Vilankulo – My Introduction

Vilankulo Oct. 14/15

I arrived yesterday and still no internet. Sitting on the deck of the restaurant/bar I am looking out over the Indian Ocean. The tide is in and the sun is all sparky on the water. I walked on the softest sand last night and I am looking forward to swimming in that warm water… if I can just get over getting into that bathing suit.

My office. I know, it is tough sometimes to be a traveller. :)

My office. I know, it is tough sometimes to be a traveller. 🙂

I don’t know where to start… I am going to have to stay on top of the writing otherwise I will miss too much with you.

I was all edgy and claustrophobic during the last legs of the trip… I couldn’t stand to be around people and I was stuck with them in a tin can, many miles above a safe exit. I was not in the mood for attitude from customs, but they were surprisingly good. Mozambique may be an undeveloped country but its bureaucracy is not. Amazing how that thrives everywhere – that and accounting.

Mandy, my hostess, picked me up from the airport. She is this over the top charismatic woman who calls everyone ‘darling’ and oozes charm in a fascinating combo of chaos and precision order. In answer to my kajillion question I  get, ” Darling, just wait, all things will be revealed in time… this is Africa!”

As usual, I am struggling to remember my fellow volunteers’ names. The young English black woman is Olivia… I think but I am not sure enough to actually call her that. The slightly older British women’s name completely escapes me, not a clue and I heard it a few time last night but was distracted by the company and wine. Mandy is a white wine drinker, an avid fan of Casal Garcia, a green Portugal wine . And here I thought I wouldn’t drink so much here – not. I shall have to pick some to share with her, else she will go broke supplying me with the stuff.

Mandy was all prepared to dump me off at where the volunteers stay yesterday and take the other two to the riding lesson allowing me time to acclimatize but I would have none of it, I wanted to see the horses. I think I should have stayed cause I only met one horse. There were a bunch of white kids who take lessons 2x a week with Pat so with the Moms and such it was hard to be there in my condition. I just wanted to be with the horses.

stable pan

The horse set up is unusual but I guess I should have expected that in Africa. Everywhere there is sand. That is the base coating this part of the world. So the paddock is sand, which is nice cause it wouldn’t get muddy right? Now, in a drought, that wouldn’t be a concern anyway. The 26 horses are tethered at night, tied to long ropes which are attached to a clothes line like rope. Each horse has 2 bundles of hay hung from a post. There is a pasture separate where they spend the day loose if they aren’t riding. The horse have no fat on them, definitely on the slender side (if I was being kind). I think they may have had a better life in Zimbabwe but so did Pat and Mandy. They have all made lemonade from a very bitter brew.

I’m thinking this experience will try to teach me (again) a lesson in listening more and declaring my beliefs less. These are conservative people who pulled themselves up by their boot straps and shouldered on. They are well steeped in old white Africa and nothing I say will make even a chink in that armour. Yeah, that likely won’t stop me from ‘sharing’ my opinion. LOL

We’re going on a canoe trip this morning with their son, Jay, the naturalist. I am excited.

Canoeing on the stream full of water lilies with Jay, Pat and Mandy's son.

Canoeing on the stream full of water lilies with Jay, Pat and Mandy’s son.

Wonder when I shall be able to ride. I’m afraid I am not going to get away with no helmet. I guess they have a point, there is no hospital for many miles, likely Maputo, a day away. Darn. Maybe on the beach? (nope not even on the beach 😦 )

Maybe there will be internet tonight… hope springs eternal.

I am staying at the volunteer quarters at the back of the property of Archipelago Resort. Go check out the Casa digs for paying customers.


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