African storms, you gotta love em! You haven’t seen a thunderstorm until you’ve seen the African version. Tonight we had an example of what can be done with static electricity. We walked to the local resturant in cloudy conditions, but while we were eating, kaboom! Lightning so close you could feel it, thunder so loud you couldn’t hear anything else! Still flashing away in the distance now about 3 hours later, and the wind is gusting gale force. I’m writing this on the balcony looking out over Maputo hoping to see some more close lightning so I can get some pictures or movies.
Today we went into town to look at the sights, of which there are few. We saw the Casa de Ferro (Iron House) designed by the French engineer Eiffel and made of prefabricated metal parts. Also the Jardim Tunduru (Botanical Gardens) which were beautifully neglected, they reminded me of the scene in Logan’s Run where they visit Washington after nature has taken over. We then went to the Museu Nacionel des Artes (Modern Art Museum) which had some bizarre modern art pieces, Post-it Note pictures for example, and some lovely local pieces. Photography not permitted unfortunately. Probably the oddest sight of the day was the Louis Trichardt Memorial Garden, in tip-top condition in the middle of abandoned housing and rubbish. A strange 1960s memorial to a Great Trek leader on the spot where he is supposed to have died of Malaria, a piece of apartheid chic surviving in downtown Maputo.
We gave the Catholic Cathedral a miss although we walked close by, completed in 1944 the labour to build it was recruited by the authorities by picking up teenage girls off of the streets of Maputo and examining them to see if they were virgins or not. If they weren’t it was assumed that they were prostitutes and as a fine they were made to help build the cathedral. You couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) make it up!
And on that cheerful note, I will bid you good night, and check back tomorrow for pictures of today’s visits.