Tonight Rico and I are going to a barbeque (churrasco, in Portuguese) where we, along with our friends Kelly and Marcos, are being treated to an evening of meat, shrimp, beer, sodas and good times.
The occasion? Zeca, our main taxi driver since arriving in Maputo, and a person who has definitely become a friend over the years, is throwing a small party to say thank you. I will properly tell the story later, but one thing is clear: helping Zeca has been the greatest "development impact" we've had thus far in Mozambique, and likely will be the greatest impact we have during our time here, however long that may be.
Zeca refers to me, Rico, Kelly and Marcos as his "pais", literally his parents, an allusion to the way in which we've influenced his life.
I am excited to go celebrate together, in one of the rare cases in which we've all been able to break out of our unfortunately common, prescripted roles of Poor Mozambican vs. Rich (White) Foreigner. Tonight we are the guests. Tonight Zeca is paying the bill. Tonight we will break bread with friends and commemorate the success of an entrepreneur, one of the people who is able to cure me, if even for a moment, of my terrible cynicism regarding this "development" game.