Every time we feel sad, lost, or a bit scared of the ‘unknown’, I tend to go find ‘shelter’ and comfort among some of our dear pictures, our memories from previous postings, and this brings me back to a more ‘stable’ self… Anyway, this week’s been bittersweet… Last days of school for our children, a few days left in country… so much to do, people we’d like to see/visit again… so little time… Moving is not easy, and this week, a little ‘less easy than usual’… This blogpost represents the transition that’s waiting for us – my appreciation to Where’s my backpack? for the inspiration! 😮
Our family is also getting ready for our new assignment: 2012 marks the move to our first Spanish speaking post: La Paz, Bolivia. Our household will formally have 3 languages… we’ll be writing our stories and tales in different ways now… Hope it’s appreciated… 😮
Just got interviewed by BlogExpat:From Brazil to USA to Africa and back to Brazil: 3rd Culture Childrenby Erin [27 February, 2012 11:37]Raquel L. Miranda, Brazilian by birth, lived and studied in Argentina. Worked as an international researcher in the USA, before marrying and becoming a Foreign Service ‘hauling spouse’, mother of 3 third-culture children, all under the age of 7! Currently posted in Recife, Brazil – previous posts including Washington, DC and Maputo, Mozambique.
1. Why did you move abroad?
I was born abroad! [smiles!] My parents used to be public servers with the Brazilian government, so we traveled a lot. With a background in science and research, I was always on a plane, traveling to conferences or symposiums. Then, one day, 11 years ago, resting at the beach in Brazil, while taking a break from my PhD research and endless lecture preparation at the university, I met the one who would become my husband – he was a charming 26 year-old pre-grad student, interested in international politics, and (surprise!), who liked to travel around the world… Read more…
Life’s been busy – kids are back in school, which helps a lot, but also requires new planning, on a daily basis. Back to work. Already tired, believe it or not! In order to temporarily stop the madness, found Brooke‘s (The World That We Live In) request for the State Dept Blog RoundUp. Theme: “Favorite Places” – and in Brooke’s words: places you have discovered on your travels that you have loved or that have kept you sane in some way or another.
My favorite places? I hold Southern Africa in a very special place, really close to my heart, for several reasons: our first overseas experience as a family, the first encounter with a reality that I never assumed existed, in good and not so good ways; and my first experience as a single full-time working parent… All in all, great moments, which I’m sharing now:
We moved from Washington, DC to Maputo, Mozambique in October 2006, for a 2-yr hard-to-fill assignment. Our only child then, had just turned 1. Little did we know, I’d end up staying until Oct 2009 with our two children, honoring a work commitment – while husband had to return to DC – but this is probably a too long of a story, and I’ll leave it to another opportunity…
We were very fortunate to meet many different and attractive personalties, each one with an unique life story, with whom we share work experiences, concerns, happy moments. We did travel quite a bit throughout the country: for work and leisure. Visited all the ten provinces, bringing back home material mementos, as well as pictures we could have taken only with our hearts.
During our time in Southern Africa we also visited the neighboring Swaziland, a couple of times. Calming, relaxing, intriguing country. We got to attend the internationally famous Reed Dance, and were quite moved by it.
I couldn’t forget to mention another neighboring country, South Africa, birth place of our middle child, who’s now 3,5. Between safaris at Kruger Park, visits to the wine country and the cosmopolitan Cape Town, caravan trips with friends to Richard’s Bay, visits to avocado farms (and also med-evac flights!), South Africa was a sure choice for a delightful getaway…
Some people say that the sunset over African waters is almost like a poem… it might very well be!
But the best part of traveling and visiting places, is getting to know people, making true friends. I’m very grateful to the ones we met during our time in Africa, and the many more who’ll come along…
Friends are, in fact, the most special gift one could bring from any new place… Khanimambo!
I love challenges. Life without challenging moments seems a little dull – so I’m always chasing them! Here is my response to this week’s photo challenge, whose inspirational theme is “broken“…
The backstory leading to the pictures:
MAPUTO, 31 March, 07 (Reuters) – The shell of a disused beachfront hotel that has been a landmark of the Mozambican capital for more than three decades was demolished on Saturday to make for a new U.S. embassy. The multi-storey Four Seasons Hotel would have been the largest in the southern African country but its construction was abandoned in 1974 after a coup in former colonial ruler Portugal led to Mozambique’s independence the following year. “The Americans want a secure site away from the bustle of central Maputo, and here is a large site beside the beach containing nothing but a large ruin … it makes sense that they occupy it,” Deputy Tourism Minister Rosario Muleia told Mozambican television. “So rather than the enormous expense involved in trying to rehabilitate a 32-year-old shell, it would make more sense to rent the land…”, he said.
This post is the first one of a series. Here a few images from places we got to discover because of work… Travel & work sometimes, surprise us with very positive results!
As you may know by now, being together as a family is the most important thing for us…
This post is dedicated to our daughter Marcela, born in Pretoria, RSA, while we were posted in Mozambique.
During those 3 very intense years, we had the opportunity to visit South Africa several times, go on Safaris at the Kruger Park, walk by the Waterfront in Cape Town, visit the wine country (Stellenbosch), enjoy the Reed Dance in Swaziland…
Struggled for the first time as a single-mom, when husband left to Rwanda for the PEPFAR conference, and exercised the same single-motherhood skills for almost a year when he was back in DC, for work.
And we all survived. And we all learnt… lots of fun stuff! We also had a few med-evacs to RSA (FS families know exactly how intense med-evacs could be!), but hey, it is all part of the package!
Enjoy the images! Khanimambo, Moçambique!
Mozambique, Southern Africa, 2006 – 2009. Visiting all the 10 provinces & Capital Maputo