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What I know about the rubbish in Nampula is limited to the piles of it lying around on the pavements, spilling sometimes onto the streets. Ok, there is a lot of it but still, this is as far as my awareness went. But I have recently come across the politics of rubbish disposal in this city. I’m not sure if it is true or not and am only quoting someone else.

It first started when I noticed that during the day our empregada, the lovely Virginia, would empty the rubbish bin onto the lawn (or other random spot) and leave it there. When asking about this I was told that it is left there for the guarda who comes at night to take care of. By why? Apparently night is the time to put your rubbish in those oh so effective public rubbish bins, or rather on to the street. I still can’t quite figure out why this is. I have been told it is something to do with when the city collects the rubbish, which apparently they do during the day. I like to think that perhaps it is because dumping your rubbish next to some rusting piece of metal on the pavement is some cause for embarrasment. Then again, maybe not. I will just have to accept it as one of those strange Nampula things unless someone cares to enlighten me…

As mentioned a few days back, Fresh Ltda has now officially moved their office to the premises of Rua dos Continuadores 25. Almost.

I say almost because it takes time to make something official is every sense (and there are a lot of senses here in Moz). There is probably some paperwork still to be written, certified and approved but to all intents and purposes this is where we are based in the city.

Phones have been installed and soon internet, while the storeroom is being stocked for the upcoming trip to the coast (end of month salaries and food plus door frames for the canteen and at
last toilets for the houses!)

While I am hard at work trying to make home look and feel like home Nox and Manuela are working hard to get everything up and running in the office!

I have only been back a week and a half and I have already eaten at Batik three times and tonight will be my fourth. This is partly to do with its proximity to my house and partly because it is the most promising restaurant in Nampula at the moment..

What makes it so good is that the owners have made an effort to create some atmosphere with a comfy outside dining area, proper tablecloths and some batiks on the walls inside. Also on the plus side is the clean restrooms and the very obvious service training the staff have had. This must be the first time here that I haven’t waited at least thirty minutes for my food.

The restaurant is in two parts. One side is bakery coffee shop and the other the restaurant proper. The menu is pretty standard but they do have some good curries and a great vegetable soup. apparently the fish is good too. Drinks are a bit pricey but that comes with the territory here. All in all a good choice in Nampula. Tonight I think I will try the . . .

Batik, Rua dos Continuadores, just up from Shoprite

When two weeks turns into three months you know things are going to be different upon return. This is true of many places but, as I discovered when I arrived here after a three month break, nowhere more so than in Nampula. The city is growing so fast that you can barely take a siesta without waking up to even more cars.

But I never expected things to have moved so fast. This is, after all, still Africa and besides I have spent many a quiet day in this city wishing something would happen. Happen it did, while I was away. In just three months half the people I know here left while triple their number of foreigners seems to have arrived. I keep checking the street signs to see if I am in the same Nampula. And talking of streets, the new traffic lights are up and running, on just about every corner. From one set to twelve overnight! Most people still seem to be treating red lights as yields. As for the traffic itself, the amount of cars has grown while parking space has stayed the same creating even more chaos. I am more than happy to walk thank you.

At the same time there is now a new bank in town, Banca Terra in the Girassol, a new club, known to everyone as Club Mozambique next to the cinema, a new cafe opposite the Galp in town with the brightest decor in town and the fabulous new restaurant just up the road from Shoprite where the old Aurora was called Batik.

And of course I am now in my new house or rather we are now living in the main house and the dependencia is now the Fresh Limitada offices.