I’m thankful for the beach.
I often don’t think about the beach, even though it’s two blocks from my house, because it can be dangerous because of muggings to walk on it or annoying to sit on it because of Mozambican men wanting to make friends. If it’s low tide in the morning I’ll go for a long walk along the wet sand. I always find sand dollars.
My favorite restaurant is on the beach. The air is always cool there, the beach clean, and the food takes ages, but we never mind. One night the power went out, so we ate by starlight. I had never seen the stars so clear and bright in Beira.
Yesterday I sat on the beach with other friends from the English fellowship as we watched part of our group play a children’s version of cricket. I realized I had never sat un-harrassed in Beira before. It was nice to relax in the safety and comfort of a large group.
Today I went with some mostly German friends and neighbors to another part of the beach, past the lighthouse. Again, it was nice to sit for a couple hours, digging my feet in the sand, eating lychees, talking, and watching Beira youth flirt and frolic. Sunday is party day in Beira. Like any seaside town during school holidays, Mozambicans also flock to the beach to eat, drink, talk, and play. Boys play football or sit and drink beer, couples stroll with arms around each other, and vendors sell chips, gum, Fanta, and yogurt (“well-chilled”, they assure us). Few people wear swimsuits or swim.
A couple weeks ago a friend and I were walking along the beach, and she made a comment about how amazing it was to be on the edge of a continent. I had never thought about it like that. She pointed to the sea and said, “Out there is nothing.” Then she pointed to the road, apartments, and beyond: “And out there is all of Africa.”
How cool that I live on the edge of a continent! I’m thankful for the little edge of it that is my daily beach.