Saturday, May 31, 2008


today we hung out at the pemba dolphin allllll day. just sat under a thatched umbrella, drank some water, went swimming with nelson's daughter, played frisbee, took lots of pictures of passersby...a perfect sunday. it was hilarious to see a mozambiquan teaching chinese tourists to throw my frisbee. there's a stage nearby that had live music and dancing, including the women with the painted faces. i took their picture too.
we're taking tons of pictures. lizia decides there's not enough pictures of me and uses my new telefoto lens to zoom in on the huge zit on my chin.
so nelson's daughter isa has been tugging on my hair all day. beautiful hair! she screams. i only understand half what she is saying. we're playing in the water and once again, she's petting my hair and muttering sweet portuguese nothings. we dry off and she wants to go for a walk. perfect, i've been wanting to as well. but she drags me away from the beach across the street to marco's house, a guy from the course. marco isn't home and the guard won't let us in. isa puts on this adorable sad face and says pleeeeease, just for a moment. he lets her in and i have an awkward 5 minutes with the guard, barefoot, in my bathing suit. she comes out two seconds later and she takes me back to our chairs, no detour. so much for a walk on the beach! she pulls out the comb she just stole from marco's house. for the next hour and a half i am her live barbie doll. she is coming, braiding, unbraiding and pretty much pulling out all my hair. before i left my boyfriend asked me if i was going to get my hair braided in africa. i said no way, i'm not going to be like one of those lame tourists in the caribbean who come back with cornrows that look worse day after day. well, now i just look like a really messed up caribbean tourist with half my head in these teeny tiny braids i can't undo without ripping out all my hair.
so while i was sitting there helpless against this adorable little girl attaching my head, tons of people were coming by, selling stuff- chocolates, lollipops, wontons, chicken skewers, earrings.
dmitri the frisbee guy who calls himself "a business man" has been asking all week to show me his jewelry. i buy some beads that are these cool oval seeds and a pair of cool wooden earrings. his buddy shows up to watch the transaction in awe, where i give dmitri $4 worth of mozambiquan money. dmitri is now loaded, showing off to his friends. i wave goodbye when the friend asks me about my earrings. plata (silver)? yes, they are simple, silver hoops i buy wholesale for less than a dollar back home.
can we trade earrings???
he has these white round studs with a rubber backing.
sure, why not.
so we trade. he puts on my hoops and he's psyched.
i have these cool white carved spikes with balls on the end that feel way too heavy to be plastic, way to warm to be shell. uh, they just might be ivory. yolande thinks so. sortof cool, i guess. i can't really wear them because the stems are super thick.
i am now mostly earringless except for the one extra hoop in my right ear (i've been meaning to even out my piercings). the dude who i taught trick frisbee throws says i look weird with one earring. so strange. you should take off the last earring and give it to me!
he's probably right.
i should have brought more earrings!
so there's lots of ladies around wear typical colorful dresses, have a baby strapped to their backs and heads wrapped in colorful fabric selling peanuts out of these cool round baskets. i suddenly had a hankerin' for some roasted peanuts and so i ask to buy some. she rolls it up in a newspaper cone, or what looks like pages from a book (i heard they have been using textbooks, since they're given out for free every year).
she says 'mil' and i don't understand...that's 1,000...$40?! no. mil actually means one meticai. so wait...that's...4 cents? so these ladies are selling peanuts for...peanuts! i've actually never seen one meticai, the lowest denomination i know of is a 20 bill and the lowest i have in my wallet is a 50 (i took 3,000 out of the bank machine today and it was all in 50s. i'm carrying a WAD). ummm. it would be really annoying for me to ask for change. i'm considering buying her whole batch of peanuts, plus the basket. that's a lot of peanuts! alice doesn't like peanuts. oh well, i send her on her way. i tell alice how peanuts are more expensive where i come from. i wonder how on earth they can make any money selling peanuts so darn cheap. turns out they're really easy to grow, really easy to harvest and roast and sell.
later on we went to check out the stage where the music was coming from and listened to a singer. i danced with some peanut ladies. they let me taste some of their peanuts, yum. salty, perfectly roasted, so fresh. i want to grow peanuts in my balcony garden!

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