Spring break diary

October 8, 2007

By hammersmith

According to reports emerging from our Cape Town bureau, NSEP scholar Nicole Rennell (’05) is putting her time in South Africa to excellent use, improving her command of Xhosa while she works in a public-health clinic. She isn’t just surfing the fast right break at Tofinho.

But enough preemptive defenses. Let’s go to a diary excerpt:

At the near half-way point for the semester, things are going well in South Africa. I just got back from my “spring break” in Mozambique. What I know/learned about Moz: it is the 6th poorest country in the world (per cap GDP), it is recovering from war in our lifetime (over 100,000 civilian casualties in two years), it has some of the most gorgeous beaches, cholera is endemic, the flag has an AK-47 on it, etc. It was a great trip and gave me a much different picture than SA. I travelled for three days to get there and three days to get back because the only way to go is basically by bus. I took a 10.5 hour bus ride from Maputo (the capital) to Tofo with thirty people in a van that would fit 15 in the US, along with a child who vomited on me as I helped his mother care for him. Our driver bought a dead (but still bleeding ) large rodent from a man on the side of the road and it was passed through the van up to the driver, leaving blood on the window. tasty I am sure. On the way back, I rode with a duck, lots of awkward looking tubers, and a child who wanted to be breastfed every thirty minutes. It was crazy but a great way to see life. The trip was truly awesome, and the beach time was the best I have ever experienced.