I remember when I was in Mozambique years ago and we had to take the bus to get into the city. When the bus arrived, we got on as one does but so did the guy behind us but not before he loaded his goat onto the roof. And well, when there is no more space in the bus the roof is also a perfectly acceptable place to sit.
The adults turned to their and seeing their crestfallen faces asked them one of the most important decisions they’ll ever make.
“Do you guys still wanna go home?” A unanimous YES was heard and they started making plans to get to the nearest town on the South African side of the border. After hitching a ride they arrived in Komatiepoort. Rody went to the police station to explain our situation and the constable assured us we will not be stranded and that he would arrange a place for them all to stay. Next was a trip to the bank and then the first miracle of the day happened, the balance of Rody’s money was cleared and we would have enough and go home and then some.
They went back to the constable and thanked him profusely for his help but they told him they were heading home. After lunch they bought train tickets to Jo’burg and so the real journey home began. This is where Shay’s love for train rides was rekindled. Everyone was shown to their sleeper compartment and they all decided to rest after the traumatic day that they had. however sometime during the night they realised it was getting colder and had to change from the staple summer Mozambique clothes into something warmer.
Arriving in Jo’burg on Easter was a bit of a disaster we couldn’t get a bus or train down to Cape Town immediately so they had to book themselves into a hotel for the night. First thing everyone did when getting to their rooms was a hot shower which was really missed as you just didn’t take hot showers in Mozambique. The following day we decided to explore as this was everyone’s first time in JHB and our bus was only due to leave the evening. Jo’burg is bustling city something Cape Townians are not used to. At one of the malls there was a Mondoza performance they happened to catch. After a full day of expolring they headed back to catch their bus. Boarding at 6pm and finally this time for real on their way home.
Catching bits and pieces of sleep the next morning eventually came and the excitement of seeing Table Mountain again after so long was a relief and a joy.
They made it back home.
Please note no humans or lizards were hurt during this time there was just one incident where the doctor had to make a house call and miraculously nobody contracted malaria.
Everybody settled back into their old lives but this is one adventure that none of them will forget and maybe one day they will return.
Names have been changed to protect the people in this story.
In 2002 Shay’s mom Rody decided that Cape Town had nothing left to offer her and decided to move to Mozambique and embark on a business venture with her sisters (Sunshine and Sheba). Shay being at a crossroads in her life decided to join her mom for a few months to soak up the sun and enjoy the white Mozambican beaches with its clear blue ocean.
As they were a big group of people (3 single moms with their kids) they decided to drive up from Cape Town to Mozambique, come on who doesn’t love a road trip. Only downside was that the drive was too long and when they finally arrived it was dark and they were all tired and hungry. They were so tired that after eating they fell asleep.
The following morning Rody started finalising the business plans with her 2 sisters and her long time friend Micheal. They wanted to start their own transport company and purchased their first bus. Then they had to enroll the younger kids in school – an international school for foreigners. They also had to secure accommodation for themselves and eventually found a place big enough for all of them and paid a few months rent in advance. Slowly but surely their days had a routine and every night the adults would group together to discuss how much money was made. Life pretty much just carried on, they went to the shops, sometimes into the city to do shopping there was a Shoprite after all even though the YOU magazines were weeks old. Sometimes they’d go to the beach and do other normal things that families do.
Mozambique is hot. They have insects and spiders the size of lizards and lizards the size of dinosaurs. And it’s perfectly natural for these creatures to walk around wherever they please as you go about your daily business. A little bit of rain has locals running for shelter and covering up with jerseys and coats. And everyday here could be beach day, white sand and clear blue skies was the weather prediction almost every single day.
Unfortunately things started going wrong, they weren’t making enough money and couldn’t purchase a second bus. The first bus started having mechanical problems and kept breaking down and pretty soon they started running out of money. Their visas had expired as they couldn’t get to the border in time to extend it. After 3 months a decision had to be made stick it out or head back home, eventually they decided to head back home. They had just enough to get back home, they bought their bus tickets and were ready to head back to Sunny Cape Town also known as home.
Everyone was excited to head back home and once the bus rode out of Maputo they were all looking forward to the journey home. Then another disaster hit because their visas had expired once we got to the border they had to pay a fine, thing is they had no money. They were then told to disembark the bus and had to watch as the bus, the one that would have taken them home, ride away a became smaller and smaller in the distance. So there they were stuck on the Mozambican border with no money and no way home………To be continued.