elephants + driving

Jan 2. This morning we woke up to more wind and some sprinkles of rain but decided to drive 1.5 hours out of town to a game park. We are five plus a car seat in a little Toyota pickup so it’s very snug when we ride places. The guys are in the front and Renae and I are in the back with Max. Levi and Morgan sometimes hop in the back of the truck and spend the ride getting waved to. I think they secretly like the attention. The drive was everything I’d dreamed it would be. There were small hills and lots of trees and brush and everything was quite green. The elephant plains were mostly flat and swampy, and that’s where we saw the elephants. 3 adults and 2 babies. We pulled over and made sandwiches in the grass and watched the baby elephants flap their ears and listened to the dung beetles fly past. Later on in the drive we saw hippos, alligator, kudu, water buck, zebra, wildebeest, and various deer. It was the coolest experience. All i could think about is the fact that some people never leave home and get to experience life outside the comfort zone. We finished off the day with butter chicken and garlic naan.

Jan 3. Ive been waking up for 15 minutes at 4 every morning, but luckily thats the only jet lag any of us has really noticed. This morning we went to the mall for brunch. The mall is quite close to ours in the US. They have Christmas trees and white marble floors and Toms shoes and a Pizza Hut. They also have this little Cafe where we had the ‘menu breakfast ‘ which consisted of: an espresso shot, a juice box, bacon, picanha, and French fries. We topped it off with a little French style pastry filled with vanilla pudding. I watched Max while the others got groceries for our journey tomorrow. Later Renae stayed home with Max while we 4 went to the market to find a tail light for the pickup. We found one, although it was a long process. We went deep into the maze of little alleyways and looked for dried fish and handed out tracts.

city within a city in maputo

The people here seem generally accepting of tracts and lots of them proclaim to us that they love Christ. A man asked us where church was and to tell him he would have to go to Tete or Dondo was disappointing. I loved exploring all over through the places most people don’t go if they visit Mozambique. Oh, one thing of interest. Some man quit trying to sell us a tail light and started trying to barter to buy me to marry his cousin. No big deal. Haha. Anyways we took tuk tuks to the mall and Dillon and I got some things while Morgan and Levi headed to fish market. We walked home and Morgan made this absolutely delicious fish soup over coconut rice for supper.

Jan 4. This morning Morgan was in the kitchen again and made breakfast sandwiches. Dillons had an appointment to pick up Max’s passport and a couple other errands to run so they were gone for a couple hours. We packed up our backpacks and the fridge and Max’s things and the guys loaded the vehicle up. It is so full. The back is full of ice chest and backpacks and the bike and water and its all strapped on pretty well. And so, we left Maputo, sticking tracts in the bus stop window frames before we left.. The road we take up the coast is paved and its sunny outside. We’ve stopped to stretch our legs a couple times, and a little ways back we saw smoke so we stopped and got skewers of meat that ended up being pig liver and ear and it was surprisingly good. Since we’re driving sort of by the coast, we occasionally see the ocean and there are lots of palm trees mixed in with the bush. Its green and tropical looking, with spots of color where I can see women carrying baskets on their heads. Maybe they are going to talk with their best friend. Or maybe they are taking food to someone who’s sick. We have gone through lots of little towns and I love seeing the everyday scenes from their lives while we speed along. Max is riding really well and I guess the rest of us are too. We played 20 questions which was kind of a fail. It went like this mostly:

Levi: I’m thinking of something. Us: is it in the vehicle? L: yes. Us: is it a guy? L: yes. Us: is it dillon? L: yes.

Morgan: im think of something. Us: is it white? M: yes. Us: does it say Toyota? M: yes. Us: is it the pickup in front of us? M: yes.

Then the guys would cackle because it was so lame, or at least I hope thats why. We got to our place of rest around 8, a large house with open windows and doors and a tarantula cruising around outside the front door. We had to drive quite a long ways off road through palms and bush on a red dirt road to get to the house. The renter man brought us steaks and fans and beer, which we politely declined. We hadn’t eaten since morning so we devoured sandwiches for supper. The geckos in our room chirped while we went to sleep, and we could hear the waves crashing somewhere beyond the house.

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