Sunday, May 23, 2010

Observations

Here are some bits and pieces I picked up on my trip to Mozambique; observations I made while there.

I noticed that very few people in Mozambique smoke cigarettes. In Spain, it seems the smoking rate is much higher than usual--I don't know if it is because they still allow smoking in many public places, but it appears to be prevelant everywhere you go. Nathan said that if they do smoke in Mozambique, they tend to buy cigarettes individually, one at a time, because they can't afford to buy a pack at a time. I suppose smoking is only for the rich in Mozambique.

Nothing gets thrown away, everything is reused, which is the most efficient form of recycling. Emily washed out jars, ice cream tubs, yogurt containers, plastic zip lock bags--and used them over and over again. Plastic containers are very expensive in Mozambique, and her friends often asked her if they could have the plastic ice cream containers (rectangular plastic tubs) which they called "lunch boxes." We could all do well to take a few lessons from their thrift.

I didn't see many overweight people in Mozambique--they definitely don't have a problem like we do in the states. People eat to survive, and have to walk a lot. Many living in the villages have to carry water from a communal well, which I am sure is better than going to the gym and lifting weights. I was amazed at how the women would carry loads on their heads, not using their hands to balance anything, and often had a baby strapped on the back as well.

The women were much more modest in Mozambique and South Africa. I didn't see any ladies wearing mini-skirts or short shorts. Many women wear the traditional capulana, which is a piece of material wrapped their waist and worn like a long skirt, and many wear skirts as opposed to pants or blue jeans. Perhaps it is cooler to wear a skirt. I was really surprised to find many long skirts being sold in the stores in Mozambique and South Africa. Here in Spain it is nearly impossible to find a long skirt.

The people of Mozambique were very polite and greeted you on the street. Here in Spain the people rarely greet you or acknowledge you. It was very easy to talk to the people while on visitation with Nathan. Here in the Canary Islands it takes a long time to get to know people and to get them to be friendly with you.

I am thankful that I was able to experience Mozambique and South Africa. I love learning about various cultures and hope that I will be able to return someday, and also that my husband will be able to visit as well.

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