A typical day 3

Pluck eyebrows in doorway of tent much to the bemusement of male Moz colleagues (remember Always be bothered? this is a classic example!)

Spend day driving through stunning mountains looking for minefields (ok so it’s a bit more technical than simply looking but trust me, not sufficiently interesting enough to write about!). End up finding mines in the middle of a village, a drunk policeman a bit too enthusiastic for the local hospitality (we usually accept a corn on the cob or a live chicken – he seemed to prefer a glass of bathtub-gin!) and giving a lift to a village leader and 2 boys tied together with rope on their way to the police station (these boys had been convinced by a local witch doctor to put traditional medicine on a man’s food which had subsequently killed him).

The police Commandante (remember him? Landmines & life) came over to welcome me to his patch of grass we had set up home on. I always get a bit nervous when I have to speak in Portuguese to an official and as he left he saluted then shook my hand.

For some reason I did the same!

I saluted him! What an idiot!

In an attempt to access one minefield we needed to rebuild an old colonial road in incredibly bad condition – even Red Wings struggled to make it through – so we walked the distance asking in the communities we passed if fit strong local men wanted to come and work for us rebuilding the road – literally knocking door to door or shouting from the footpath “hey you, want to earn some money!”

By the end of it we had a trail of 20 strapping young men snaking down the path behind us. It was a good feeling knowing we woRoad buildersuld immediately be able to put money into the communities we would later be able to hand back mine-free land to.

Did monthly accounts sitting in the shade of a mango tree in the police station front yard then in desperation of internet access to email accounts to HQ drove down to South African run fishing lodge in the valley. Ended up being invited on sunset ‘booze cruise’ with bunch of VERY outrageously behaved SA fishermen – whisky, tall tales from a day of sport fishing and lots of testosterone!

A most excellent and fun night! Left them to gorge on the obscenely large t-bone steaks and headed home to my wee tent-house.

p.s for more ‘typical day stories click here

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