The second part of my trip was spent in Inhambane, starting up our new project there. I have never been to that part of the country before, and I always enjoy seeing new places so was looking forward to it. The goal of the project is to assist the provincial government to implement a water and sanitation project. We will support them and build their capacity, with the intention of enabling them to improve their overall service delivery. The government, as part of the project, is responsible to provide about 125 water points, three small town water systems, and promote hygiene and sanitation with the goal of motivating households to construct latrines.
My time in Mozambique has been extremely busy this trip. I have had no time to write anything. I am currently sitting in a car on my way back to Maputo from Inhambane, and I fly out tomorrow morning very early. It’s a 6 hour drive, so I finally have some time to catch up! I flew up to Nampula two weeks ago to spend some time on our project there. It was my third time to Nampula, and things haven’t changed much there, in general. Our project, however, is progressing well.
I am writing this from Nampula, Mozambique. This is my third visit to Nampula and to Mozambique. I am here to work on the on-going project we are implementing here to build water points and improve sanitation and hygiene in 600 rural communities. I will be in Mozambique for a total of 2.5 weeks, and it is going to be a whirlwind trip!
My trip to Mozambique is nearly over. It has gone by very quickly, but that could be because I haven’t been here very long. I must say, there is not a whole lot to write about this trip. I have been buried in project administration and management issues the whole time and although I have learned a lot, it doesn’t make for very interesting stories! And I’ve only taken two pictures so far from my hotel room balcony.
I am back in Mozambique, almost exactly one year after I was here last year. Then, my visit was to help with the start-up phase of our project. I was here for 6 weeks working with the team on a daily basis, basically non-stop. This time, the trip is shorter – only 2 weeks, but my purpose is more or less them same – this time I will be working with our project manager to get a few procedures in place and update a few things like work plans and budgets.
Time sure has flown by on this trip. I am in Nampula, with two days left here before I fly to Maputo on Wed and then start the long journey home on Thurs. My flight out of Nampula was originally booked for Thursday morning, leaving only 1.5 h between arriving in Maputo and leaving for Jo’burg, which I have learned since being here is definitely not enough. Local flights don’t ever seem to leave on time, and two of my colleagues have been delayed by more than 6 hours. One was supposed to leave Nampula at 1pm or so, but the flight was overbooked so she was put on the next flight, which was supposed to leave at 8pm. It probably left late and had a supposedly short stopover in another city before heading to Maputo. That stopover ended up being most of the night and the passengers all had to stay in the airport. Please all keep your fingers crossed that might 2 hour flight is only two hours!
Sunday afternoon is a time when many Mozambicans head out to see their local teams play some football. Today, I joined two Mozambican colleagues and my Canadian boss to go see a game here in Nampula. One of the teams was from Maputo and the other was a local team from Nacala, which is about 2 hours away from Nampula. The game was played at the local stadium, which I would compare to what you would find behind a high school in Canada. We each paid about $3 to get in and the place was packed.
I’ve been here for nearly a month now and thought it was about time I write about Mozambique itself. Mozambique is located on the south-east coast of Africa, just above South Africa and below Tanzania (check out the map I’ve posted on flickr). I am currently in Nampula, which is in the north of the country, about 3 hours inland from the coast and a 2.5 hr flight from the capital, Maputo. Pemba, which we visited a week ago, is further north on the coast. Mozambique has a total population of 21.4 million and the official language is Portuguese (one of 5 African countries). It is a former Portuguese colony and Portuguese traditions and culinary tastes still remain. It gained independence from Portugal in 1975.
Time is flying by here in Nampula. Another week has disappeared into a haze already. This is both good and bad. Good because it means that I will be home soon and the time between now and then will likely continue to pass quickly, but bad because there remains a lot of work to be done between now and then. Part of the reason why this week went by so quickly is because we had to go to Pemba, which is the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, the other province where this project will be working (the other being Nampula).
Well, another week has come and gone and I did not find any time to write a blog update. Now that it is Saturday, things on the work front have calmed down a bit, not because there is no work to be done, so I can finally write a brief update of what I’ve been up to. My time in Mozambique is flying by, mostly as a result of the amount of work there is to do. We are making progress and getting things done but it doesn’t leave much time for tourism or even getting out of the hotel!