Walking back from work yesterday, along Martines de Machava and past what we call the House of Terror, that is actually Villa Algarve, an imposing, ornate but dilapidated Portuguese villa, with plant pot orange tiled roofs, blue and white porcelain frescoes depicting flowers and galleons and was once used for torturing Mozambicans during the civil war here.
I was deciding wether to cook a Moussaka, so was heading towards the supermarket opposite the Palace of Dreams, the up market apartment that some of the volunteers live in, to buy more ingredients.
The supermarket is tiny and is reminiscent of the Indian supermarkets that are found in high streets all over the UK. I ambled around with my basket, buying laughing cow cheese slices, full cream UHT milk, margarine, feta cheese and courgettes. The bill came to 425 metacais about the equivalent of £10 and 25 metacais over the daily allowance I have set myself. As I searched for my change in my purse Oswaldo called to say he was on his way to meet me and arrived outside the shop within minutes.
On stepping out of the shop there where two young boys standing in dirty and torn clothes, without shoes looking very dejected, and I asked if I should buy them bread. They where with Oswaldo who had had a call from some colleagues to say they had found the boys curled up asleep near a rubbish container.
They walked with us to where I live and then waited in the stairwell as I went to get bread and bananas and money for Oswaldo to buy them shoes and food.
Jose is 8 and Alfredo is 11 and had come from Gobo 645km away to become street children in Maputo. Jose’s mother had moved in with another man and he was constantly beating Jose and Alfredo’s story was similar.
They went with Oswaldo to Atlo Mae district of Maputo where there is a police station where they could stay for the night, with beds and a shower. He bought them shoes, food and at their request a bottle of coca cola.
I made my Moussaka and it was delicioso, and having only a limited amount of kitchen equipment I successfully boiled the potatoes in the kettle, whilst lentils cooked in our aliminium pot and the bringela, cebola, courgettes, tomatoe and left over spinach where cooked in the wok. I made breadcrumbs from the defrosted bread that I had had to retrieve, along with 2 bottles of half drank vodka, from the freezer compartment of the fridge as I had managed to break the door off completely. I added the eggs and some baking powder to the breadcrumbs and after making a bechamel sauce to pour over the other ingredients filling the all purpose cake tin, spread this on top and finished off with squares of laughing cow cheese.