Originally posted April 6, 2008
Coconut and date palms, mango trees. Smells of frangipani and cooking fires. Trucks clattering through huge potholes. Children calling to each other in Portuguese and Tsonga. Barking from Groban the dog. This is home.
It hasn’t always been home. As the fog of jetlag evaporated when we arrived last May, we had to adjust to a different language and a different culture. I treasured our rare shopping trips to Nelspruit, South Africa, about three hours away. It was a place where English was spoken and understood. It had a shopping mall. And not only were you guaranteed to find bare necessities like milk and cinnamon on the store shelves, food prices were 1/3 cheaper, so you could afford luxuries like juice and pasta sauce.
I remember when Maputo became “home.” We had headed to Nelspruit on a Friday for a rushed day of shopping, only realizing in the evening that we probably wouldn’t make it through the border in time to clear the tools my husband bought. So we settled into a B&B, and on Saturday we meandered our way to the border via Kruger National Park.