Friday, March 22, 2013

Fall Weather

March is a wonderful month in Mozambique  There are several lovely months to choose from (rainy December, chilly July), but March really is my favorite.  I have three distinct reasons for saying this.

1.  Lots of Fruits and Vegetables

I went to the market today and found the following items available:

Tomatoes, Onions, Green Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Cucumbers, Cabbage, Corn, Okra, Pumpkins, Avocados, Bananas, and Tangerines.

After three months of rain, the fields are growing and flowering and producing whole-heartedly. What a wonderful time to be living in Zobue!  It's easy to be happy when you're surrounded by food.  Good food.  Healthy food!

2.  Gentle Rains

December was a thrilling month in Mozambique.  Rain appeared out of nowhere and fell for hours and days on end.  Water tore through Zobue-- gutting paths and pouring in through our ceiling. For the first few weeks, it was incredibly exciting.  Zobue burst into color and into life. Then, by February, it became a little tiring.  Rain would fall and fall and fall, showing no signs of stopping.  Mold grew on "dry" clothes in the closet.  Water leaked in around the windows, below the door, and through the roof.  

Then, we entered March.  Suddenly, as soon as they had come, the rains subsided.  Now, the rains fall at an entirely reasonable rate.  Two or three times a week, we will receive a twenty-minute thunderstorm.  It's enough rain to fill up our buckets and replenish our wells, but not so much that life grinds to a sticky, watery halt.  

3.  A Hint of Wintery Chill

The days are still warm, but the nights are becoming crisp.  Last night was the first night since September that I woke up cold and fumbled to turn off the fan.  It's nice to remember that cold is coming-- that it won't always be hot, humid, and heavy forever.

My favorite mornings are the cold ones-- the hot-tea, cook-fire mornings where the kids run around in old winter clothing and ski-caps with tassels.  It's exciting to be in Mozambique in March, watching the slow but inevitable transition of seasons.

End of the Rainy Season

In honor of this new hint of cool weather (nearly 50 degrees this morning!), I give to you my favorite Mozambican Corn Chowder recipe.  With only eight ingredients, it's pretty manageable for even the most reluctant cooks (Mom, ahem, and Grandma, cough-cough).  While this soup is made from mostly local ingredients, I'm sure that it would be just as good with corn from the can!

  • 2 ears of corn (or, you know, one can)
  • 3 large potatoes, cut into cubes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • A healthy-sized scoop of butter
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Spices

  • Cut onions and saute in butter
  • Stir until onions are golden, then add 2 cups of water
  • Add potatoes and corn
  • Let water boil, stirring occasionally
  • Add bouillon cube and spices
  • Simmer until potatoes are cooked, then add one cup of milk
  • Stir until almost boiling, then remove from heat
  • Serve!
This can be cooked on an hot-plate, charcoal stove, or a fancy electric 4-burner!  Nobody ever said that Peace Corps Volunteers have to go hungry.  

Cubed potatoes and corn
Onions and butter
Pepper and bay leaf
Corn and Potato Soup!
And if your father-in-law happened to send clams in the mail, toss 'em in!
It's a really great addition.  Thanks, Bob!


  1. You get real cold? It seems like so many PCVs end up places where it's just hot all year round. I would be very jealous if I was still in Cambodia, they're heading into the hottest month of the year before the rains come. I love reading your blog and seeing so many differences.

  2. It gets cold enough! In the wintertime (that is, June and July), there are rumors of snow in the mountains just north of where we live. I've never seen it, but I believe it.

    Mozambicans have no tolerance for the cold, and neither do I! At about forty-five degrees fahrenheit, life in the neighborhood crawls to a halt. Everybody moseys around in giant jackets and piles of scarves, gloves, and hats.

    It reaches about 60 degrees in the winter daytime, though, so it's really not that cold. : ) It just feels like it in the early morning hours. I'll take pictures, when the time comes.

  3. Hey Lisa, I love your blog! I just got my PC invite to Mozambique for Sept 2013! I am very excited and over the last few days since I found out I have read your blog from start til now. It is great, you have pretty much covered every topic that has crossed my mind about Peace Corps Mozambique! Thanks for all the info and good luck with the rest of your time!

    1. Woohoo! Congrats on your invitation! I remember how excited I was when I received mine.

      Mozambique is a FANTASTIC PC country. You're really lucky! Feel free to email me (or any of us) if you have any questions. We're a chatty bunch.