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?


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