to new beginnings

if you know me you’d know better than to expect a new year’s post, and you’re probably wasting your time reading this because i’m not going to write anything bizarre or extraordinary. i’ll just let you in on a little secret. 

it’s been hard. 

the year that just ended was probably the most gratifying ever in my life, i realized so many things, i saw and felt so many things i now understand and blinded myself to them for a very long time. the is no better friendship moment than the moment of goodbye. there is not a better light to see a city than the light you see it with on the day you leave. there is no moment better to be acknowledged as a bright professional as the day you say “i quit”. all these things i already knew deep in my heart but until that horrifying moment where there’s no turning back it seems to slap you in the face as hard as it can… and as hard as you let it. it was a full year! starting with beautiful babies being born (i count lily also because even though she’s a december ’07 girl it was too close to the new year), holding on to friends you’re sure you can’t live without, full 7 months of antwerpen, a not so hard last winter, a long summer, heartbreaking but so beautiful goodbye, more summer, a month by myself in lisbon, rediscovering a group of friends, learning that there are still babies coming, babies turning 1, moving to africa, turning 29, death of my grandmother, spending christmas in africa, more summer, and even more summer. 

but it’s been hard.

i know there are some of you who have been living this “dream” with me, from far away you’ve been cheering me on and hoping for the best, only hearing the smiles and laughters and giggles. maybe because it’s easier to let you only hear that. it’s been almost 3 months of this new life, of course plenty of promises were made and so many dreams were told out loud, but this last month has not been easy. i have become someone i do not enjoy seeing very much. i am still me… don’t get frightened, but i have discovered that i have rules for living well that here just seem to not have a place for. i hoped for a relaxed, peaceful and warm place to live. we had the house which already felt like home, we had the jobs which thankfully make me wake up everyday happy (sleepy but happy), we had the car which goes, the night guard, the cleaning/cook lady… and family around us, you could say we were on our way to having everything we needed. and yes, we do. except… except so many other things. 

it’s not a question of expecting too much i believe, i expect only people to be polite, cordial, professional, punctual, honest. don’t give me that crap about how because i’m from europe i think the whole world should be like it, no, it has nothing to do with that. yes of course by being raised to be this way i tend to expect it back. is that really so wrong? our house has in the last month given us some problems, the guy we payed to arrange the flower beds at the front of the house ran away with our money and never showed up. when it rains a lot (which now means every week) it rains in our bedroom just above aldo, the owner of the house says he needs us to advance the money to fix the roof because he’s poor… he tells us this while he’s vacationing in Bilene. the guy who fixes the roof never shows up but always needs more money. i had to call in the Mr.Cockroach to stop the plague of wierd animals coming up every whole possible. the night guard stopped coming to work, sometimes he did, sometimes he’d call aldo at 4a.m. saying he wasn’t coming because it was raining, other times he’d call saying he was out drinking with his friends, sometimes he didn’t say anything at all. we fired him. he begged. now he’s working again here… for practically nothing. i make him wash my car everyday. 

everyday there was something collapsing, going wrong, getting destroyed, happy feelings being substituted by frustration. every time i had something made, (like 3 skirts i had bought the fabric for, even these were made with the ass (as we say) meaning the guy didn’t even care about what i had asked for and just made 3 skirts. horrible. not for me. thankfully there are a lot of people in this country who don’t have money to buy anything so i gave the skirts away.) there seemed to be a way to not make it right, to not do it, or not care, or say it’s done right away and then 3 weeks later … still waiting.

there is something so daunting about this city, and i imagine in this country, everyone can smile as you pass by, everyone can try to sell something to you, they’ll ask you 20times if necessary for money but as soon as you depend on them for a service, as soon as you ask something in return forget it. if you call a service such as the EDM electricity company they’re rude, if you call TV CABO they’re rude, if you try to go to the AGUAS DE MOÇAMBIQUE to pay your water bill, they’re rude. if you driving they’re rude. if you say no when they try to sell you something in your face, they’re rude. there is no politeness. there is no respect for the person next to you. and what makes me even more surprised is that the population who could have something to say about, do about it and educate… seems to have simply accepted it, ignores it and pretends it has nothing to do with them. as if they live here only for the warm weather. as if the population of this country doesn’t include them. 

“that’s the way it is”

i spent 2 months hearing this as if it were a disease. i had just arrived and i felt completely impotent in changing this, i felt betrayed once i realized i’d have to live with it. what happened to that relaxed life i was dreaming of? i couldn’t see it… i realized we were loosing money by all these things that didn’t go well which i had to mend over and over again. i never compared it with europe, with portugal. being polite doesn’t make you an european… it makes you human. it makes you a citizen of this world. and why didn’t i feel this here?! 

when my grandmother died i felt myself explode. 

i accepted the fact that this battle is my own. aldo doesn’t understand it very well, i know he feels for me in a way but i’m sure it’s hard for him to see me struggle with something that to him “will just blow over”, i never thought of giving up because that’s something, on the contrary of what people thought all my life, i don’t do, i simply don’t give up, and it’s not a battle really. i don’t give up because i believe in destiny. i put myself in this position because somewhere there is a reason for me to be here. …and i say this knowing how much i gave up to be here.

and then the new year came. i don’t like celebrating new year. i actually don’t understand it very well but i respect it. this year began with a bbq, out in the patio with a warm chill out, a cloudy night and a sort of a fight between the lovebirds here… it was the first time we were at the same time, same place on 00:00 on this strange day 31rst of december. i guess that already means that things will be different than always. or at least than this last month. i agree, it depends on me to be able to not change things around here, but to be able to overcome them. aldo’s right when he says that what is missing in our lives and what makes it so difficult to overcome a lot of it, is that little sad aspect of not having friends. …yet…

the ones we have of course are very special, but sometimes it still feels very lonely around here… 

2009 if you will could the year we make the usual promises but keep them, the year i hold in my critique, the year i stop worrying, it could eventually be MY year. in so many ways it could be MY year… and if it’s MY year it will definitely be OUR year, aldo’s and mine. you never know. i want this to be an awesome experience, but for that i need to feel that it is not Maputo against me, it’s Maputo with me. it’s been hard. adjusting is so f*****g hard! i’ll willingly change that, but that Roof Man has to come fix the stupid roof soon… or else. and also make the water tank bigger, and make the water shortages happen less often, and make people drive better, and be polite, and make waiters in cafes smile more but make less mistakes, and cockroaches and all crawling animals to disappear of the face of the earth, and etc, etc, etc. 


i’m sorry i dumped this on you just like that. you can go on with your life and forget about it. i just really need to explain why so silent, why so nervous and why so not me lately.

i hope this is YOUR year too. welcome to my 2009!



  La Mamma Fá wrote @

Bem,isso parece tortura!
Se tudo funciona mal ou se nada funciona aequer,o kék tão aí a fazer?Talvez seja melhor largar essa casa!Talvez seja melhor deixar de ter “criados” ou guarda-nocturno…A m/amiga q tá a viver em Manica(esteve em Portugal a viver uma temporada depois do 25ABRIL e resolveu voltar p/a”terra”dela,aí)adoptou uma nova forma de viver em Moçambique:exactamente pq os serviços são tds mal feitos,resolveu cuidar de tudo!!!Toma conta dos s/negócios, mas,em casa,abdicou da “criadagem” e,como é muito limpinha,metódica e organizada,tem tudo num”brinco” e à s/maneira!
Acabou c/as «dores-de-cabeça» q era ter de suportar a incompetência,a indolência(esse tipo “rude” de lidar)e as asneiras de quem quer “emprego” sem saber fazer nada de geito,nem tem a humildade bastante p/aprender a fazer melhor!!!
TALVEZ TENHAS DE OPTAR POR UMA SOLUÇÃO SEMELHANTE,NÃO?Ou seja:viver à europeia em África!Senão for possível tal desafio,venham embora,tens cá muito p/fazer:olha tá na altura de começar a desenhar o 7ºProjtº de S.Gião-as 3 lojas c/toda a área de serviço p/cima !!! Isto sim tem um interesse “fora de série”!!!

  LAPD wrote @

Gostava de ver uma foto do João Pedro. Ainda não o vi nas fotos da Filipa/Ana Margarida. Tens alguma ?

  miss portugal wrote @

pai, tou á espera das fotos do Sola e da Nono porque eu também não fiquei com nenhuma com todos! assim que tiver envio. beijos

  miss portugal wrote @

tortura não é, mas um grande desafio á minha capacidade de sorrir quando quero bater em alguém sim. parece se calhar pior do que é pois suportei muito até ocnseguri escrever qualquer coisa que, a meu ver, não ofende ninguém em particular mas que ocnsegue transmitir as mil e uma fustrações que uma pessoa vive diariamente aqui neste meio. claro que provavelemente existem pessoas que nem vêm metade disto, pois com tanta mordomia e nos “guettos” em que vivem, acredito que nem lhes toque pessoalmente… mas a nós, que decidimos desde o inicio fazer parte desta sociedade, viver sem grandes luxos apenas aqueles minimos que os nossos bolsos permitem, observar o que nos circunda, conhecer quem vive ao nosso lado… toca muito e por vezes tenho pensado que não vale a pena tanta fustração. eu estava muito bem onde estava! mas eu sei que eu tinha que vir para aqui, fui eu que decidi para mim mesma esta nova experiência, esta nova vida… quem sabe eu não me torne uma pessoa melhor, quem sabe este sitio me possa ainda supreender… e só pela positiva.

  rosinha wrote @

Querida Andrea tendo estado em maputo percebo tudo o que escreves. Maputo é tudo isso que descreves: as pessoas a pedir, os vendedores aimpingir, tudo se estraga, tudo parece ser mal compreendido e há muitas pessoas gratuitamente antipaticas. Mas para além disso tem muito mais e mesmo com isso aprendemos muito… Tivemos como tu muitas flustrações, nem sempre as mesmas ja que connosco nunca choveu e baratas foram raras, mas rebentaram os canos, vieram janelas sem vidro, a água faltou muitas vezes, a electricidade outras… é uma flustração total e daquelas em que apetece gritar “porquê?” até ficar rouca… mas aprende-se. Aprende-se a dar valor ao que é realmente importante, a relativizar os problemas, a ser mais pacientes (eu nao era!!) e se conseguirmos isso penso que podemos ser feliz com menos. Com o menos que há aí e temos demais na europa. Se fores bem ver a origem do problema percebes que a culpa pode nem ser deles moçambicanos…. um pais em desenvolvimento tem fascinios que só encontras aí mas tem sem duvida lacunas enormes que diminuem muito aqui.

Com isto não concluo nada, só que devemos aprender com o que o mundo nos oferece e tenho a certeza que virás daí uma pessoa muito mais completa.

Deixo-te com a famosa frase “se achas que uma pessoa não é suficientemente poderosa para fazer a diferença então experimenta dormir fechada com um mosquito”.

beijinhos e coragem!

  Greet wrote @

Soms is iets hard om het goed te onthouden… om altijd te weten hoe belangrijk iets is.
Mis je, het is echt weer om applecrumble te eten!


  filipa wrote @

ainda há bem pouco tempo estive aí e pude ver de perto tudo o que falas. eu propria senti em ti esse stress, coisa que felizmente tivemos tempo para falar juntas. sabes que eu seria incapaz de me aventurar numa experiência dessas, que nisso somos tão diferentes mas não quero que, com o tempo, te tornes mais parecida comigo, com a mae, nesse lado nervoso e até um pouco exaltado da família.
onde está a andrea tão parecida com o papi? vamos lá!
tb sei que não és de desistir, como dizes, mas promete me uma coisa: vem te embora no dia em que isso deixar de fazer sentido! não vale a pena fazer “finca pé” só para não teres de desistir. ok?

olá, sou a irmã da andrea. queria agradecer te o comentario que deixaste antes de mim. tu viveste naquela casa, naquela cidade, sabes melhor do que nenhum de nós o que a andrea conta. obrigada pelo exemplo que lhe deste e pela força que lhe dás.
“estamos juntos”! :)

  miss portugal wrote @

por todos os conselhos, sugestões e criticas eu agradeço do coração. eu sei que maior parte disto é porque se preocupam que eu esteja bem… mas eu estou. nunca teria desabafado assim senão estivesse bem, porque eu quando escrevo faço terapia, e para mim não há melhor terapia que escrever. se a minha opiniçao magoa alguém ou assusta não é por mal, simplesmente eu tive que me sentar e meter para fora uma quantidade de sentimentos que andava a engolir há muito.
tive um mês dificil

filipa, eu calminha e super faladora ainda aqui estou, tive pena que me tenhas visto tão nervosa mas enfim. como disse não ando aqui num desafio contra o mundo de “finca.pé” porque não estaria para isso, mas estou com o aldo e isso vale por muito. ok, tb temos stresses e quando eu estou nervosa nada funciona, mas acredito q é nestes momentos q se vê q nos amamos muito pois quando se ultrapssam momentos maus a recompensa das pazes é um SHOW! eeheheh

rosinha, sabes q tenho a tua opinião muito perto de mim, pois foi observando-vos q deixando conquistar pela casa, cidade e muito mais. obrigada pelo apoio e espero em breve escrever um post só sobre coisas maravilhosas!

greet… ik blijf denken appel crumble elke donderdag eten, want het maakt me soms niet so gek! misschien op Rosie’s eerste verjaardag!!!
(probably the hardest sentence in dutch i ever wrote… not so sure i made my point!)

  Sofia wrote @

Bom ano!!
Saídos esses sapos todos que andavas a engolir, continua a olhar para o bright side of life. Tira do sorriso das crianças do orfanato, das paisagens maravilhosas, da boa vontade da irmã Isaura e todas as belas coisas à tua volta a força e a paciência para enfrentar o Sr. do telhado, o senhorio e todos os antipáticos e preguiçosos de Maputo!
Não há lugares perfeitos, nós é que os temos de olhar da melhor perspectiva possível.
Ando há meses a lidar com um buraco e infiltração no telhado e por vezes tb me falta a paciência e só me dá vontade de mudar de casa…mas depois tudo é relativo.

Beijinhos grandes de la Belgique cheia de neve,

PS: Hoje ainda tenho de mandar fotos do tecto ao senhorio e depois fazer a folha ao flamengo do telhado que nunca mais me disse nada!

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