Amazing Tevele

Trip Start Aug 24, 2008
Trip End Aug 01, 2009

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Flag of Mozambique  ,
Thursday, March 19, 2009

We have had the most amazing experience in a small village called Tevele. We saw the true spirit of the local people, and felt at home in the bush!!! What an amazing job Gerri and Murray Dickson and Don and Denise are doing there to help improve the lives of the local people with the assistance of the University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Auto Workers.

More on this later. (This will be the theme until we can access wireless internet and have more time to write up our experiences, which are full and take a lot of writing).

Thanks for reading, Sandy

Tevele March 17, 18, 2009

The ride out to the community of Tevele was hot. Not in the sense that there was no air conditioning. We had 10 people in the back of a Toyota tonne truck with a cap. The facing bench seats meant that our knees were a few centimetres apart. In between the knees at the front of the box sat one nursing student from Aberdeen. We were very uncomfortable, but certainly not complaining as we had a long ride ahead of us and not one we could walk. We travelled a short way and then stopped. We were at the bakery. It was very hot and we hopped out after we were told our 'cargo' was not yet ready. "Cargo", we said, there is barely room for us! Then we learned we are transporting the bread, our breakfast, to the community of Tevele. It was four potato sacks of bread buns for the one hundred or so participants of the day's events. We had to wait for the bread because it was still in the oven. When it reached us in the back of the crowded truck, it was piping hot, straight from the oven.

Once we reached the meeting place, we walked around shaking hands with the local people and introducing ourselves. The people of Tevele speak Xitsa (pronounced Sheetswa) which has a whistling component to some of the words, and some people also speak Portuguese. The group came to the 'table', in this case a circle of benches under a large shade tree, singing and walking in rhythm. There were benches and logs in a circle for seating. "A comma micia" and other songs as they sand, they marched low three or four steps then back one all in rhythm and the Canadian Students, Becca, Gerri all involved. Soon a man blew a whistle calling them all to stop dancing and start the meeting. Maleca, the president stood outside the circle speaking to the group in Xitsa. Different people spoke, some wrote, and the English speakers sat quietly. There were interesting bird calls, and at least one giant beetle that buzzed through the group. Roll call was taken. A baby cried. The only child in the whole area was a young baby under one year old called Binaca who belonged to one of the nursing students. There were two llatrines which have a concrete base with a keyhole shape and two raised concrete foot shapes for standing on. There is toilet paper hanging on a branch outside!

We are under the shade of large trees, on a packed sand base. There is a stick and thatch kitchen hut, and several other huts. The road out here was not too bad. A dirt road, rutted in places from the recent rainns. It has b een quite wet lately and we did drive our 4WD Toyota through several puddles that extended right across the road. We saw many people going about their business along the road. Carrying wood, sacks of things, mostly walking, some biking, some in small 4WD trucks. Always there were people sitting on the edges of the box off the truck.

We stood for the national anthem, another couple songs, then Maleco spoke again. The foreigners were all introduced. There was a representative from Mozambique Association for Urban Development. After 1992/93 civil war work with most disadvantaged focus was onn schools. Donor funds from people like don and the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers) and other communities to build schools. A second group of trainers went to Ponda to see their work, we've dicided to partner up with Massinga centre to work together. There was very little money all around working together has helped them do more. Still little meney put talents together to construct something in Tevele. The group voted 'yes'.

Start with small amounts of money from donors and manage with the talents available within the community. We'll buy materials and hand them over to the community, we ask for a work committee to organise work and workers. Responsible for receiving, inventory, and making sure supplies get put where they are supposed to be. As well as to organize the rest of the community into work groups to ensure the work gets done. The community is large, and an average might be 4 days of work per person per month.
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