Friday, October 20, 2006

weekly round-up

Plenty to report today.

First and foremost, we connected to the electricity mains! Yipee! We have recovered our fridge, a little rusty after all this time, but still working fine, and we are enjoying the novelty of being able to switch on the TV without kick-starting our little generator first. We’re not yet ready to take down the solar panels though; since we were connected a week ago there have been two whole days without power. We are still in Pemba, after all.

Went to Ibo Island on Monday to check up on my other current project. Three private houses are being set up to receive tourists in a homestay programme. We (Quirimbas National Park) are providing the funds to improve one bedroom and the bathroom, and we hope that there will soon be enough money coming in for the owners to make other improvements as they see fit. The idea is to offer a low-budget authentic taste of Mozambican life for the more adventurous tourist. Perhaps I should say most adventurous, as Ibo Island has neither electricity nor running water, and these houses are certainly modest. But authentic it is. If you want high luxury, better go up the road to the new Ibo Island Lodge, which – if you forgive the plug, it belongs to some friends of mine – is going to be the most stunning little boutique hotel when it opens its 4 metre-high, solid mahogany doors in December. And while we’re plugging, for those of you who are beginning to be intrigued by the whole idea of northern Mozambique, check out Kaskazini’s website, (I confess: I am a founding partner), which has the best and most complete information about the area, along with some pretty piccies.

Wednesday and Thursday were bank holidays, the former Pemba Day, the latter to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death in suspicious circumstances of Mozambique’s first post-independence president, Samora Machel. Next week (Tuesday or Wednesday, depends on which mosque you belong to) is Eid, the end of Ramadan, and, in this very relaxed Muslim society, the biggest piss-up of the year. We usually get sent a few Eid cookies by a neighbour, which is a nice gesture. So all in all, not a very productive week for most people, but I enjoyed the trip to Ibo (it’s a 15 minute flight of rare beauty to get there from here) and I was encouraged to see things moving along, if a little slowly. And I shall be in the office for Eid, as I don’t qualify for Muslim holidays, more’s the pity. However, it’s the week-end, so it’ll be a bit of beach and a bit of nothing much for the next two days anyway.


At 3:46 pm, Blogger swisslil said...

I am that adventurous tourist and would love to least in my mind. in reality i had to get a train for .5 an hour yesterday with E and G and it broke me.

Good news about the 'leccy

At 4:55 pm, Blogger Marie said...

December eh? Any chance that I will be an early guest at the Ibo Island Lodge?

At 10:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently found your blog as I was searching for travel info on Northern Mozambique. Very interesting stuff...keep it coming!

I've contacted Kaskazini about my travel plans for next May.


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