This was my first view of Beira as I arrived on Weds. My journey went very smoothly, thankfully. I was delighted to be reunited with both my suitcase and my friend Victoria. First impressions were fairly overwhelming: noise from the building site outside our bedroom. the street vendors with all their goods on the pavement, the armed guards casually sitting around on street corners.
It’s only day 2 but this is just a quick blog before the ‘first impressions’ fade. We have come back early from the boys’ home today as Victoria has had malaria and needs to rest. Making her sit still is hard work! But she has kindly allowed me to use her computer to write a quick blog while she lies down. The very fact that she has malaria underlines the ‘otherness’ of this place. We are both taking a cocktail of drugs every morning at breakfast and are very aware of health issues.
The general run down- ness of Beira is probably its most stark feature, but this is a country which went through a long civil war. However the welcome from my hosts has been brilliant, especially as their second child just arrived by C section only 3 days before I flew in. The food is great, both here and at Casa Re’om, albeit that it is cooked for the boys in very primitive circumstances.
Yesterday we were out with the boys from 10am and didn’t get ‘home’ to Beira till about 8.30pm. We played endless games of snap, did puzzles over and over, mostly because it was simply FAR too hot to playing anything that took us out of the shade. Once the sun began to go down we managed one team game out in the middle of the compound.
Tomorrow we hope to take the boys to the beach, hopefully Victoria will be well enough but she promises to stay put on a beach towel in the shade.
So many ‘new’ experiences: sleeping under a mosquito net, eating maize and always drinking bottled water from the fridge. ‘New’ because I know I did all these things as child in Nigeria. I left around the age of 8 and one of the interesting things has been how oddly familiar quite a lot of it seems. A bit like stepping back into a story you lived in a long time ago.