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Sep30

I do

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As mentioned yesterday we were invited to a wedding in Matola today. The invite said 1.30pm so we duly arrived at the alloted time forgetting that this was African time! We were the only people there, the bride and groom and most of the guests turned up at 3.00pm. We had a good time, the reception was held in a garden of a restaurant and the food was lovely with plenty of free beer. After the food there was music and much winding n grinding, there was some hot booty on show - I didn’t know where to look (well I did actually!).

A big thank you to our hosts for a marvellous afternoon and evening.

Posted: Saturday, Sep 30, 2006 at 07:54 PM by jochta

Sep29

Something Going Down

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Maputo seems to be a hive of activity today, we’ve seen police escorts for the President and Prime Minister and the Avenida Marginal (the road to our house) has been cordoned off all day with long diversions. Some sort of do? Conference? Who knows, but driving around in a car with the plate PM and with flags and a police escort is hardly driving incognito! Talk about drawing attention to yourself!

We’ve been invited to a wedding tomorrow afternoon, should be interesting! I’ve got nothing to wear though!

Posted: Friday, Sep 29, 2006 at 07:50 PM by jochta

Sep28

Halfway House

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Halfway then. Seems to have gone really quick but also seems like I’ve been here ages! Everyone seems pretty tired today, quite a quiet day and evening. We lose one of our number tomorrow as it is her last day for this trip, she’s got some holiday before she returns to the UK.

Posted: Thursday, Sep 28, 2006 at 07:07 PM by jochta

Sep27

In the Swing

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I’m really getting into the swing of this trip now and really enjoying myself. Work is going really well, having a lot of fun in the evenings and meeting some nice people. Health is, touch wood, great as well. Just about halfway through and entering the time when I thought the time would start to drag, but exactly the opposite is beginning to happen where I’m thinking about all the things I want to do and how little time there is to do them all in.

Here’s a small video showing Bilene beach…

Bilene Beach (1.5Mb DivX Movie)

Posted: Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006 at 07:31 PM by jochta

Oh Lordy

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What a night! After a routine day at work we had arranged to meet with Lord Waverley and two geologists who visited the DNG earlier at the Costa do Sol (see previous entries for my thoughts on that place!). After sitting there for about 15 minutes the phone rang, “we’re in a meeting, we’ll phone in 20 mins”. An hour later the phone rang again, “we’ll be there in 10 mins”. Twenty minutes later the geologists arrived, but no Lord. He was still in the meeting! By now of course we’d had a few 2Ms, were starving and had exhausted every Lord joke we could possibly come up with. Into this the geologists arrived.

Several more 2Ms were consumed with dinner and then we were invited back to the Polona for cocktails (it’s about midnight by now). A few Singapore Slings later and the bar told us it was shutting so we got kicked out. My colleague is a proper Yorkshire lass and as unladylike as you could imagine, she gave the poor geologists quite a bit of grief over “his Lordships” failure to show. Oh dear! Hey, at least it didn’t cost us a penny and we might see …

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Posted: Wednesday, Sep 27, 2006 at 06:49 AM by jochta

Sep25

Fight

2 comments posted in: Blog: My Life

Today was a public holiday in Mozambique, Fighter’s Day or Armed Forces Day depending on what reference you use. We met up with one of the DNG staff and drove to Barracuene just north of Maputo where there is a ferry across the river to a beach lodge, unfortunately the road was not suitable for our car so we stayed this side of the river and had lunch. We then attempted to drive down a road completely unsuitable for a car but turned back just before we got stuck!

Tonight we met up with a couple from a geological consultancy in the UK who very kindly bought us dinner.

This blog is a bit brief as I’ve had a few beers and the keyboard is tricky to use!

Posted: Monday, Sep 25, 2006 at 09:30 PM by jochta

Sep24

Bilene

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Just returned from a weekend trip to Bilene, a beach resort about 190km drive north from Maputo…

Saturday: We set off around 10am for the drive to Bilene. After negotiating the outskirts of Maputo with throngs of people and chapas we hit the open road. Very smooth, very straight and very quiet. Easy to cruise along at 100kph and only a few small villages between us and our destination. The journey taking us about 2.5 hours we found a reasonable hotel to stay for the night and hit the beach. Went for my first swim in the Indian Ocean, although this is a lagoon it is connected to the open ocean. The sea wasn’t as warm as I was expecting, but it was by no means cold. The only down side of Bilene is that it is a popular weekend spot for South Africans and they like to bring their quad bikes with them and thrash around the village destroying the peace. This was compunded by the fact it is a holiday in South Africa this week so more people than is usual were at the resort.

The highlight of the evening was a powercut during dinner at the beach …

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Posted: Sunday, Sep 24, 2006 at 08:20 PM by jochta

Sep22

Eclipsed

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There was a annular eclipse of the Sun today off the southern coast of Africa (the Moon’s apparent diameter is too small to cause a total eclipse and the Sun appears as a ring in the path of annularity). Most of southern Africa saw a partial eclipse of the Sun and Maputo saw around 30% of the Sun covered. I took loads of pictures of the Sun projected using binoculars. Once I have processed them I will up them here.

For the second time we had no internet connection at work all day, which is very frustrating when you need to upload and download scripts. I did reboot the modem for them (the internet is provided by the local cable TV company and rebooting involves pulling the plug out and plugging it back in again!). But it appears the whole of Maputo was out.

We went for cocktails after dinner at the Polana hotel this evening, so posh it’s quite incredible. There was us heathens knocking back Singapore Slings and Pink Nellies!!

Might be going to Bilene for the weekend so if there is no update tomorrow it’s because I’m too busy swimming in the crystal clear sea or drinking …

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Posted: Friday, Sep 22, 2006 at 08:45 PM by jochta

Sep21

Oops

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Had a mildly embarrassing moment at work today. The director of DNG came to see how we were getting on, I’d met him in his office earlier in the week. Problem was he came very casually dressed and I didn’t recognise him, I just thought he was some random bloke! He started asking me about my work etc., and all the time I was thinking ‘who is this guy?’. Anyway he was obviously interested so I showed him everything and he left very impressed with what I had done and what I propose to do. It was a little later when someone said the director had come to visit that I twigged! No harm done!

My colleague decided to cut short her trip to Tete and came back today, so I drove and picked her up from the airport, had a mildly amusing episode at one road junction where the traffic lights were out. A traffic policeman was stood on a box directing traffic, his actions were very confusing and very exaggerated, he almost looked like a ballerina perched up there in his white gloves. I half expected him to do a pirouette!

Time for a mild rant. The ‘in’ …

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Posted: Thursday, Sep 21, 2006 at 07:49 PM by jochta

Sep20

Slowly Steadily

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Kind of a frustrating day at work today. The web server is all set up ready and secure. The website is all templated and I’ve done all the necessary preparations for testing it live. I just need to adjust the settings on the network, half of which we control and I can do, the other half is controlled by DNG and the network guy is on holiday this week. He said he would come in and see me, but he didn’t show.

Friday is payday and Monday is a public holiday so I can’t see much being done before Tuesday. It’s a 5 minute job and I could do it myself. Ah well, this is the African way sometimes.

I’m starting to drive like a local, had a couple of mad manoeuvres today, but we had a good laugh about it (nothing dangerous you understand). We also know where the police hang out for their road blocks so we tend to avoid them now.

Oh and I pigged out today, two tosta mistas for lunch (cheese and ham toasties), the waiter thought I was mad!

Tomorrow morning is Lariam time. I’m going to take one more and see what happens, …

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Posted: Wednesday, Sep 20, 2006 at 08:15 PM by jochta

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