Originally uploaded by Naphiri.

maputo. what can i say? it was phenomenal. no complaints. how can one complain of sitting on a white sand beach surrounded by turquoise bath-temperature water and palm trees on christmas day?!

i arrived a day before everyone else and enjoyed puttering around the city with megan and leo, our fantastic hosts in the mozambique capital. we gathered all that we’d need for the christmas celebrations and i got a chance to see a bit of the city before everyone came. christmas eve saw the rest of the crew arrive. we’d been keeping track of where they were using adam’s random sms’s and a big map of mozambique on the wall. they made incredible time, having woken up around 4:30am to get on the road each day!

we had a christmas eve dinner at around 1am of grilled chicken from the resto on the corner, a latin american beet specialty (leo is originally from costa rica), squash, and other tasty treats.

christmas day adam and i woke early, chatted a bit in our room and exchanged gifts. i got a great plate and bowl from dedza, malawi, and i gave him some books and cds, knowing that entertainment is often hard to find and/or expensive in malawi.

we went to the beach often. a five minute minibus ride takes you right to the beach in maputo. we ate amazingly tasty seafood at beach-side restos and played in the water for most of the days.

baleine was the best beach so far. it was a 2.5 hour ride along some sketchy rural roads and then a quick ferry ride away. it was absolutely spectacular, the most amazing beach i’ve ever been on. adam and i and the rest of the group played in the sun all day (and ended up with the sunburns to suffer through that evening!).

new year’s eve saw us going out with friends of friends to a US$ 80 (each!) evening. it was incredibly pricey but one of the UN workers, Girmay, (one of the friends) “invited” us. in africaspeak this means he paid for the whole night! the seafood buffet was amazing and i ate and drank my weight’s worth in amarula alcohol, fresh grilled calamari, prawns, and fish! we danced off the alcohol and food and retired fairly early (around 2am) when the rains started up.

i was thrilled to have so much time with adam. nothing is more grounding that having someone you love so close after moving so far away. while it didn’t feel at all like a “typical” christmas, i felt like i had family with me.

adam’s roommates and friends were supercool too. there were 7 of us in total in such a small apartment, but we all had a great time and even seemed to work out a good system for bathroom sharing!

i’m now back to work in jo’burg, well-tanned and slightly sick, but happy to be home. i managed to pick up something while in maputo – doctor says its just a stomach flu but i’m watching carefully. i foolishly took ice-cubes with my drinks so i’m a little nervous. (don’t worry mom, i’ll be fine!). it’s not as hot and humid in jo’burg so i’m happily dry and cool for the first time in 2 weeks! it’s also good to be back to the routine of work.

another bonus of being back home is that tonya will be here in 9 days. she arrives on the 13th and i’m more than excited to have her here. while traveling around with adam i realised that, despite my history of being a lone wolf in foreign lands, i really enjoy sharing the experience(s) with someone close. it will be awesome to share south and southern africa with someone so special to me.

i’ll write more later but for now must run to meet up with my organisation staff for medical stuff.

all the best and i hope that everyone’s had an amazing holiday!

much love!!!