We desire to bring sunshine to Africa....opportunities to allow people to realize their destinies and be released from oppression. We are starting in Mozambique with The Sunshine Nut Company. The majority of proceeds from this company will go to the poorest of farming communities and the neediest of children. Mozambique is ranked among the poorest in economic status but we believe they are among the richest in spirit. Join us in our adventure....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The sights - being out and about....

Being out and about in Mozambique is always an adventure. Looking out the window as we drive around is like having a visual feast to take in. Each day I see things and wish so much that I could share them with you. Some things are beautiful and exhilirating to take in, others are sad and troubling. Yet together, they paint a picture of life here. Since you are not here with me to see them yourself, let me share a list with you of what we see on a typical day:

- Chapas everywhere! Chapas are small vans that transport people for a small amount of money. These vans look to be quite old- some lean to the side, some have the doors tied down to stay close, some have broken windows- but all of them look ready for the junkyard. The drivers are absolutely crazy- the quicker they get their passengers to a destination, the more money they make. Crowds of people wait at various locations for a ride. The people pile into them and are literally on top of each other. It reminds me of the circus routine where they see how many clowns can fit in a car.

- Open bed trucks also transport people. Again, it is amazing to see how many people crowd onto the back of these trucks for a ride. It looks downright dangerous to me and I can't understand how they all fit on and stay on with the bumpy roads.

- Women in brightly colored, patterned capulanas

- Women balancing heavy loads of produce, bags of rice, etc on their heads and walking with such grace

- Moms with babies strapped to their backs with capulanas. The babies are either peacefully sleeping or peeking over Mom's shoulder to see. (What delights me is to see how patiently these little ones lie on their moms' backs as they get tied up. I recall the raging battles I had with my own children as I attempted to get them into their carseats!! These occurrences were loud, unruly, and ended up with me holding the screaming child down with one hand while buckling him in with the other.)

- Fresh produce adds color to the scenery- red tomatoes, green lettuce and cucumbers, oranges, yellow bananas. These items are not just haphazardly piled up, but they are artfully displayed in carefully placed pyramids.

- Marketstands selling everything from brooms to building materials to Coke to toilets to wedding gowns! Entire storefuls of items are hung and displayed each day and taken down at the end of the day.

- Children everywhere! In the US, we are very guarded about where our children play, keeping them in the house or in our fenced in back yards under our watchful eye. Here, for better or for worse, they run freely. I see children . . .
      -running and playing openly along the road
      -walking to and from school in their uniforms - even the tiniest of preschoolers whose bookbags are as big as they are dancing and singing
     -brushing their teeth in drainage water by the roadside
     -fashioning a toy out of plastic bags, cans, tires
     -running along rolling a car tire with their friends
     -waving as you pass by
     -cheering when they see you wave back at them
     -hauling wheelbarrows of water containers back home
     -standing along the road holding out a fish, squid, or crab for purchase that they or a family member caught that day

-Fully plumed roosters stutting their stuff

-Hens leading their chicks

-Chickens so scrawny and with so few feathers that you want to buy them to put them out of their misery

-Goats randomly wandering about

-Little donkeys pulling carts

-The Chicken Man - our term for the young man who each day pushes his bicycle along with chickens hanging
upside down lining his handle bars.

-Teenagers assembled in groups outside their school talking and laughing

-Adorable, complacent puppies held up in the palms of their sellers hands looking at you with their little puppy dog eyes

-People walking everywhere

-Ugly chairs for sale- let me explain. At a nearby intersection, a man appeared one day with six very ugly chairs. They were faux leather, with very high backs that curled forward at the top. We laughed as we pictured sitting in one and have a dinner conversation with your head angled down at your plate. This man sat with his chairs day after day after day. I reached the point where I was ready to buy them just so the poor guy wouldn't have to sit there every day anymore, when all of a sudden, one day they were gone- sold! I was so glad for him. Shortly after that, he appeared again with six more chairs even more ugly than the first set because they were made with a rust colored velvet material. I no longer feel badly for him. If he is going to make such ugly chairs, he is just going to have to sit there with them!

-Wedding processions- the lead car with the happy couple is decorated with a bouqet of flowers on the hood and ribbon

-Broken down trucks- for some reason they only break down in the middle of an intersection

-Trucks so dangerously loaded down with stone or cement blocks that the sides bow out

-Here it is common for a man to hold another man's hand or for two women to hold hands as they walk. This is a sign of friendship and is very common. In fact, it is unusual to see a couple of the opposite sex holding hands. Even little boys and girls walk along holding hands or with their arms around each other.

-The Marginale is a street in downtown Maputo that follows the ocean. It is lined with palm trees and beyond is the white sandy beach and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. It is so beautiful, you would think you were in the Caribbean!

This is just a sampling of what we see. I am sure that as soon as I head out today, I will see something else that I wish I had included but forgot. So, I guess that means you all just need to get over here for a visit and see it all for yourselves!!


  1. I love how when you describe holding one of us down in the carseat you use the adjective "he" :) love, cassie

  2. I was thinking the same thing, Cassie...was wondering if you caught that?! Guess you did :)