Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Waking up to a rooster call at 5:30 in the morning may not seem like a big deal to you ranch folk or those of you who summered on family farms in rural New England, but for someone whose closest experience was growing up with a bright green rooster-shaped alarm clock that crowed '꼬끼오' before squawking in rapid-fire Korean, waking up to the cocorococo of a Portuguese-speaking rooster was an unambiguous reminder that I am at least two layovers away from the nearest [insert almost anything here].

Reminder number two was stumbling out into the courtyard and watching Senhor Cipriano build a wood fire to heat up water for my bath. He asked what we were doing in Ribáuè, and I told him a bit about our interest in social enterprise and the Millennium Maize Mills project.

Angela, Diandra and I spent the morning exploring the village and reached a few conclusions:
  • The village, situated along a single main road at the base of Ribáuè Mountain, is clean and well-maintained.
  • We already like Ribáuè more than the cities (Maputo, Nampula)—less running water but also less pollution and fewer corrupt cops. Plus the landscape is beautiful. 
  • Everything is much cheaper here than in Maputo. Think one bunch of bananas vs. a single banana for the same price.
  • The locals, from Senhor Cipriano to the woman who sold me oranges, generally seem much friendlier.
  • Caveat: We are even more conspicuously out of place here, and the village children remind us by chanting "Macunha! Macunha!" whenever we walk by.*
*I'll write a full post about this term and racial identity soon.

But first, some photos:

Main Street
Ribáuè Mountain
Traditional homes
Colonial-era building
Seat of the FRELIMO Party District Committee
The dream team