donderdag 5 september 2013

Start of the second week..

by Elias Zunguza and Leonel Jaime (University Eduardo Mondlane, Rural Engineering)
After a good weekend we resumed another week of work. Our main goal for this week is to finish the small report and poster. Next to that we have to practice our presentation on Tuesday and prepare for the final day. I look forward to the exciting day on Friday where we will present our project to the big audience.
Groups work hard to meet the schedule. Before lunch the baby Eelco surprised us with delicious Dutch cookies ['stroopwafels'] that distribution as gifts for all of your birthday and something that is not common here in Mozambique "the birthday gift to give to others."

Lunch time was more fun for those who were tasting delicious cheap food that is sold in the cars on any street. The food car was parked in front of DNA with a long queue of people who burned with the radiating sun only to have pleasure to sample the food going. People standing in line to highlight Moniek, Iljia, Sander, Jurgen confessed that never had an experience identical where food is sold anywhere in the car without worrying about the municipal police.

After a long day of work we went to The Base where we waited a long time for dinner made ​​by the third group that was totally amazing. Pankecas had as main course and fruit salad which usually dessert here in Mozambique.
After dessert "dinner" the baby Eelco was surprised with a cheerful weariness congratulating him for another year of life, and this in turn retribution gesture with a smile and tears of emotion that almost flooded the kitchen. Received hugs and hippo as a gift wrapped in a huge roll of toilet paper as a way to show him the true value of the reorganization and its future physical condition as a big man like the hippo.

A day to rest

Marcel Mol (Technical University of Delft)
This day did not start by waking up, but it started in the Coconut club! We had a free day on Sunday, so it was a perfect opportunity for a night out with the whole group. The club looked rather fancy and was nicely decorated. It was quite a big place with two venues for music. At midnight we had just enjoyed live music from a famous Mozambican band in the first venue. The band had already finished their performance, but we had not finished our party in the Coconut club yet. We went to the second venue where a DJ enjoyed us for the rest of the evening… Everybody had a great time!
Most of us used the rest of the Sunday to rest. I went with Johan to Club Naval for a swim. Relaxing with a coke and some olives, we found our afternoon ideally spent. Some of our Mozambican friends were not with us that day and used their time among others to visit their family. The other Dutch guys went for a stroll through Maputo City. They visited the botanic garden, a fortress and the train station and enjoyed a nice sunset. See the pictures below!!

maandag 2 september 2013

By Cecilia Francisco (University Eduardo Mondlane), Eelco van der Pal (Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland / National Water Traineeship H2O job)
31 August
It was a full working day. It was visible in the faces of everyone that we only had a few hours of sleep, so we were drinking coffee to remain focused. However, it was a very productive day, especially for team irrigation maybe because they were working in the kitchen.

In the lunch’s time, we went to visit a fair of gastronomy and handicraft near to the working place (SNV – Dutch organization for Development). There, finally some members of the teams coming from the Netherlands eat Mozambican food, (Matapa with crab) and they liked it. Proving that, Mozambican food is the best ever.

After a full afternoon of working, we left to go to the hostel where we had a wonderful Mozambican dinner. Later that evening we left the hostel to a place called coconut, where we planned to attend a concert which started around midnight. It turned out to be a great night…


Study tour in Mozambique

By Ralph Wesseling (National Water Trainee, H2O-job)
On Friday the 30th we had a day filled with fieldtrips ahead of us. It turned out to become a very interesting day.
Everyone got up early in the morning and after breakfast we drove off to the rural areas outside of Maputo. Since the visiting sites were far out of Maputo, nobody knew exactly how to get there. At a parking lot/market near the highway we stopped to get some directions and a couple of huge carrots for lunch. It turned out that we were really close to our first visiting site!

First on our schedule was a visit to the ‘Elephant pepper’ or ‘piri piri’ farm to learn more about the irrigation systems that are being used. The farm is working on multiple projects for drop irrigation techniques. A well was drilled for pumping up ground water on the site. Growing crops with most of these irrigation systems works pretty well. The only problem is selling the crops because there is no market/demand for it yet. Leaving enough peppers for Ilja and Iris to test. Too bad for them, there was nothing there to put out the fire…

After leaving the farm we had to wait for our Mozambican guide that would show us the way to the next irrigation site. Unfortunately our guide was in a meeting which was delayed for about 2 hours. This left us at the side of the road playing music, soccer with schoolchildren and eating local sweets and more huge carrots.
Just as we were about to head back home, our guide showed up. Towards our next destination we went off road, over dirt roads with some interesting obstacles. While we were trying to avoid big sandy holes without getting stuck in ditches, Teun noticed that donkey riders can be even more wicked in traffic than Mozambicans in cars. The donkey riders undisturbedly destroyed one of Teun’s side mirrors. We travelled on to a remote area where there was nothing more than a couple of huts and a huge amount of open space. There we found a small irrigation field. In the irrigation field we saw an example of a water well that was being used for watering crops by filling buckets.

During the last part of our fieldtrip, our smelling senses would be challenged at the waste water dump of Maputo. For most of us it was still unknown how the waste water in Maputo was treated. That became clear pretty soon after we opened the doors of our car. We were told that the waste water of one part of the city was dumped in the sea and the other part of the city was connected to this waste water system. The treatment system we visited consisted of four holes in the open air that were connected to each other through pipes. Waste water from one part of Maputo is being dumped in these holes through the sanitation pipes and sanitation trucks that dump their loads. The waste is left there for water hyacinths to grow on. You can imagine where the smell came from, since there hasn’t been any maintenance for more than 10 years. At the end of the area we found a farmer who used the same waste water for watering his crops. And so the cycle ´from your behind to your mouth´ was completed.

After a long day of travelling and other activities we decided to see some more of the night life of Mozambique. After a quick diner, our Mozambican friends took us to the boulevard near the bay in Maputo. If you’re living in Maputo and have a reasonable sound system in your car, you might be noticed in between the dozens of other contestants. After the boulevard we visited a small beach and a club called the ‘Elvis Bar’. After that some of us started collapsing, so we decided to go home for our well-earned 3 hours of sleep.

zaterdag 31 augustus 2013

What happened in Wetskills..

Arlindo Inácio Hilário (Mozambican student of Universidade Eduardo Mondlane/ ESUDER-High School of Rural Development)

Wednesday, August 28 - Day 5
After a night with a good fire to punish the flesh that in turn was very happy to be in our stomachs accompanied by many good beers, the sound of the music of Moniek , Elijah singing the bass and our multifunctional Angelo has many gifts besides being the best driver we have, played guitar and sings very well was the guitar and leading the song .

As scheduled, the groups presented their action plans for their cases and answered questions that Lindsey and Johan (our guardians) asked. After the plans were criticised, we had planned for a compelling elevator speech. I was very disappointed that he cancelled the elevator pitch because I was well-prepared but I don't know why it was cancelled.
Lunch was not so excitant but today we found a mobile restaurant in the city of Maputo under a blazing sun and a delicious curry beef, the Dutch did like so much the way the food was prepared it was  Ilja, Jurgen and Moniek, they eat with joy white rice with beef stew (onions , garlic , oil , salt, pepper , beef , tomatoes, potatoes and local spices ) and a good salad lettuce , but still appeared some who preferred to have lunch with bread and cheese and then ran back to the room and work in their cases , so maybe they think they will win.

Find more recepies on:

Until now there some participants missing work on cases and by Lindsey and Johan we heard that participants with many faults cannot  go to Holland if the group wins.
During the work there was a time when groups caused a lot of noise, they were probably trying to prove the legitimacy of their crazy ideas to prepare the finest posters already seen the program WETSKILLS.

Now in the middle of the afternoon decided to leave the dinner on account of the first group , which has the face of good people in preparing a good stomachache , mainly IRIS , LEONEL , ELIAS AND RALF.

Tomorrow I cook the dinner, so be attentive to blog updates, see ya.

End of teambuilding and start of Working days

Rionildo (University Eduardo Mondlane ) & Moniek (Maastricht University)
Monday, August 26 – Day 3
After a great night, where we played Werewolves, danced, sang and laughed in the streets we woke up to a sunny morning in Boane. We all survived and no werewolves had come to kill us. After breakfast time, we all packed our bags and waited for the checkout. However the checkout was a bit more chaotic as we found the camera that had all the videos and pictures of the last night was missing. We even asked the manager of the Pequenos Libombos accommodation if somebody had found it, but nobody had. He could only promise to let us know if it turned up. In the meantime everybody was searching their rooms, bathrooms and the streets and gardens around.  Panic increased as some other participants locked themselves out of their house. Luckily, one of our Dutch participants turned out to have some mean breaking in skills, and the sun started shining again when Ralph found his camera had fallen behind the couch. These are the kinds of teambuilding exercises that you cannot plan.
Finally we had to leave the marvelous place were our bonds were formed and headed in convoy on our second field trip: ETA of Umbeluzi which is the water treatment plant that provides drinking water to the Maputo city, the capital of Mozambique. After some discussion amongst the Mozambican participants and Lindsay where exactly this plant was located, we finally found the sign that pointed us in the right direction. Once we got there we were received by Robin van Loo, the project supervisor of Vitens-Evides International who would be our guide during the visit. It started with the presentation about the involved companies in the Mozambican water sector and a basic explanation of how the plant works. Even though the plant is being improved upon regularly and new technologies have been implemented, the system still loses about 40% of the water and only half of the city’s population is served. Nonetheless, it is the biggest water treatment in the country reaching millions of consumers.
After a tour of the site we headed to Matola city to have a wonderful lunch at an Italian restaurant called Mimmos. “Madonna mia” that was a good lunch.
Tuesday, August 27 – Day 4
After one long day that was yesterday, with the field trips and the trip back to Maputo city, we all had a very long rest last night.
As soon as the sun raised in Maputo we all headed to SNV, where the day program would take place. We were all excited to start working together. The day started with a brief review on the program manual by Johan, including the cases, the activities for the two weeks, and some aspects concerning logistics. Then Lindsay talked about the launch of the Mozambican Water Platform (PLAMA) that will culminate with the final presentation of the Wetskills project. The project will be the first of hopefully many international and multi-disciplinal cooperations.
After the first presentations we were asked to choose one or two pictures among dozens of beautiful and breathtaking ones. The picture had to be representative for the person who picked it and also represent what that person wanted to bring and to receive in the Wetskils program. Among the chosen ones were pictures of engines, zebra, sunsets, elephants and even one of a Buda statue. One thing that we learn for shore was that “images say more than words” after all.
During the coffee break the Mozambican student were introduced to the typical Dutch ‘Stroopwafels’, the sweet treats brought by Iris. The next task was to learn more about posters and elevator pitches. It was a real fun and interesting to evaluate the posters of the previous Wetskills programs and rank them, because it made us realize how many things you should think about to make a convincing poster and how different tastes can be.
When it was around 1:00 pm we had our lunch served in the facilities of SNV, were we could eat, chat and then, listen to some guitar played by Ango and Moniek, while Rionildo was making a video of it, how always happens when something cool is in the air.
Then, the afternoon session started and the groups had to be slightly changed because of the absence of some Mozambicans participants which for study reasons could not be present in the program. The groups started to have their working sessions and first tasks, debates and discussions on their cases, until around 5:00 pm when we left the SNV, yet full of energy for the upcoming one and a half week of Wetskills.
Rionildo & Moniek.
NB. Afzetlint, afzetlint, ‘t is leuk om af te zetten maar ‘t is beter als je sprint.

donderdag 29 augustus 2013

The start of the African Adventure

by Jurgen Klein (University of Twente)

Saturday morning, OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg. It is 10 o’clock and eight of the participants of Wetskills Mozambique meet each other at the airport. Large suitcases are loaded into three rental cars and we are ready to go. Next stop: the border of South Africa and Mozambique at Komatipoort. We drive through magnificent sceneries, where we discover that in Africa a two-lane highway can easily be used as a 4-lane road and that the highway is also used by pedestrians, cyclists, practically every vehicle that is able to move, and incidentally by hippo’s according to the warning signs. After meeting just before the border, we show our passports, visa and travel further towards Maputo. South Africa was an eye-opener to most of us, but Mozambique makes the shock complete.
Meanwhile at Maputo Airport, Marcel is also ready for his adventure and waiting for his pick-up. After a little search ‘The Driver’ and Marcel find each other and an adventurous drive into Maputo is about to start. It seems that the name of the destination is not only a street in the centre of Maputo, but also the name of one of the suburbs. A two-hour drive through Maputo is the result, but in the end Marcel finds the meeting location.

Saturday evening, 7 o’clock, Shoprite Maputo. After an 8 hour drive through southern Africa, all Dutch Wetskills participants arrive in Maputo and an enthusiastic first real-life meeting with the Mozambican participants takes place. At that very same moment a Mozambican popstar walks by, so the Mozambicans take pictures with guy and Moniek decides to introduce herself to him and asks which study case he will be working on in the coming two weeks. Clearly not understanding the question, the star decides not to react and walks further.
It’s time to get in the cars and travel to Boane, where the teambuilding weekend will take place. The 10 Dutch persons divide themselves over three rental cars, where the 10 Mozambican students hopped in the small van of ‘The Driver’. When we arrive in Boane, dinner is ready and the bar is found quickly. The whole evening is spent drinking beers and meeting our newest friends.

Sunday morning, 10 o’clock, Boane. Time for some more teambuilding, besides of drinking beers at the bar. Breakfast is ready and some seem to have a small hangover, but in the end everyone is ready to for the fieldtrip to the dam nearby. Unfortunately, our guides are not there and we have to do a tour on ourselves. Luckily some of the Mozambican student know things about the dam and that way we still get a nice excursion around the dam.
After lunch it’s time to play soccer. The first international match of the weekend is scheduled at 3 o’clock: Moçambique – Hollanda. Hollanda wins the match with 10 against 4, thanks to the Dutch secret weapon Lindsey, scoring a hattrick. The rest of the afternoon is spent playing cards in the bar. In the evening the Dutch game `Weerwolven van Wakkerdam´ is played, now called ‘Werewolves in Boane’. During the game another surprise came along: ‘The Driver’ appeared to be an opera singer! Later that night, the entire group goes outside for a party on the streets. Music from the radio in the car and bottles of beer are the ingredients for a great party! Again, ‘The Driver’ surprises the group. With his dance moves and instructions for the group, he knows how to get the party going.

Greetings from Mozambique! What will happen next?