May 20, 2012
Back in Tofo after a LONG and bumpy ride back in a van that rides rougher than a go-cart! Ouch.
Of course, in the 2 days I was gone a whale shark was spotted on a dive, a tiger shark, and a gray reef shark. Apparently the strong currents bring them in. Of course, the flip side is that the visability was 4 meters (12 feet). To see a tiger shark within 12 feet would be a harrowing experience I think, but often when you are afraid of something, if you dive with it once, you feel fine about it. I actually jumped in the water the other day when we sighted a Hammerhead Shark. Sadly, I didn’t really see it. I’ve always wanted to see one. So I am unsure about the way the rest of the week will play out. Of course I want to see things and dive, but it is all so difficult when it is calm so I can’t imagine it choppy. Of course the first day or two I dove it was fairly choppy, but I have my “diving fins” now (as opposed to sea legs, haha) so it will probably be better. There is an Indian ocean website called windguru, and winds are rated from calm to storms, and they don’t dive if it is too windy. We’ll just have to play it by ear.
I just did a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (personality “test”) on Patty, and she turned out to be exactly my guess: ISTJ, the Inspector! LOL. She’s awesome, and she laughed through it as it is completely accurate. I really like most everyone in the house though I know some better than others. It has really been enjoyable, getting to know them all. Patty is an American, from San Francisco, one of my very favorite cities. I’ve been giving my housemates the MBTI, with interesting results. So far we have an ISTJ, 2 ESFJ’s, an INTP (Cooper, your type!), and myself, an INFP. Rather an interesting collection of people. And Yay! I have a reason to go to San Francisco now! And I have reasons to go to London, Zurich, and Munich…and the Seychelles…and………just resting up for the week and getting ready for what it will bring!
The big event today was a non-event….nothing on the ocean safari. Two whale sharks have been sighted at Barra Point, so we are going to head that direction tomorrow. Also, four Great Whites have been sighted not far from here, apparently it is unusual to see them in these waters. After my last experience with one I can’t say I’m anxious to meet one in open water, the cage was rather helpful last time! Today it rained, and it is cold for the first time since I’ve been here. Chilly. It will be cold on the water tomorrow. The water temperature has dropped 4 degrees since I’ve been in Tofo, so winter is coming (Stark words). Rain and wind shut down the power here in Tofo, so we’ve been without power a few times today.
An observation: The car ride to and from Vilanculas was the first time I’ve really had time to think since I’ve been here. It is always so busy with dives, data entry, ocean safaris, or people in and out, there is no time for reflection. I did have a few introspective moments during the 8 hour round trip car ride….watching the people on the roads and seeing the villages where they live. People in town do seem to live a bit better, and there is the occasional stucco or brick house, but for the most part, these people have nothing in a material sense. Their huts are not as big as our living room, made of palm fronds woven tightly to keep out the rain. Most of their time seems to be spent outside of the huts, under a shade tree, or around a fire cooking. Water is brought from wells. Today is Sunday and there were people all over the roads, in their Sunday clothes, headed from or to church. I feel certain it is a major socializing event, much like the market where they sell goods if they are close enough to town. Their reality is harsh, and their needs simple: survive, feed yourself and your family, have babies, and die young. I’ve heard it is estimated that one in five in Mozambique are HIV positive. I couldn’t survive a week in their world, I feel sure I would die of some infection or virus pretty quickly given the water and unsanitary conditions. One of the million chickens walking around would give me bird flu. It is a lesson in appreciating the things that you do have….running water, electricity, clean water (relatively)….it is disturbing to see how poor the people are here, and I realize, what do I have to complain about?