Archive for bilene

october ohnine moments



chokwe #005

it has become by now tradition almost in our weekends outside of Maputo, things happen! if we stay here in the city sometimes we have very boring moments but it has definitely been the opposite when we leave town.

this time it was in the Orphanage in Chokwe and in Bilene, can’t decide exactly where things started going wrong.

we dove to the Orphanage only to find out that Sister Isaura was in Maputo, because it was too late to go back and pick her up to give her a lift we decided to go anyway, meet the new voluntary worker sent by the IPAD and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to work with the with the children at the Chaquelane Orphanage. our plan was to meet him, have lunch with him in Chokwe and then leave for Bilene Beach where the warm sand was waiting for our already too european skins, spend the night at a friend’s house, enjoy his pool a bit by night and then the next morning enjoy the beach again, have lunch and before leaving for Maputo driving to the orphanage to say hello to Sister Isaura. well… making plans is always a bit tricky around here, so we noticed.

we arrived at the orphanage to find the children happy to seee and listening to loud music dancing their little bodies away. we met Alberto from Portugal, the voluntary, and hit it off straight away, very nice and talkative and really interested in the new orphanage project. we decided to have lunch in the nearest town which is Chokwe, to let us get to know eachother a bit more and without the african rap in the background. everythng went smothly, Alberto seemed perfect for the job, he had the nice attitude, really excited but worried, like me, about all the strange little creatures this country has… while we were coming back to the orphange we saw a creature that was not so small!!! and NO… i didn’t kill it!



because staying the whole day at the orphanage on a saturday might be a bit too much, we invited Alberto to join us in Bilene for dinner and still catch a few sun rays, seeing that he had only seen Chokwe on his 4 days in Mozambique, he of course excepted it but still had to go get clothes, swim stuff, etc… so because aldo and i really really wanted to jump in the water we decided to go to Bilene by ourselves and wait for Alberto there. again… plans are stupid!

after 30minutes of waiting for Alberto in Bilene after calculating more or less when he’s arrive i started wondering… and two seconds later i get a phone call: “miss portugal, one of my tires just exploded… i’m about 5kms away from you guys!”… i can’t seem to translate the panic in his voice… but it was there. as i drove back i imagined what a traumatic experience it must be for him, in pitch black by now, not knwoing where he was and waiting for us for so long becasue he was actually 10kms away… we arrived and found him white as paint, not because he came from europe but because had we taken one minute longer, he’d have run away! aldo started helping him change the wheel, they discovered the spare wheel had exploded long ago, one guy appeared and tried to help, a second guy appeared to help the first guy, i stayed inside the car, the third guy appeared to help the second guy who was doing nothing, i locked my doors, 19:00, a fourth and fifth and sixth guy arrived to just look, a seventh guy talked somewhere in the dark, five children appeared at my window making me scream, 20:00, alberto was panicking, aldo was relaxing, an eighth guy arrived drunk as a… drunkman!, i layed down in the car and saw an amazing sky above all of us, the wheel didn’t come off to be changed, 21:00, i called my father’s friend who was lending us the house to ask what we should do, he said “get out of there!”, i yelled at alberto and aldo to get our butts moving, all the eight guys and five children asked alberto and aldo for money, i kept my doors locked, i killed a small butterfly inside my car, aldo got in the car with alberto, both cars drove 10kms for 2km/h until Bilene town and parked the disabled car. we had dinner, laughed about it. aldo and i collapsed on the bed not having seen the beach that day. Alberto didn’t sleep.



the next morning, we gave the car to a mechanic and the three of us spent two amazing, peaceful and tanning hours on the beach. aaahhhh and it felt so good. the weather was perfect and i needed that colouring.



to make sure Alberto was feeling better aldo drove back to the orphanage with him and i drove by myself again behind them hoping that nothing else would go wrong. it didn’t. we arrived and to our great joy the children were having a Sunday Dancing Party and we joined in, danced, drank and laughed with all of them. 





Alberto was still a bit in shock i’m sure and he really wanted to fly back home and i respect his feelings, but i’m sure all those smiles reassured him that this will be a great year and we are ready to help whenever he needs us. welcome to mozambique!


bilene #001

bilene was the place my parents went to spend romantic weekend as girlfriend and boyfriend back in the seventies and now i know why. aldo and i also saw it as a very romantic place. a lagoon of blue transparent water and the brightest white sand i have ever seen. 

aldo had just cut his hair the night before and was still getting used to his new style… and of burning his head for the first time… i haver never been so in love!



my colleague nadia lent us her cottage at the beach and there is nothing like relaxing knowing that the view across the “street” is this…





i do not lie when i say i couldn’t open my eyes from the bright white of the sand… i was happy but i kept crying from the light




how proud does he look about his new style?



there is no beach without kids, there are no kids without music and dance in their tiny bodies. we couldn’t resist watching them dance and laugh with all their will, and they loved being filmed and photographed by us. we’d have stayed longer but we were running out of battery.


bilene was a short stay, enough to renew our love for eachother, enough to finally fish after so long, enough to be surprised about how many treasure this country hides and enough to feel that this place was a happy place for my parents. the lagoon of bilene holds many secrets, and maybe i was one of them.