Gold diggers & black smiths

Acácio, one of my best friends in Balama,  makes a 100 km round trip trek twice a year to visit his family. He has done this trip plenty of times with his wife… by foot… while carrying sacks of corn flour on their heads. Luckily for him, Plexus, the cotton company he works for, congratulated him with bicycle for his hard work this year.  This small token of appreciation from Plexus has completely transformed Acácio’s life.

I told Acácio that I would love to visit his family if he wouldn’t mind biking out there with me. His response ‘Okay, we’ll go this weekend’… so we began our trip that following weekend. His bicycle is a typical bicycle here in Mozambique. My bicycle is a nice Giant mountain bike, not typical here in Mozambique. So to not feel like a cheater during the trip, I refrained from using the gears on my bike.  Unbeknownst to me though, this trek had large uphill climbs since it was over a small mountain range. It was one heck of a workout.

Once we arrived to his family’s village, Nrasse, we spent about 2 hours going around to each family member’s home and doing introductions. No one in the village spoke Portuguese so I had to take the dust off the little Makua I know. Everyone had a good laugh at the ‘white’ guy speaking the local language.

We spent one morning with his brother in-laws, who make their living by digging for gold. The amount of effort these gentlemen put in to attain a small amount of gold is incredible. They work all morning and afternoon nibbling away with their pickaxe and shovel. I also spent time with the local blacksmiths who make tools for the whole village. From a knife, axe head, hoe, to fixing your pot… these guys did it all. Witnessing the brute force behind the tools was remarkable.

My trip to Nrasse to visit Acácio’s family was a trip that I don’t think either of us will ever forget. There are special moments in our lives that are forever engrained into brains and this trip was definitely an unforgettable experience. Many thanks to Acácio and his loving family for taking in this stranger (me) as one of their own.

Acácio and I before our journey.

Acácio and me before our journey.

And the journey begins.

And the journey begins.

Gold mine.

Gold mine.

Gold miner and his tools.

Gold miner and his tools.

Gold miners.

Gold miners.

D

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Diggin' for gold.

Diggin’ for gold.

Gold diggers.

Gold diggers.

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The hunter.

The hunter.

The hunter and his gatherers.

The hunter and his gatherers.

The blacksmith's work site.

The blacksmith’s work site.

Heating the coals.

Heating the coals.

Blacksmith striking an axe head into shape.

Blacksmith striking an axe head into shape.

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Ingenuity

Ingenuity

Children carrying bamboo.

Children carrying bamboo.

"Can I wear it?"

“Can I wear it?”

Kids love carrying my stuff.

Kids love carrying my stuff.

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Acácio's family

Acácio’s family

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~ by rhexperience on October 23, 2014.

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