acacia blossoms

acacia blossoms

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mozambique Idyll

These monkeys ducked to Mozambique for a few days.  We had to visit the school  and see the progress of the new building - it was a year since our last visit and i was craving some Mozambique time.

wall art

The weather report showed us a possible cyclone developing right over Vilanculos. Oh boy. But it was too late to change the plan and we packed our rain gear just in case. On the way, as we were negotiating 100kms of badly potholed tar between Massingir and Chokwe, a phone call came in. "Did you hear the news?" No. "Do you have a radio in your car?" No. "Well then I will tell you anyway - there has been a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan - the biggest ever. Its breaking news!" from then on we checked the headlines wherever and whenever we could. The news sounded unreal and ontop of the already disturbing developments in Libya, cast a shadow over every thought.

market scene, Chokwe

At sunset the following day we arrived in camp. The evening sun casting the serene waters into shades of gold and turquiose made world events seem even more remote and impossible but the news was insistent.  The neap tides were almost imperceptible as if the sea was holding its breath or had used all its energy in Tsunamis. So we canoed on glassy waters looking at fish looking at us - jumping when they shot out of the water like silver bullets. ha you guys are not getting my sunglasses this time - no way man!

It was hot - melting hot. At night the mosquitoes tried to carry us away.  The dolphins came by - fishing in the deep channel and leaping clear of the dark waters. I canoed out to them. Dophins  - they tingle the emotions somehow. Even the hardiest  among us is not unaffected. They came to visit me, diving under the canoe and surfacing to suck air - a sound like blowing a kiss. 

I read Treasure Island for the first time. It was a book that came from my father's house. The handwritten date inside says 1910; its dark red leather embossed cover shows signs of wear and tear, but the story stands the test of time. Yohoho and a bottle of rum! Blind Pew and Billy Bones, Long John Silver and Captain Flint the parrot. They were so real. 


Two days before full moon the tides woke up and made their climb up the silvery beach, stretching out among the barnacled roots of the mangroves. We had to leave. It was far too soon. I took a last walk down the boardwalk. The weathered planks moved under my feet like a bleached out xylophone.  The sand is soft, cool, luxurious. The canoe slipped out onto the glassy water enticing me to stay. But I was on borrowed time, and we had miles to go before we slept that day. 

The cyclone never showed. We were lucky.


Bonnie Zieman, M.Ed. said...

So beautifully written Val. I felt as if I were there with you. The social nature of dolphins is incredible - why you were even blown a kiss!

Thank you for another glimpse of your life in Africa.

Diane said...

My one wish in life is to swim with dolphins but as I get older the wish seems to be slowly evaporating. Great post. Diane

Lori ann said...

oh i want to be in that hammock reading rls too! i'm in a hurry off to work, but i'll be back to spend more time here with you val!

so glad your back and that you had a good time (with no cyclone!)

Val said...

Hi Bonnie - they are incredible. just being around them feels good. I made that up about the kiss though . Probably pushing it a bit. hehe

Diane - no do it! you must. Theres a place in southern Moz where they swim with dolphins. Dont let the dream evaporate!

Hi Lori - glad you are back too :) Have to read Kidnapped next - its in the same volume.

Oops just noticed a typo - i am the queen of typos but must go in and fix now. Thanks for your comments. xxxV

Kit Aerie-el said...

Beautiful photos of a beautiful trip. Except for the melting-hot part and the mosquitoes trying to carry you away! Glad it all ended well.

Amanda Summer said...

this is so beautifully written that i'm going back to read it again.

bleached out xylophone ---- and yes -- dolphins do tingle the emotions!

cannot wait to read the latest matsopane post, dear val -- so glad your trip was wonderful and you're back safe and sound!


Anonymous said...

Hi Val, my name is Jana, I found your blog a few weeks ago and have since worked my way through the entire blog archive. You cannot imagine what a difference your writing has made in my life. Going through difficult times, your stories and your beautiful, soft way you have with words are medicine to my soul. Please never stop writing for it is magical.
Thank you!


Val said...

aerie-el - ya apart from the heat and the mozzies it was entirely beautiful there

hey Amanda! have just been to yours and love the latest Goddess - although you are the main inspiration :)

Jana - that is such a wonderful thing to say - thank you so much. Are you a dolphin? I am sorry to hear about your difficult times and really hope things improve very soon for you.


mermaid gallery said...

Always wonderful to enter your world for the heat, beat off the mosquitoes but most of all visit the dolphins. Such magic! Times like that need to be held close because they are so special. thanks for letting us be there....we all love the dolphins......

Anonymous said...

Aaaaah Val - I love "travelling" with you. I just don't have the sea sand between my toes


Pooch Purple Reign said...

what a beautiful journey you had! its still difficult to imagine the destruction in japan, and yet... our lives go on. as they must.
i cant wait till its warm here in canada. still way too chilly

Val said...

mermaid gallery - well mozambique is a home for mermaids for sure! but we have only seen the dugong version and only rarely at that. thanks for your beautiful artwork on your blog - always uplifting - and your etsy items which make me itchy for more!

Janet - its great having you along too! how was the bushveld? different sand there hey? x

Hi Laura - how different is our world - destruction on one side, serentiy on another, melting heat here and icy cold there. We can never tire of these contrasts. I hear spring is on its way your side?

thanks for stopping by - you make blogging fun!

Val said...

"serenity" i meant - sorry Laura