I leave for Mozambique on Sunday. Two days away. There’s a lot I want to write, but tonight I want to post something from my journal that I wrote just after leaving Mozambique:
In my last week in Beira I took a team from the UK to Muchatazina to do some children’s activities while Lyndsay ran her clinic. I had been to Muchatazina only once before, in my first days in Beira. At that time, none of the poverty in the city surprised or affected me, but the filth in Muchatazina had a profound effect on me. Therefore, going back 20 months later, I wondered if I would find the poverty and filth as disturbing or if it had just seemed that bad at the beginning, but after more exposure to other communities I would find it just like every other community.
It was exactly as I remembered, complete with children defecating beside the path. Perhaps I even noticed more problems and felt more despair after 20 months. Before I would have seen a problem and thought, “If only we could…” and it seemed easily fixable. Whereas now, “If only we could…” is followed by, “But that’ll never work.”
That night Lyndsay and I had dinner with our host family. For the first time, it was really, really comfortable. I thought back to the first days when I couldn’t communicate and when I became impatient with dinner served around 8pm. Yet that night I understood every bit of the conversation, and it flowed for the entire three hours. And even though Mae Ana never broke into song at the dinner table before, it didn’t surprise me at all when she suddenly started singing Obrigado, Jesus and made us all join her.