Sometimes I just forget that I live in Mozambique. If I get stuck in the house for a few days in a row and then arrive down the markets in my shiny white car… I actually get a bit of a shock. “Oh, that’s right… this is where I live!” I still haven’t got my head around being so rich and living among people who are so poor. I don’t think I ever will.
This morning I woke up after a great night’s sleep in my nice warm bed, completely oblivious to the fact that it had been raining for most of the night. We had 15mm in a few hours, Cam said it was so heavy it woke him up but I slept through the whole thing. Unlike most people I know around here. A black plastic / grass roof invariably leaks, especially with the first heavy rains when you haven’t had a chance to shove plastic bags into some of the worst holes. A tin roof is a bit better, usually still leaks a bit, but the noise is horrendous. There’s no ceiling, no insulation, nothing but a sheet of tin so thin you can cut with scissors between you and the wild storm outside. I can’t even imagine spending most of the night awake with the noise or being rained on in my bed.
On Sunday we returned from a weekend away in paradise to discover that we didn’t have any water coming out of taps. Shock horror! The power had been out all day and something must have gone wrong with the pump in the well. But Cam just put the generator on for a while and all was back to “normal.” Most of our neighbours don’t have water. I don’t mean they don’t have running water… they don’t have water at all. No one in our suburb has town water, I don’t know any Mozambicans in the city that have running water inside their house, some have a tap outside but not here. Most people have wells in their backyard but this time of year, they are almost all dry. My friends get up at 4am to take a bucket around the neighbourhood in search for a well that still has water in it. Sometimes they just can’t find any.
Can you imagine?