After more than two years, I am finally visiting my home country Mozambique and our projects again. I am describing in the first part of my travelogue how it feels to come home again after such a long time.
From Stuttgart to Mozambique
Finally, the time had come: My project trip to Mozambique started! From Stuttgart main station, I took the ICE train to Frankfurt am Main for a little more than an hour. From there, my flight continued to Mozambique via Addis Adeba (Ethiopia).
In advance, I had already informed myself about the current entry requirements for Mozambique, refreshed all the necessary vaccinations, and taken the COVID-19 PCR test. So, I was well prepared.
Checking in went smoothly, but slowly my anticipation grew. I was very excited about the trip, as I hadn’t been to Mozambique for over two years. Moreover, as a native Mozambican, I still have many friends, relatives, and family in Maputo that I would be visiting.
Stopover in Addis Adeba
After an eight-hour flight, I arrived in Addis Adeba in Ethiopia. From there, I had a direct flight to Maputo. Five hours later, we landed punctually at 2 p.m. local time at the international airport in Maputo (Aeroporto International de Maputo Mavalane), Mozambique’s largest airport. After landing, I first had to get used to the temperature difference. While it was still a cool 10°C in Germany, it was already over 30°C in the strong midday sun in Maputo.
The entry went smoothly, only the check of the COVID-19 vaccinations, the PCR test, the valid visa and the entry forms took a little longer than expected. But maybe I was just a bit impatient 😉
The First Surprise
As I hadn’t seen my parents for more than half a year, the reunion was very warm and emotional. To my great surprise, my aunt, who I last met in 2018, was also there and took extra time off to welcome me. This touched me deeply and made me feel completely at home immediately. Despite the many years without meeting in person, we immediately hit it off as if we had only seen each other yesterday.
At the airport, I bought a new SIM card with a Mozambican number for my mobile phone for less than € 5 and registered it in my name. With the credit, I let my friends and colleagues in Germany know that I had arrived safely in Mozambique.
No Place Like Home
I haven’t been to Mozambique for over two years, but I felt at home as soon as I arrived. Although I have spent most of my life in Germany, Mozambique is home to me. I miss the culture, the music, the food, the social interaction, and the Indian Ocean the most when I am not in Mozambique.
Every time I am in the country, I notice a change, and this year was no different. Mozambique is a very young country that offers many opportunities, especially to young people with a start-up mentality. Most young Mozambicans I have contact with tell me that they don’t expect to find a job after their vocational training or studies. For this reason, many start their own business, some even while studying. A good example of this is Armando. He studies graphic design in Maputo and finances his studies himself by doing small part-time jobs as a graphic designer. In this way, new small businesses are created, which in turn create new jobs.
The country is developing very positively, and new things are emerging everywhere. Both in the capital Maputo and the province of the same name, new restaurants, supermarkets, and health clinics have been built in the last two years alone.
Since Mozambicans’ social life is predominantly outdoors, they are especially happy that this is finally possible again after the long and strict COVID-19 prevention measures from 2020 to early 2022. The restaurants are filled, and family celebrations, church services, and trips to the beaches are allowed again. I was also very happy to see my family and friends in Mozambique and to be able to spend as much time as possible with them.
In the second part of my travelogue, I set off for the project visits and get to know the real Mozambique, away from the capital Maputo, during the journey.