Ponta Dobela - Mozambique

We get so caught up in our lives in this tiny city, that we forget what's outside. I wish everybody could experience the beauty that is Ponta Dobela.
Saturday, the 20th of March, I went on a mission trip with another photographer/friend to Ponta Debola, it's about a 4 hour drive from Maputo (do not attempt to do this alone), It's 1 hour and half of driving after you cross Catembe, and then 3 or so after that, but it feels like 10. The road is a rollercoaster. We had a driver, 2 Military guides provided at the entrance of Reserva de Mocambique. At the entrance you pay a fee of 145 mzn, which I think should be much more, that way they could pay their guides more, and possible arrange some sort of transport for them. According to our guide, Joao, he leaves his post at 20h00 to walk home everyday "Nos amanhecemos a andar aqui." he says. Allow me to remind you that this is a wild life reserve. The first thing that was pointed out to us were the unmistakable elephant prints all over the road. And this area is so deserted that road tracks arent marked. You have to create your own way around it. Needless to say, it's a jungle.
After spending some 4 hours photoraphing the beach area, we went out to visit "a comunidade", this consists of 3 houses about 4 miles apart from each other. We were received with open arms. A chair was pulled out for me to sit under the shade, mozambican hospitality, you can't beat that. While the other photographer enterviwed the man of the house, Elias, I took the task of winning over their hearts with my own kind of hospitality. We shared Iced tea, we ate Provita crackers and chatted over bites of green apples, all the things I had packed for the trip. The people who live in Ponta Dobela, are hard working Mozambicans. Elias and his family survive solely on what they hunt, fish, and farm. They sell, sun dryed meat, esteiras which are floor mats made out of bamboos/coconut leaves, they also sell goats in order to be able to make money. But this has to make think, If Ponta Dobela is a derserted side of Maputo, than who do they sell these things to?
Their biggest problems are the elephants who invade their homes and eat their crops. The only thingsthat was asked of us was "Por favor...quando vierem ocupar essa terra, arranjarem condicoes para nois tambem." And this is the whole purpose of our trip.

They dont have access to hospitals, markets, transport, all those things that we take for granted, and spend most of our time criticizing, they just dont have it. So our roads need a little work, and our politicians are the most honest people in the world ( I cant believe I just said honest and politician in the same sentence). But what I see in these people, The willingness they have to make what they have work for them. There’s no point in complaining, if you cant be heard than do something about it. We need to estabelish a give and take relationship with our comunnity. All we do is take, take and take, it's about time we start giving too. What do you say?

All I can say is this was a humbling experience. And I didnt hear this from anyone, or the radio, or National Geographic, this is 4 hours away from my house.

Posted by Picasa


Mozchocprincess said…
loved it, the pics are just beautiful...i want to go on this adventure
Ickx Kwizera said…
Wauw!!! is my first comment.
This is good information as there is basically none available, let alone pictures.
Keep doing your great work as we are following Ms. Katawala.
Congrats and good luck
Anonymous said…
Beautiful words.. beautiful pictures - Thank you :)
Thank you guys so much for actually taking the time out to read this. I sure do appreciate it!

Popular Posts