Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Final Weekends: Part III

After attending countless other going away party’s for friends that moved in and out of my life during the past year and half, it was finally time for me to celebrate my departure from Mozambique with one final Friday night blowout. My roommate Brenden and I cleared away a massive dance floor in our apartment and got a hold of an incredible stereo system, preparing for a long night of booty shaking like only Mozambicans know best. It was a massive turnout, with a good mix of my ex-pat and African friends showing up to wish me off while sharing one last Laurentina or Tipo Tinto. Unfortunately, news of a good party spread quickly and we soon found ourselves having to “forcibly escort” a few rowdy and intoxicated gate crashers out the door.

Despite a few bad apples in the bunch, I had a great time and got to see practically everyone in the city that meant the most to me. After we had danced ourselves out, drummed our last beat, sang our final song and drank every last drop in the house, I finally showed the last guest to the door as the morning sun was creeping up on the horizon. It was a great way for me to bring to a close the incredible social scene I was able to find here in Maputo.

I was quite tired as you can imagine on Saturday and ended up spending a quite night in with Nathalie drinking tea and watching the Last King of Scotland (Great movie by the way…Forest Whittaker performance is HUGE, quite literally!! Definitely deserved the Oscar). We then got up early on Sunday morning and joined my old roommate Cathy Rothrock for the worship service at the church of our former housekeeper Rebecca. Cathy’s sister and brother in law were in visiting from Edmonton and they all wanted to see what a Shangana church service was all about. Basically it is three solid hours in a sweaty reed hut, singing, praying and shouting for Jesus. The rest of the congregation was overjoyed that such a large contingent of “mulungos” had joined them in their part of town and they took great delight in showing off their church’s talents and helping us to follow along with the words in the shangana hymn book.

After the service, and after we had shaken about a thousand and one pairs of hands, we went back to Rebecca’s house for lunch. This was the first time that I had ever been inside Rebecca’s house and she took great pride in showing me all of her things, especially their large backyard with mango, lemon and cashew trees. Unfortunately, Rebecca’s husband Pedro was not able to join us because he was out working on a fishing boat with some friends. Pedro had received some excellent news previously in the week as he graduated from his driving school, opening up a whole new door of work opportunities for him. The family was incredibly thankful and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in each other’s company under the shade of the mango tree.

We then returned back to Maputo in time to play ultimate, a game that had recently become a Sunday late afternoon tradition for our group of friends. For those of you who don’t know what ultimate is check out this link here. It’s an amazing game and hands down the best co-ed sport around in my opinion. For most of my time here in Mozambique I bemoaned the fact that nobody in town played ultimate until I finally took matters into my own hands and started the first ultimate league in Maputo. Initially we had a pretty luke warm reception but once February rolled along we started to get a fairly regular turnout. What was also encouraging is that towards the end we started getting more Mozambican guys and girls showing up to try out this strange new sport.

Full of new found enthusiasm, we ultimate fans in Maputo began dreaming about putting together a Mozambican Ultimate National Team and taking on teams from Swaziland and South Africa. Who knows, maybe one day we will see a Mozambican entry to the world championships…or a campaign along the likes of “Ultimate contra HIV/SIDA.” The skies the limit in my view, and, while I hated to leave just as the momentum was building, I believe we’ve got some good folks that can continue the ultimate tradition.

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Blogger Chris said...


I am currently studying for an MA in the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham, UK (http://www.idd.bham.ac.uk/). For my dissertation I am planning to research the links between microfinance and HIV/AIDS, in particular how MFIs may be able to provide appropriate financial services to HIV positive clients while ensuring the sustainability of the Institution. As part of this research I intend to conduct primary research in Mozambique in June/July of this year.

As someone who has been working in this area for the last couple of years, I was wondering if you could offer me some advice:

Firstly, in preparation for my research trip are there any sources (articles, books, websites etc.) that you would particularly recommend on microfinance, HIV/AIDS, Mozambique or a mix of the three?!

Secondly, given that you sadly are coming to the end of your stay in Mozambique, do you know of anyone else working on these issues in Mozambique that I may be able to contact in the course of my research?

Finally, are there any specific issues that you have come across while working on the relationship between microfinance and HIV/AIDS that you feel demand greater attention/further research?


Chris Potts

p.s. great blog! you've really whetted my appetite for this summer!

6:23 p.m.  
Blogger Chris said...

just realised i didn't leave any contact details!

you can email on: chrispotts@gmail.com


6:25 p.m.  

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