July 08, 2004


Q: How many humans can you fit in a minibus (known locally as a "Chapa"?

A: Around 30, give or take.

Today we left the comforts of Tofu for the "big city" of Inhamane, about 30 KM from the beach. Transport is a bit spotty the further one travels in Moz, and our little journey tipified this. We waited about 30 minutes until both driver and cattle herder (which is what the other fellow acted as...and of course we were the cattle) deemed the vehicle full enough for the trip and set off with about 15 people crammed into the minivan.

Along the way to town we stopped numerous times....to help pass the time and maintain sanity I played the "how many people are on this bus" game while Janet -- sitting sideways, knees wedged uncomfortably against her husband´s also cramped torso -- stared out of the window vainly hoping her adult onset claustrophobia would not get the best of her :').

We got to 20 and I thought "Wow, that´s a lotta people". Five people later we had a new appreciation for the contortionist abilities of the Mozambiqians. I lost exact count at 28, but I´m almost positive we hit 30 with another 20 minutes left in the journey:

This photo does not do the circus-clown like image of 30 people crammed into such a small space justice (partly because I could not move the camera!). An hour and a half later we extracted ourselves from the vehicle....Janet fled for the nearest liquor store to buy herself a bottle of wine :').

The return journey was not quite as ridiculous....we later learned that driver and herder were actually trying to break the Mozambiqan record for most passengers in a moving vehicle
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