Pictures from Weekend 1

First Weekend in Maputo

I have many news that will evolve in longer posts at some point, internet conection permitting

1. Maputo is food-wise the new Lima: fusion but not confusion. Portuguese + African + Indian. Loads of seafood. Extremely affordable prices.
2. I have a local friend, Nuxa, who invited me to her cousins university graduation where I was the only foreigner. I ate nice local food and partied with them. I even saw traditional African dances. An elderly woman at the party lectured me on why I should marry in Mocambique.
3. I have two Spanish friends, Almudena and Mariola with whom I partied till the wee hours on Friday. I ran into them on “Mao Tse-Tung” with “Kim Il-Sung”. I find bemusing the fact that most streets in Maputo are named after some communist leader. Also bemusing that sewage seldom have a cover, meaning that I nearly broke my leg twice already.
4. I am also settled in the village. But life in the village should be another post I reckon, so much to tell.

Pictures of Clams Spanish style, prawns bought in the fish market and freshly cooked on the spot for little money, me in the ferry crossing over the Maputo and African graduation party

Layover in Nairobi

Although I have loads to say about Mozambique, let’s get the Kenya post out of the way – I will report on Maputo next weekend.

I had a 12-hour layover in Nairobi so I rented a car a went for a stroll around. Those who know me and my driving skills will not be surprised to hear that my rent-a-car idea caused me my first African bribe success story. Unfortunately, I cannot make the juicy details public here as I am not most proud of what happened.

Downtown Nairobi is chaotic and not too pretty. The climate is extremely pleasant – they are at some altitude so it is not so hot. The city surroundings are beautiful. Their people friendly and their airline as good as most US or European carriers in my opinion.

A few photos: an orphan elephant being fed in the Elephant Orphanage, me with a pygmy hippo in Nairobi National Park and my KQ746 to Harare and Maputo.

Orphan Elephant

Pygmy Hippo

Nairobi Airport

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Countdown to Mozambique

Picture it, London, February 2010. A few months ago I had a stable life. A stable well-paid job, a stable inexpensive flat, a stable group of friends and stable future ahead. No wonder I nearly went bananas and  had to throw some change into my life, right? Things are quite different now. Currently I am serving my final week at a job that feels so foreign. My lifetime belongings are in some truck along some road in heavily-flooded Spain. I have heaps of paperwork to run through, a million things to buy, a wild leaving party to throw, a river to cry and a blog to start. In a week from now I am moving to Maputo, Mozambique; in July I am going to business school, in China no less.

In Mozambique, I will be serving as a Kiva Fellow. Kiva is this supercool non-profit you have heard that dragged me out of the hedge fund world and deals with microcredits. Microcredits are about providing financial services to people who do not have access to mainstream banking. My duties as Kiva Fellow are varied, but for now just a teaser: part of them is to maintain this blog and to contribute to this other one.

Expectations for my Maputo sejourn? Endless. So many that I would rather group them in three broad categories.

1. Altruistic Chiefly helping people in need, making a difference in this planet, assisting in connecting people from apart and generally achieving world peace, inner tranquility and the utter meaning of life.
2. Plain Vain These include not only getting a tan, losing some weight, getting back to shape or finally affording to eat a simple lobster; but also not catching a tropical disease or causing some sort of diplomatic incident (the ones who know me, you know me)
3. Realistic The serious ones – meeting loads of new people, perfecting the Portuguese language (get English right first you are thinking!), conveying knowledge, seeing new places. Changing myself. Finding the strength to know the next step. Wanting to find the next step.

We will link to this expectations at the end of this journey. Meanwhile, I am happy to share the experiences with you.

Welcome to my blog Amigos.

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