The start of our epic 3 week journey around Mozambique

We left Beira on Sunday 16th July and our first destination was Quelimane, 478 km from Beira. This is roughly the equivalent of London to Newcastle, which Google maps says takes approx 5 hours. We knew that we might not get there in 1 day, with 2 small children in the car and knowing that the roads are bad.

Here are some photos of the first day of our journey.

As soon as they saw us coming, children by the road would start throwing sand into the potholes and then ask for money.

This photo gives you some idea of the size of the holes in the road. These weren’t just in one place but over a long distance, which is why many don’t travel on that road, or only if they have a 4×4 car.

 

As we drove, we saw diferente products being sold along the roadside, like small stones, a live pig tied to a spit, cooked meat, raw venison, peanuts, chickens and ducks, charcoal, herbal powder for men, fruit, goats,………

As we crossed diferente rivers, we saw people washing their clothes.

So after about 250 km (155 miles), which took 9 hours, we stopped off at a hotel for the night. Here is a photo of the cabin we stayed in. We were going to stay in a diferente cabin until after just 5 minutes, Liz managed to lock the key inside and they didn’t have a master!! We shared the area with monkeys and deer.

The next day we carried on our journey to Quelimane. It took us about three and a half hours. Then we had the task of finding a hotel. We didn’t book as we thought there would be plenty of space in any of the hotel. Little did we know that there was no room as most of the inns. If there was a room, it wouldn’t fit us, a cot and a mattress for Chloe. Eventually we went back to the first place we looked at.

In Quelimane, there are lots of bikes. It seemed like we were back in Cambridge! It was only after a while that Sergio pointed out they were bike taxis. It seems the most popular way to travel, definitely good exercise for the bike riders.

We have never been to different provinces in the Northern part of Mozambique and along the journey the rural area resembles what we have already seen in our province, but it was a reminder of how different our lives are compared to those who have to find anything they can from the ground to sell on the street to live. The road we travelled on is the main road but isn’t busy, so we don’t know if they manage to sell many chickens or stones or whatever else. We see lots of childen along the roadside wondering what they do all day. They don’t have a local Tesco Express to cater for their needs, they have to do everything from scratch. We saw girls pumping water at the well, and many washing clothes in the river. We can wonder what sort of life that is when we compare it to our life. For them, that is normal, it’s their life, the way they have grown up.

For us, this is an opportunity to think about what is most importante in life, not to think ‘oh poor them, what a miserable life, how can they live like that?’, but to realise where we place our priorities and values. What are we teaching our children? Is it right that we should go back to a more simple life to put our priorities back in order, to focus on what is most important? Do we need more stuff, or do we need to give more time and love to the people around us?

So this was the first part of the journey, to Quelimane for the Baptist Convention conference and assembly. We were there for a week and then travelled to Nacala to visit other missionaries there. Sergio had planned to travel to more places with a Mozambican Pastor but those plans changed unfortunately. We stayed in Nacala for a week and arrived in Nampula yesterday. We will be here for a week for the PEPE National Conference. We will post more about this in the coming weeks.

On Saturday we will start the nearly 1000km journey back to Beira, which could take around 16 hours (with a stop half way). Please pray for a safe journey for us.