Before I come to what we encountered in Cabaceira Grande I want to say something concerning what we learned about documenting our trip, once we came back to China. This trip was the first time for me to travel with electronic equipment and for Hudie as well it was the first time to travel with so much valuable equipment. Before I always kept down to the basics, thinking, that the less you have, the less you have to worry about when you are on the road, which certainly is true.
But now we decided to start sharing our experiences with you folks, so we try to document everything, but as we never did something like this, this trip was a big lesson for us.
One of my major concerns was to always hide our equipment, so we would not call to much attention. Therefore the main time I had the video camera hidden in a little bag just next to my body. The result is that a lot of footage is really shaky and here in this chapter of our journey the footage is not usable at all because the humidity at the coast caused a thin film of water on the lens that made it impossible to see anything. This is especially sad as the reality of the project in Cabaceira Grande was one of the big impacts that this journey left on us.
In “Mozambican Mysteries” we read about a project that in 2007 still seemed to be a dream came true to the leader of the project, the only place where she ever felt like she arrived at her final destination after a restless moving around the world. It seemed like she managed to improve the local people’s diet by introducing different crops and vegetables and at the same time she gave this little village some reputation by opening a seemingly well developing college for tourism where people get trained to work in hotels and lodges.
So back to where we ended our last post: We arrive in our Dhao at the coast of Cabaceira Grande and still have to walk 500 metres through the water till we get to the mangrove forest on the coast. An other 10 minutes of walking through the mangroves we come to a vast grassland with only a few mud houses here and there and two big colonial buildings in the distance. One of them should be the college. But one of the guys from the boat who was really eager to make contact with us, especially when we said, that we came to visit Lisa, tells us, that Lisa is not living here any more but in an other village called Mussoril which is about two hours walk from here. And he also tells us that the college is not operating, already for more than a year.
And true, once we reach the college it is obvious that nobody took care of it for quite a while. Our new friend does not know much about it but he tells us something about some Japanese who came and offered a price for the school and Lisa decided to sell. So that is the big dream we read about in “Mozambican Mysteries”?
Also the population here seems not better of at all and we do not see other crops than manioc and corn. Nothing to see of the big agricultural revolution, that the book was talking about. A lot of question marks in our heads, so all we can do is keep on walking and get to Mussoril before it gets dark and hopefully meet Lisa over there to ask her about what was going on here.