Sunday, 8 June 2014

Five go to Ilha

On the Saturday morning, everyone got up nice and early for the trip to Ilha. We had a chance to say goodbye to Alex and Miriam before they headed back to Berlin. It's strange to think we may never see them again but none the less, it was a pleasure to be in their company for the 10 days we had with them. Momadi gave us a lift to where the Dhow departs. We sailed under our branded sail, as we set for Ilha. The trip took about two hours and was a nice experience! Mikaela also got some attention from a fellow passenger. 

As we arrived, there was already an apparent contrast with Mossuril! There was the sound of builders drilling away, people on scooters driving past and a hotel that casually has a swimming pool at the front. We instantly found the nearest cash machine and emptied it dry. The second goal was to find our hotel, 'Moohelelira'. We found out very quickly, and realised what Alex meant about people being more 'savvy' over here. We had various kids offering us a guided tour, or just helping us with navigation. We finally found the hotel, with a boy who followed us the whole way (I think he wanted to be paid). The hotel was luxury! There was a flushing toilet, running water and even a huge fan right next to the bed. We got settled in to the hotel pretty quickly and then headed off for a wander. Very first impression; this place is a lot richer than Mossuril. There was also lots of white people kicking about, which we didn't expect. It seemed as Alex said; a very touristy place. There was still glimpses of poverty, with abandoned buildings, post-war streets and an area full of mud huts packed together. We were very quickly approached again by two boys, who really wanted a photo taken, then followed us for quite a while. We saw a lot of beautiful buildings, that were abandoned. The hospital was very grand and looked like a building that used to be in it's prime. However, half of it is now abandoned and wrecked, with only a small part near the back still active. After a small venture we found the three bamboo restaurants that Alex advised us about and went to the one in the middle. We all had chicken and chips, which felt like heaven. After a relaxed meal, we went for another wander and took lots of photos. We also found Ruby's, the youth hostel, and talked to them about painting the mural for the following day. As it got darker, we headed to the pier, just next to our hotel, and watched the sunset.

It felt like a totally different world compared to Mossuril. We even saw a few people with iPads and smart phones. It was bizarre to think Mossuril is literally a few miles away. We also noticed that the behaviour of people was completely different. If children approached us in Mossuril, it was through genuine interest and curiosity and there was also a sense of community there. However, in Ilha, every kid who has approached us, has asked for money, a photo or just followed us and tried to get our attention. It's amazing to see the difference in social behaviour. It also helped us understand the purpose of helping Mossuril, a bit clearer. It is one thing to compare the UK to Mossuril, but Ilha is just across the water and has a much better way of life. 

As we pondered this realisation, we headed back to the hotel and had a long awaited shower. It was even hot water, which I didn't think I would see until we were back home. We went to a restaurant called, Anchora D'Ouro, for dinner. It is literally across the road from the hotel and overlooks the church. The food was just mind blowing. Our first day in Ilha has given us a breather and let us step back and look at the bigger picture. It also let us chat about our experiences so far and our plans for the next two weeks. It has definitely let us recharge our batteries but made us a little home sick.; Sunset Boulevard.

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