Although it’s been a month since our trip to Mozambique, I’m still turning over the details of the visit in my head. Our time there was a blessing in so many ways, and I can’t help but return to the experience with great joy and grateful reflection for having traveled there. I hope that the memories I have of our time in Xai Xai will never erase themselves:)
Besides setting foot in Mozambique for the first time, there were many other firsts that came with our visit. Among them, my favorites include attempting to speak Portuguese, realizing that I can hear and understand the language–despite my lacking ability to reply, braving the challenge to hold a python (the first snake I’ve ever held!), watching fishermen carry torches into the ocean to hunt for lobsters by moonlight, visiting Eden (well, the Mozambican version at least), sleeping under a mosquito net, purchasing a kapalana (Mozambican fabric worn as a skirt) and making lunch out of fresh Mozambican bread and soft cheese on the roadside on the way home. Our days in Xai Xai were characterized by incredible times of fellowship, amazing God moments in the midst of His creation, prayer and conversations on the beach, an overwhelming sense of peace and calm, and the warm, engaging spirit of Africa on Mozambican soil. I am so humbled by the opportunities that we were afforded by God in our time there.
While traveling, our days took on a different pace and rhythm than they’ve had here in Johannesburg. The hustle and bustle of city life fell away as we drove further and further into the “bush.” Xai Xai, by Mozambican standards, is quite developed; still, the way of things there seemed simpler, more life-giving in many ways. Stores carried basic items, people walked everywhere and the lone road in and out of Xai Xai had one lane traveling in one direction and one headed the other. Lush, green foliage covered the landscape, coconut trees standing tall on the horizon at every turn. Mangoes, avocados, bananas, aloe and citrus fruits grew in abundance. i couldn’t help but feel at home in a space so foreign to me just days earlier–and I can’t wait to go back someday!
God has certainly stretched me and grown me in ways I never imagined before traveling to Africa this time around. Experiences that seemed so obvious or natural have taken me by surprise after surprise. Through the peaks and valleys of our journey, I’ve fallen in love with God and His creation over and over again, and Mozambique was another opportunity for me to stand in awe. I don’t know where I’d be right now if it weren’t here–spending this year on a continent that is in some ways still new and in others, so familiar–but I know that this is where I have needed to be. Africa has been moving my heart, bringing new delights at every turn.
This post was originally blogged on 26 May 2008 @ 11:02pm from Johannesburg, South Africa