my chronicles

Positivo Mozambique

Positivo Mozambique

Cachesss Cachesssssss cachessssssssss caches caches, Criancas artistas em combate ao HIV/SIDA, I have this tune inside of my head… cachesssss cachesssss.
In the middle of thirty kids, from 1 to 12 years old, we sing at the top of our voices, we clapour hands, djembé drums; maracas, a big din in rhythm with the group Positivo.
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You do not know the group Positivo? A music group, with Pierre a Frenchman, an Austrian,Mozambiquains, who criss-crosses the country to raise the young and less younger people
aware of social problems like the AIDS.
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In Mozambique, they have fans club, who allowed us to go more easily through policeroadblocks or others speed checkpoints Reggae, ska, here is the tendency and it’s very popular here.
They organize “works shops “, the kids can record some songs for their associations, they canlearn to play music, or they can dance during a Michael Jackson impersonation competition,
and so they take part in the spreading of essential social messages for a country where the AIDS affects more than 16 % of the population.

In the meantime, people laugh, share, jump everywhere, my accomplices, Manu and Carine, windsurfers who live in Hawaii with their 4-year-old daughter Lou, Charles, a windsurfer
from Dunkerque who is the initiator of the project, Philippe the cameraman, and Benjamin the photographer who have a great time.
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The highlight of the show was Lou, a sweet little blond, who holds with one hand her trousers for avoid them to fall down and with the other hand a sort of speaker, and strikes up, in front of all the children, the famous “Guerre des Boutons” song: ” Mon pantalon est décousu, si ça continue…” (my pants are unstitched, if that continues…) I still laugh about it.
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Then we went through a part of the country like this, we followed the group and chased the swell.

Here we don’t speak in Kilometres or miles but in Hours.
We rented a small bus, packed all the gear on the roof, and start a long drive.
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Say like that, it looks boring, but travelling with good friends, with Lou doing the show every minute, in a beautiful country, with friendly people, it’s really fun.
You never know when you going to arrive, but who care.
Shaken, squeezed, bumped, aboard a shabby bus which is as bad as the roads, we kept our smile. As if we had too much received and now it was time to give it back.
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The road during 200 km is really bad, big hole everywhere, and cars have to slalom from right to left.
Don’t worry ! Roads will be soon magnificent, the Chinese government invests a lot here, they build roads in exchange for an access to the fishing zones. I do not ask you the question of
what they will make with beautiful roads when there are no more fish!
We stopped few times, to film, relax, and eat. Right before the sunset we had a break next to
some small house in wood, there were some lady around a fire, cooking. Lou came straight out of the Bus and saw a chicken. She starts to run after the chicken, I think maybe during 10
or 15 minutes non-stop. We end up laughing with all the ladies around the fire, looking at this little blond girl chasing this poor bird.
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After a few days of music, meetings and sharing, it was time to check the waves…
We drove all day again, and we Arrived at night on the spot., and few hours later I was in a bed, I could feel all the wind coming from outside, I was excited to discover how it will be
tomorrow.
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The house was closed to the spot, a place where they were throwing slave from the cliff to the water. This steep rock is right at the point, the wave start from there, a perfect right rolling inside the bay.
The first few days the wind was coming from the other side, a funny beach break.Then the wind turn and the spot became perfect.
The first morning everything was fine! 30 knots, An incredible spotlight, wind side, sun,nobody!
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Until I arrive to the peak, because there, it was the jungle! We have to clear a path through whales, dolphins, fishes which jump over me, the tortoises, I almost forgot to take waves.

And always this small music in my head Caches cachessss I choose my wave far away , while avoiding Miss Whale, Caches, Caches, I follow her, Manu takes the onein front of me,
Carine finishes a wave, Charles is off the coast, caches cachesss caches… I can see the sail ofManu in front of me; the sail disappears, wriggles, and send a big spray full of plankton.
It’s my turn, bottom skimming the rocks, the reef sucks up the foam, it digs, you have to thread one’s way, to play, to flirt with the foam for better taming it, and “Blam” buckets of water
splash the sky. Stop of the roundabout, I add one more coin and it restarts Caches cachessss
caches…!

Never mind the support, surf, stand up, windsurf, kite, it’s a real festival, the wind will blow every day in this direction, and the waves never stops to roll.
We usually surfed the morning, Carine doing some stand up paddle, waiting for the wind to pick up.
Then every day around 11am, it’s slightly start to blow.
We park the car on top of the ill; slide all the gear down to the sand dune.
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7-9 or 12 I used those three kites, difficult to choose the good one, cause from the beach you don’t feel any wind. The best way to launch my kite was to walk downwind, to catch some
wind.
In front of some super sharp reef, I found the only place to launch it, and then I had to play in the shorebreak with reef and gusty wind, but it really worth it.
20 minutes to go upwind, after crossing as many as animals that you can imagine, and you are at the peak.

The waves unroll down to the cliff, so you can come really closed to the rocks, and start yourBottom. The first part is very Hollow, a nice barrel pretty fast, but funny to manage with a
kite, and then it’s a perfect regular wave. Sadly I have to kick out before the end, cause there is no wind in the inside, and I had to swim few times from too much excitement.

After two weeks at this rate, drunk with these amazing conditions, we meet again with the group Positivo.

A concert is organized in a disused shed, they make a real show, the atmosphere is warm,everybody participates, dances, sings… The social messages are spread and are singing in
unison by the public. Philippe the cameraman makes the most of the opportunity to realize the Positivo pop video.

The music, and the sport are here, certainly the best vectors to spread messages to the young people. Well done to Positivo, and to associations like Caches.
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I feel good here, even if it has been only for 15 years since we can circulate without being murdered. A meeting during this journey made a deep impression on me. It is about Gonçalo
Mabunda, a Mozambiquain artist, who, with an association, salvages all the weapons used during the war. He welds them and creates art work, armchairs, statues. It’s a real artist, each
object has a real expression, loaded with emotion, and represents a dark period of the Mozambique history .

We went to his house, where there are lots of photos, one of which with Clinton, he traveled all over the world to present his works, an incredible path and an example for the youth of
Mozambique.

We take back the road, going to the North to the Bazaruto archipelago, a natural reserve with sandbanks as far as the eye can see, the turquoise blue water, the dunes, a small paradise.
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We all board on a dhow, a little olld wooden boat with a Latin sail, the coffee kettle boils on the fire put in the back of the boat, the equipment piled up in front and on the way ship’s boy.
There is everything to be happy !
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Each one is at its station, the boat flies casually, 3 meters above the sand, we meet jellyfishes, and for Lou’s biggest happiness, dolphins.

The first island in sight is majestically overhung by a sand dune carved by the wind.
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During the boarding, my kite tows me towards the sand for a really smooth ascent, in two seconds we are already at the top. Unrestricted view !
And I already go fast in the slope, hung with my bar, with my board in feet, with the impression of hurtling an enormous yellowed wave.
You have to know, on these islands there are only some small luxury lodges and a night here cost on average 600 euros, and camp is forbidden ! So, we return for sleeping under the tent
on the beach, and we make a campfire. Only marshmallows were missing.
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Woken by the sound of coconut palms, I admire the sunrise next to my tent.
The wind rises, we weight anchor, go to a sandbank a few hours of navigation from here.
Carine inflates her 12 meters, Manu put his sail up, Philippe tries to put cameras everywhere,Benjamin prepares his equipment, and Domitille looks for shells with Lou.

With Carine and Manu, we slide between islands, we link full speed tacks, we thread one’s way between the dunes, the water is so transparent that I spread out of all my length in 10
centimeters of water.

Manu crosses 6 fishermen crammed into a hull pushed by a Latin sail, they have no water,and are a little at death’s door. After a stop in our stand, they set off again with a big smile,
fresh and with new clothes.
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It’s already the hour to go back, with the program 4 hours of boat, 6 hours of minibus more exactly of “milk shake”, impossible to sleep at the risk of banging himself the head against

the windows, 3 hours in bed. We leave here, Manu, Carine, Benjamin, Domitille and Lou, Philippe and I have to go home.

4:00 AM it itches, a mosquito wakes me up, it was time ! My alarm clock did not ring and the only minibus leaves at 4:00 AM, I run in boardshort in the street, the bus is still there … I
thank the mosquito by hoping it did not transmit the malaria to me … I left for 8 hours of bus
getting stuck between my bags, potato bags, suitcases. Fortunately, there are some entertainment ! In every village, we stop, I was hungry and I found my happiness.
At every stop, people sell us oranges, bananas, cashew nuts through the window.
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At the first stop, I do not dare too much, at the second I hesitate, at third, my neighbor buys oranges, I ask him how much does it cost with my bad Portuguese. He answers me ” 20 Meticais “, that is 50 cents. Then I ask a saleswoman, I give her a hand sign thinking of buying only one orange. She bends, fills a bag with about twenty oranges, and gives the bag to me. Oh well done ! I find myself with 20 oranges. As a result, I distribute them in the bus.
The atmosphere is rather nice, everybody smiles, speaks to each other, helps each other, we feel in peace here, 15 years after the war!
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Mozambique is one of the poorest countries of the world. Half of its population lives under the poverty line there, but this country is also one of bigger hopes of prosperity of Africa.

Through the music, the art, the sport, I am glad to be come in this country which has an incomparable joie de vivre, with my accomplices, Lou, Carine, Manu, Charles, Benj, Domitille, and Philippe.

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