Living in Mozambique is such a great adventure for the whole family. We are liking it and enjoying it but it is not easy all the time. It has its ups and downs. Compared to Barcelona, for example, some things are better and others are worse.

I want to share with you a short list I’ve written about great things and not-so-great things about living in Mozambique. So you can see that is not all perfect-happy-fun.

Let’s start with the things I will miss from our life in Mozambique:

  • I will miss our yard. I know that’s one of the things I will miss the most when we go back… It is so nice to have so much space for Ramona to play around, have other kids over, and for us to exercise, to hang out with friends!!
  • I will miss the people. People are nice, really nice! Very open, curious, friendly and with big smiles.
  • I will miss the outdoors. A lot of life happens outside, in the street (markets, play time, hang out time, …). That’s very nice for us because it makes it much easier to meet people.
  • I will miss the contact with nature. We live in a small city but it feels like a village: no tall buildings, lots of palm trees, very green, sandy roads, chickens running in the street, … Not what you would imagine for a city.
  • I will miss the simplicity of life. It feels like people do more with less here. They don’t have much but they are fine. Even for us it’s been this way.
  • I will miss hearing the birds singing every morning and all day long. That’s what you hear when you step outside of the door. Roosters (Ramona will miss those especially), birds, kids playing, no cars.
  • I will miss people selling peanuts and popcorn in the street. I love popcorn, and to find a little stand on the main road that sells fresh made popcorn was dream come true! So when I need a snack that’s what I try to find, either popcorn or these kids that sell little bags of perfectly roasted peanuts for 5 or 10 cents. Yummy!
  • I will miss the beaches. With the white sand, beautiful big beaches, almost always empty, so pristine and undeveloped… So many different ones, with cool, cheap and family friendly accommodation. That’s why we try to go often, like every other weekend, to escape from the heat and enjoy the sandy life!

But there are some things I won’t miss:

  • I won’t miss power going out almost every day. Sometimes for 5 minutes, sometimes for a few hours (and even for days). And since our water relies on an electric pump, when the power is down, we lose running water too. And you would think it is bad to not have electricity (no light, no fan, not being able to charge phone, laptop, etc.), but it’s really not having running water which is difficult. Without water, everything (from flushing the toilet to bathing the baby to washing dishes) becomes time-consuming and complicated. Occasionally not having running water (in a country where almost nobody has running water) makes one appreciate the luxury of a faucet. But, it does have it’s good side. Since last week we were 2 days without electricity and we were using candles, we started this new addition to Ramona’s bed time routine. After bath, we light a candle in her room and turn off the light. So she gets ready for bed (pj’s on, bed time story, cuddles, …) with the soft light of the candle and then we blow it out together and it’s time to go to sleep. It relaxes her and helps her go to sleep.
  • I won’t miss the heat. It can be really bad. Like 40°C/104°F. Where you feel like melting if you walk out in the sun, you feel like sickly feverish. It’s a weird feeling when the outside temperature is higher than your body temperature. It feels wrong. When we lived in Florida, people complained about the heat, but it affects life so much more here since there are almost no places with AC. It’s overwhelming - it slows you down and makes you want to do nothing…
  • I won’t miss mosquitoes! How can such a tiny animal be so dangerous and annoying!? They are the worst…
  • I won’t miss having to wear sunscreen during the day and mosquito repellent in the evening if we are out. I have gotten used to carrying it around and lathering up Ramona before leaving the house! I tell myself, “If we were in Europe we would have to put 10 layers of clothing on and that would take longer…”. But at least you don’t need to shower in order to remove clothes.
  • I won’t miss having to take malaria prophylaxis (a malarone pill) every morning. Especially lately that it has given me a stomach ache…
  • I won’t miss not being able to drink tap water. I won’t miss being “scared” of the water (ie, not brushing my teeth with it, having to worry about Ramona drinking bath water, etc.). And I won’t miss the constant cycle of buying and running out of bottled water.
  • I won’t miss sleeping under the mosquito net. Even if the idea of it seems so romantic and nice, in reality it’s a pain. Not practical, more hot, not that cool…
  • I won’t miss having chicken and rice every time I go out for dinner or lunch. The food here is good, but a bit repetitive.

And now for something completely different - a few pictures from the beach the other weekend at Bilene:

She used to have a chair like this and you couldn’t even see her in there, and look at her now!!!