Sweet Treats

Jun 30, 2014

Every culture has some things that are good and that are bad, endearing and off putting. I do not believe that any culture is exempt from this acknowledgement. Mozambican culture is the same.

For example, they like to linger for long periods of time. They are never in a hurry for anything at any time. Long after cordiality has passed and what I would consider an uncomfortable silence sets in, they still linger and mill about. This is obviously what is comfortable to them. They think to get straight to the point in a conversation is short and rude. They feel that when the conclusion of the point has been reached, it is nice to continue on with the niceties of conversation. You can begin a conversation with generic topics such as weather and local flora and fauna and discuss for extended periods of time before you ever get to the meat of a visit. As you meander upon the real reason for a visit or conversation, you most certainly do not get through it quickly. It is discussed in great detail, discussing the minutest points. When you do reach a conclusion you come back around to the menial conversation of chickens, goats, weather and silly kids playing, etc. I believe it is their way of appreciating relationships, afternoons, the weather – truthfully, I think it just a way of appreciating the day.

If I were being completely honest, my Western culture finds it a bit frustrating on some days. Especially those days when I am ready to accomplish a task and looking to make some forward progress. Although, I must say, I think that I am beginning to adjust quite nicely, as some days I find it refreshing just to have someone to chat with about nothing and it seems they like that they have found someone in me that just wants to sit about and chat about nothing.


Another sweet idiosyncrasy found in this local culture is gift giving. Yes, in such a ‘poor’ community where they have one change of clothing and live in grass huts, they like to give gifts out of their abundance. They are so delighted to have you visit, they want to give something to you, to show how much they enjoyed your visit. You never leave empty handed. As well, you do not have to bring a gift if you do not have anything to give. They just want to make sure that you feel appreciated and important enough to them, that they give to you from whatever they have to give. Or perhaps, they were thinking about you and so they send you something via one of the wandering kids, just to let you know they are thankful for you.

I have been given a half of a pineapple, large stalks of sugar cane, apple bananas (my absolute favorite), green oranges (because everyone knows they are supposed to be green, they are only named orange), bunches of garlic, Mandioka (Similar to Yucca Root/Cassava), Cashews Raw, Cashews roasted, Coconut, Tapioca (a local dried good – not pudding), Limes and lemons, Plumeots (A small, tart, plum-like fruit), Masala, Beans and Fish, well, you get the picture.

bananas.jpg sugarcane.jpg garlic.jpg oranges.jpg

Beautiful gifts from the ground. Not store bought. So much better than a store bought gift, are these sweet gifts of kindness. Today my heart is warmed, thinking about these treasures. In a foreign land, to be included into their culture and given from out of their abundance.

Never in a hurry, never too busy to see how I am doing, how I am feeling, checking to see if I like the weather. Today, I feel special. Yes, this is one of those days that I am reminded, willing hands and open hearts can make a difference…look how they are impacting me :).

If you would like to be involved or sow into this project, more information about what we are doing here in Chibuto, or the progress of our Center of Hope, please email Molzeski@gmail.com, check our website www.ByTheWayInfo.com or check us out on facebook.

Category: Center of Hope

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