Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Why is it so incredibly difficult to get out of bed on a chilly morning? Especially if you have 2 warm, cuddly cats lounging on your stomach? And a warm, cuddly boy next to you?

I suppose that's a pretty obvious question to answer, but every morning nonetheless I agonize over how hard it is to haul myself out from under the covers.

Our cold spell continues in Maputo. I am wearing slippers in the house and an overcoat over a turtleneck when we go out. Even Rico is cold, wearing sweats and complaining about how the boys steal the covers from him in the middle of the night. Rico is one of these people who is perpetually overheating, so for him to be chilly you know it's bad.

The cold weather has spurred us to make a big home improvement, one that we've been putting off since we moved here 1.5 years ago. Currently our shower is a miserable little dribble, especially if you want hot water. For most of the year, we use only the cold tap and make do, as it's refreshing to come out of the shower with goosebumps before being soaked in sweat from the 100+ degree, high humidity weather that is the norm here for the summer months. Now, however, the shower's lack of pressure is a problem, to the point where we are tempted to avoid bathing altogether because of the chill factor. So today, after talking with several workmen and hunting about in a couple of hardware stores, we are having a pump installed in our bathroom that will pressurize the water in the shower, both hot and cold.

Yes, friends, getting a pump installed is the highlight of my week. We do lead an exciting life over here in Maputo. :)

In other almost-as-exciting news, we also got it together and finally bought decent office chairs for our desks. My back is quite grateful, and the entire room looks much more professional without a pair of ratty brown kitchen chairs as our main seating options.

This week we also had our building guards make a new straw-knotted bed for the boys, as they'd outgrown the one we had made when they were still kittens. Our guards are very entrepreneurial, and certainly the exception to the rule of the "work-means-sitting-on-a-chair-and-sleeping" security guards throughout the rest of the city. Our guys - there are about 6 of them that constantly hang out at the entrance to our building, though only 2 are actually employed here - make baskets and other objects by knotting palm fronds together. It keeps them occupied, awake, and provides the possibility of earning a little cash on the side. The've made several objects for us, including drawers for our office shelves, hotplates for the kitchen, baskets and - the crowning glory of straw creations - a giant cat carrier with a lid and handles.

Now that I think about it, our flat went through a giant leap forward this week in terms of improvements. In addition to all the items mentioned above, we also hung a tapestry to cover the ugly electric meter in the hallway, bought 2 new teflon pans for the kitchen, bought a ladder so we can finally paint our bedroom wall a lovely coffee-with-milk color, installed a second cat door, and partially enclosed our big verandah with chicken wire so that the cats can reign over that area as well.

Ah, the excitement. (seriously, it is really, really exciting for us!)


Lacithecat said...

Ali I love hearing about how things are evolving with you and I am one of the lucky ones who can enivision all these changes.

Glad to hear that you are making yourselves an even cozier home in Mozi (particularly the shower and chairs).

Now if I could find a project in the region ... I could even come down and see it all for myself!


laundrygirl said...

Don't the smallest things make life a little brighter!?