1.1 Tofo Beach, Mozambique

Didn’t manage to catch sight of manta rays in our dive, but had some good conversations.

I tried looking around for a postcard, but was unfortunately unable to find one – I thought touristy Tofo would have it. The lady at the dive shop explained that a guy tried selling it before, but it didn’t work out. This was partially because nobody really uses the postal system, which doesn’t really work; seems like you’d try to post something and it wouldn’t be received. No stringent enforcement of laws. This makes people displeased, no consistent structure, no order.

This made it flexible, but also made things difficult with unfixed conditions like these. It reminded me of a classroom, and my need to enforce these ‘laws’ to ensure peace, stability and efficiency – like what my country preaches.

The banana seller who has 12 children, had her first child when she was 18 years old.

A fruit seller along the coast of Tofo Beach // Ferdinado(?), a waiter we befriended, told us about how he picked up the skill when he was a child. Piped water wasn’t readily accessible in Tofo until 5-10 years ago, and back then the locals had to walk 1km to draw water from the wells. Some people can carry 25litres of water on their heads to endure the long walk. Once, his mother made him carry a 10kg bag of rice on his head as he walked home, and his head (‘headsick’) and neck ached painfully afterwards, so he told her ‘never again!’. And no, he wouldn’t carry eggs that way, he said with a chuckle when I asked.



a perfect silky sand canvas




I was also curious about the straw huts. Was it the climate or the abundance of materials that enabled straw instead of wooden slums?

Nonetheless Tofo felt safe. We walked along the streets at night , I slung my camera along my shoulders as I walked. A little more guarded when walking past some locals (men), but I felt generally confident they wouldn’t do anything to me, in a place this touristy. I considered why I felt this way, when I wouldn’t let my camera show in Maputo, which didn’t feel particularly unsafe either.

My first strand of thought was that in a place this accustomed to tourists and their flashy cameras, they’d probably be more or less attuned to this, and may lean more towards conversations such as ‘how are you’, ‘where are you from’, or recommendations for their own food and tour business opportunities. Viewing tourists as potential markets (not that hard) rather than potential to-rob targets.

Also, if they rob any of us, in a town this small, word may spread readily regarding this individual, or tarnish the reputation of Tofo as a tourist-friendly site, which may earn these aggressors a backlash from the community.

The car just drove past a group of 3 children pumping water from a well, and others working in the field.

It brought to mind yesterday’s conversation with Ferdinado (or something).








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