine told me that whenever I talk about Mozambique I change, there is like an aura around me and I start shining. Unfortunately, that never happened before when I was talking about my home country.
    Good luck in your new adventures!

    • Thank you very much Raluca 🙂 Mozambique will hold a special place in my heart for a very long time! I miss it so much! Thank you for your good wishes and for reading. May Mozambique continue to bring you happiness 🙂

  2. Beautiful article and photos – so many memories and your photos and stories will be a special treasure trove to dip into when in the mood for reminiscing. Change isn’t easy even when you have chosen it but I’m sure that as you move forward and embrace your new life – the people, places and experiences – you will soon find a whole new world to capture!

  3. Understood! I have left too.
    You did it proud, move on, don’t regret: you made a mark that won’t be forgotten.
    Tomorrow you will be counted, understood as you were there; life is sometimes cordoned off in pockets, some great, some sad and some successful.
    Tomorrow you will be counted! Good Luck is your new home, make it a new project; that will get you to start over with your amazing observation on your surroundings.

    • Thank you Liz for your words of encouragement 🙂 It definitely feels like ‘Life is sometimes cordoned off in pockets.’ I’m really missing Moz but my sad feelings for Moz take nothing away from the excitement I am feeling for Malawi. I guess the obvious step from here is to simply focus my attention on all things ‘new.’ I think I can do that now that I’ve flicked through all the photo albums, phoned the old friends for a natter and dropped a tear or 2 for my beloved Moz! Oh and I wore lipstick today! It’s onward and upwards!

  4. Yes, I understand the tear in the corner of your eye, i’m about to leave our beloved farm after 36 years. But I know out there is a great new adventure waiting to happen in my life. God bless your new adventure with great colours, themes, people and exciting life.

    • Oh my goodness Trish, that’s huge! I cant imagine what it must be like leaving the farm after 36 years. Bugger the tear in the corner of the eye, I think the flood gates would be in full use if it were me. Sometimes the hardest part of a big move/big change is the anticipation and the build up to it. But before you know it, it’s happening! I hope that in a few months from now, we both will be loving our new lives :-)Lots of love to you and I wish you strength, courage and a new life full of love, happiness and adventure 🙂

  5. What a beautiful collage and tribute to Mozambique. As always your photos are beautiful, capturing the essence of this special corner of Mamma Africa. I know Malawi is going to get under your skin and into your soul just as quickly.

  6. Thank you for sharing these with us. Your post was very moving. I wish you wonderful times in your new home but I can so relate to your feelings for Mozambique. Looking forward to seeing what you show us of Malawi.

  7. I always have to grieve for the place I’m leaving before I can really engage and give my heart to the new place…it just takes a bit of time for me. I think it’s healthy. I enjoyed your look back and reflection on the move. I also made a major move this past month, inside the same country, but to a place so different it almost seems like a new country. Not as hard as moving continents, languages and cultures, like from Africa to Asia, but still a big change. This time though, I like the new place so much better than where we were living, that I’ve hardly grieved at all. That’s sad in itself. But of course what I really miss is the people, friends, neighbors, etc. I’m sure you’ll be making new friends in no time, and getting to know the shop keepers and all. I look forward to seeing photos of your new home and hearing how it goes.

    • You’re spot on about the ‘grieving’ bit! That’s exactly what this is. I’m allowing myself time to reflect before I fire up the engine again! Saying goodbye to places, or a way of life or to people who we are close to is the difficult bit about being an expat. But I have not doubt in my mind, that this is going to be a wonderful experience for us. And the the thought of exploring a whole new country is inspiration in itself! Thank you for your thoughtful comment, it’s comforting to know there are ‘others’ out there who have felt much the same 🙂