I can’t believe that we have been in Maputo for almost 2 months… it was a huge culture shock when we arrived. Not sure what we expected but it definitely wasn’t this…. When we had told friends that we were moving to Mozambique almost all of them who had been here before said…Moz is amazing. Our first impressions were the opposite. The city is run down and tired. The roads are full of pot holes and the buildings generally grubby. Rubbish is left on the side of the road and there generally isn’t any pride. I cried every day for the first week. But, after living here and getting to know my way around and getting to know the people, it’s really grown on me, we are settled into our own place, Stefan is enjoying his job and I have now also found a job working as a volunteer working for a charity and we are starting to make friends. I’ve realized that it’s the people that make Mozambique amazing. They are very friendly, always smiling and so helpful.
The country is incredibly poor with a high HIV death rate and contracting malaria is a real risk (there were approximately 49000 cases reported in the Maputo province in the first three months of this year). Food is very expensive as almost everything is imported in from SA with huge import costs (how the average family survives I have no idea as I find that food is even more expensive here then it was in England.) There is a lot of bribery and corruption , a fair amount of petty crime (which is understandable in a way when you see the poverty but thankfully no violent crime), all properties have security guards and electric fences and lights and mirrors are frequently stolen off vehicles at night, the language barrier can be a bit challenging at times but so far I can say that I think it’s going to be okay and we are going to enjoy our time here, we still need to venture out of the capital to explore but hopefully as soon as we have a 4×4 we will be heading up north. I haven’t taken many photographs yet as I keep meaning to ask someone what the etiquette is regarding taking photo’s but here are a few to give you a taster of what things look like. (next time I will have some photo’s of the potholes and more interesting things , as well as some photo’s from Swaziland were we are going to this weekend- I promise).