lima, peru
Mozambique is different
July 1, 2015
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After 100 days overland in Southern Africa on my own and just on time for my birthday, one of my best friends has joined me for two weeks on my RTW trip. My adventures on public transport in Mozambique had taken their toll, so I was especially excited about picking Nuria up at the airport in Dar es Salaam. She was the last passenger to leave the security area and instead of walking around the exit barrier like everyone else she chose to climbe over it. I didn’t expect any less of her.
 
Later during dinner Nuria curiously observed how I eagerly finished a piece of cold dry chicken while she had barely touched the rice on her plate. Her luggage only made it to Tanzania with the next plane from Dubai and, too busy catching up, we didn’t notice when our taxi driver pulled over in front of our Christian Youth Hostel to take us to the airport again that Saturday night. Instead he waited patiently, because he figured that I hadn´t finished telling my best friend all my stories about Mozambique yet.
 
It wasn’t until we enjoyed our first hard-boiled breakfast egg and me raving about Blue Band, the unrefrigerated margarine-type backpacker’s best friend (after Peanut butter that is) when she concluded “Andrea, te veo más dura! Qué pasó en Mozambique?”
 
Andrea, what happened in Mozambique?
 
After skydiving over the Namib desert and camping with hippos and elephants in Zambia what made backpacking around gorgeous Northern Mozambique such an intense experience ?
 
Let´s see…
 
Mangroves around Ibo Island
Mangroves around Ibo Island
Don’t expect Mozambican cars to have windshields or brakes. It´s all in God´s hands.
 
Low tide in Quirimbas Archipelago
Low tide around the Quirimba Island

It doesn´t matter if you have just had lunch, if you are on a remote muslim island during Ramadan and somebody offers you a piece of grilled fish an hour later. Eat again.
Baobabs and village life on Ibo Island
Baobabs and village life on Ibo Island
Whenever you want to call up someone who might be anywere in Northern Mozambique, you better have all their 3 phone numbers ready. You never know which one of their three sim cards currently works, definitely only the Mobitel one around the Quirimbas Archipelago.
Low tide in Quirimba Island
Low tide in Quirimba Island
Drink up fast at the island bar before your new Mozambican friends get their hand on your Gin & Tonic.
Woman on Quirimba Island
Woman  with the traditional white beauty mask on Quirimba Island
Women anywhere generally have had their children by the middle of their expected life span. If you can´t deal with the no-husband-no-kids-at-32-look in a country with breakless cars and an average life expectancy of 49.84 years, just make up a 4-year-old daughter named Laia.
Mozambican children
Mozambican children
Bikes are simply not supposed to have lights. You might no see a thing, but nobody else will be able to spot you in the dark either.
Hence you won´t get mugged.
Sunset in the Quirimbas Archipelago
Sunset in the Quirimbas Archipelago
It´s nothing personal if a Mozambican teenage girl repeatedly walks by with her younger brother to make him cry.
He has just not seen too many “Mzungus” (white people) yet.
Racing through paradise on the back of a motorcycle
Enjoying paradise on the back of a motorcycle
 
… sorry, you have to find out the rest for yourself.
 
What happens in Mozambique, stays in Mozambique. I don´t want to spoil it for anyone. I haven’t found a sponsor yet to set up an executive leadership training there. And Nuria and I are still not done catching up. Mozambique is just different 🙂