Monday, September 2, 2013

81. Travel Day

(or-  "The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Travel Day in Tete")

So today, Dan and I are trying to head down to Maputo for the very last conference of our Peace Corps service.  This gathering is the last all-volunteer event for those of us in the Moz 17 training group, and, as we will all be leaving on a staggered schedule in November, it is also a time to say goodbye to most of our fellow volunteers.  

Dan and I have been looking forward to this conference for months.  We've had a rather difficult week (I, in particular, have been feeling poorly), and we'd been counting on this time in Maputo to recover.

Honestly, and though we should have known better, we thought that the trip was going to be easy. We would travel for two hours by chapa to Tete City, we figured, plus two hours by plane to Maputo.  According to our schedule, this would put us in Maputo by 6:45PM.  Seven o'clock at the latest.  A little later than everyone else, but still in time to eat dinner with our friends.



There is no such thing as easy travel in Mozambique.

First, the cobrador (chapa conductor) slammed my finger in the chapa door.  I was cut nearly to the bone and bled profusely all over my pants and sandals before somebody finally handed me a rag to staunch the bleeding.  I spent the rest of the ride with my finger our of the window, streaming blood on the roadside and trying not to faint.  

Then, when we arrived at the airport, we learned that the time of our flight had been changed.  

And that we had missed it by a matter of hours.  

I tried so hard not to cry.  I really did.  But I had had such a horrible week, and now I had a bleeding finger, a raging hormonal storm, awful cramps (for the seventh day in a row!), and a missed flight to boot.  I was sorely disappointed.

And so I started to cry.

Eventually, we managed to rearrange flights with LAM (Lineas Aeries de Mozambique) and check-in to the next flight to Maputo.  But we were hours and hours early, and stuck at the airport without a car.  I washed my finger, wrapped it in toilet paper, and then sat down to wait.

As it stands now, we've been waiting for seven hours.  Our flight is scheduled to leave at 8:40PM, which should put us in Maputo before 11PM. 

Here's hoping.  

Arriving at the airport!  Full of joy and hope!
Dan encounters a problem while at the check-in counter.
Trying really hard not to cry
Nursing the still-bleeding cuts on my fingers (and yes, that is door-tar jammed in my wounds)

I look forward to getting to the capital.

I would like to take a shower.  And rumor has it that our friends bought us a pizza.


  1. Oh, Lisa. That's horrible. I'm sorry about your finger AND the cobrador AND the flight. LAM sucks, chapas suck, and cramps suck. Hopefully you've got all the bad luck of your journey out of the way now!

    1. Right? Mozambique likes to mess with me before I take these flights. The first time we flew out of Tete, I got peed on in the chapa! It's always something...

  2. Maputo and friends await you. You will get there. Your finger will be put right. If we were still there, we would come and get you at the airport with cold beers in a cooler and take you in air conditioned ease to get your sorted and on your way to celebrating with your batchmates. I really wish I could do that for you.

    1. That's so wonderfully sweet. Thank you for the imaginary offer! Haha. Luckily, we got in last night without any further problems. We are sooo very happy to be in Maputo!

  3. Oh man! That IS terrible. Hopefully COS conference helps cheer you up. That's nuts that you take a plane into the conference.