Sunday, April 29, 2007

Hidden Treasures in Maputo

As most of you know I like to take photos. I am not a professional by any means, but once in a while...like about 1 in 100 pictures a nice photo emerges. That is what is great about digital cameras. You can take like 1,000 pictures and find those perfect 10 without spending one dime on developing. But to tell you the truth I kind of miss my film camera and the anticipation of developing the roll to see what you captured.

So back to the point of this blog...Yes, I like to take photos and I have been lucky enough to find two friends in Maputo that share my hobby. I say hobby because all three of us are learning as we go.

Today Juan, Paty and I decided to tour the city on a "Workshop de Fotos." You would be surprised at what we found walking around the city on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Maputo is full of hidden treasures. The picture above is mine, but I can't take all the credit. A couple of weeks ago Juan found these abandoned mannequins in a store window and thought they would be the perfect subjects. Gracias Juan...this was our first stop on the "tour." Click here to see some of my favorite photos from today. I will see if Juan and Paty have their photos ready and link them to here when they are done.

I hope you get to see a little bit of Maputo through my eyes today. Yes, there is poverty and sadness, but there is also hope and the people here have an AMAZING spirit. I am starting to really love my temporary hometown.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Jan Jelle

Join me in saying Happy Birthday to JJ today...he officially turns 30!

Welcome to the club honey...I think that my thirties have been the best by far. Don't most of you agree. Well, except for a couple of minor things like my metabolism slowing down, gray hairs, etc. But you are a guy and don't have to worry about that stuff. Gray hair is sexy on men...women, don't you hate that!

Anyway, have a great day and enjoy this momentous birthday.

For those of you that are in Maputo, I hope you can make it to the party this Saturday. For those of you that are in lands far away...have a toast to JJ today.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter


JJ and I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter. Enjoy this wonderful season of new beginnings! And don't eat ALL the chocolate bunnies...

We just said goodbye to our first visitors. JJ's father and step mom (Jan Erik & Coby) came to visit us for a week in Mozambique. It was great to finally have family to show around. We went to Kruger National Park in South Africa to see wild animals. This time the highlights were the cheetahs and buffalo. The morning walk was also pretty cool, we didn't see any animals, but just the thought that we were waking in the bush and could come face to face with a lion at any minute was very exciting. I am sure that our armed guides would have protected us, but between you and me I am kind of happy we didn't meet up with any lions.

We also took a boat ride to Inhaca - an island about 2 hours off Maputo's coastline. Okay, so there weren't the beautiful beaches they talk about in all the guide books about Mozambique. But it was pretty and very relaxing. We finished off the week with a tour of Maputo. It was a nice change of pace to show off our new "hometown" and really appreciate all it has to offer. It made me realize how lucky we are to live in a place like this and be able to truly enjoy everything that life has given us.

Just to make you jealous and hopefully entice our other family members and friends to come visit I have posted pictures from the week to our Photo Album. Enjoy!

Thank you Jan Erik and Coby for being our 1st guests and we hope you made it back safe and sound to Holland.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Americans Blow Up The Four Seasons in Maputo


April Fool's, okay so the building did go down and it was the Americans, but it was an IMPLOSION, not an EXPLOSION. Gotcha....here is the real
story.

Yesterday was BIG NEWS in Maputo. The Four Seasons building was imploded. Most of you reading this might think...what it the big deal so they took down a building. Well, let me tell you....everyone in Maputo was up at the crack of dawn to see that baby go down.

I am not sure when The Four Seasons was built (sometime in the 1970's). It was actually never finished and The Four Seasons never actually used the building, but that is what everyone called it. It was built while the Portuguese still ran Mozambique, but when Mozambique gained its independance and the Portuguese left Mozambique so did the construction workers and the building was never finished. And just to make sure that no one could use the building concrete was poured down the elevator shafts and throughout other shafts to make the building obsolete. Isn't that nice....

After MANY years of just being a monument...Ode to the Four Seasons Hotel that would have been there...it was taken down. Guess by who...The Americans blew up the building..well sort of. The US bought the land and it will be the future site of the US Embassy and USAID offices.

For your amusement check out the photos and videos we took at our "Implosion Breakfast." Yes, we attended a breakfast for the event. Come on...its Maputo. Click here for PHOTOS and VIDEOS.