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.
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.