130. Chasing Down the Cheetah

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Another week came and went in Maputo. A week spent with long, slow mornings of Netflix, toast and coffee. Many of the evenings were occupied with the two week European film festival.

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Heres a list of the movies we managed to watch last week rated out of five stars:

Monday

The United Kingdom: Amy
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I came out of this one fuming with rage towards humanity. Amy was the one movie we had the honour of fully understanding – it was the only english movie. This heart breaking documentary deserves every star it receives and every tear shed. Also, to the people in front of me giggling at Amy’s slow demise: you can both give yourselves a pat on the back for being so apathetic.

Wednesday

Germany: Pheonix
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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We have a few questions after watching this movie – possibly because it was in German? With the help of the Portuguese subtitles and my very limited Portuguese, I managed to catch the gist of it and actually enjoyed the story quite a bit. I would definitely recommend it, but maybe get subtitles in your own language!

Norway: Bølgen
⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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And here you have your quintessential catastrophe movie – great for a bit of entertainment, but seriously lacking in originality. The movie follows a geologist who is desperately trying to warn his small town about the ensuing tsunami. The drama was definitely lifted by the many beautiful people and stunning landscape (this is Norway after all). – nonetheless, minus one star for making the most despicable character a Dane … Louise and I shrank in our seats as the guy sets out on a panicked rampage. “We aren’t all like that!”

Thursday

Spain: Viver é fácil com os olhos fechados
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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“Life is easy with eyes closed” – John Lennon
This upbeat movie really stood out to me, with its quirky protagonist (a middle aged man with a deep love for the Beatles) and the innocent relationship between characters. Again, we could only guess the dialogue and missed out on many of the jokes (though the little bit of Spanish and Portuguese I have certainly did help). This movie was definitely a nice break from the drama and grief of the last three. I cannot wait to re-watch this with English subtitles.

And that was it for me. Louise stayed on to watch the evening movie on Thursday, while I headed back home for dinner with my dad, which was a fun experience! By the time we are out of the door it is seven o’clock, and I am starving and so ready for some good Chinese food. On the way we call in to see if one of his colleagues would like to join us and spend the next hour or so chatting over a glass of wine on the balcony. We saunter down towards the restaurant when we bump into two more friends and sit down for another glass of wine. After a half hour or so of more chat, we finally head for the Chinese – which, surprise, surprise, is closed. So as you can imagine, it was well past 10 o’clock before we got back to the apartment. Over all it was a very pleasant evening.

Friday was the day we had been waiting for – a much needed trip out of Maputo and to South Africa, where we spent the two days reading, eating and chatting (check out the beautiful picture of Louise below, it’s my new masterpiece!).

On Saturday we took a trip to Kruger park, in some of the worst weather imaginable in Africa – it was rainy, cold and cloudy: not great for Louise’s first game drive. It started out pretty much as you would expect on a day like that – it seemed as though even the birds were hiding. We saw some Impala and Kudu, and some Warthogs. The highlight of the first leg of the drive came about an hour in, when we found a herd of elephants, one of which had a cute little baby nursing from her.

Half way through, we stopped at a lodge for a warm drink and watched all the wet and miserable birds swooping over our heads. Now, what came after completely made up for the whole disaster of a drive so far – we saw not one, not two, but three cheetahs! Cheetahs! Lounging about on a rock, showing off as cats like to do. I was ecstatic! This was my first time seeing any wild cat in the wild apart from a lion. I wish we could have gotten a better picture of them, but with the rain and the distance, my camera just couldn’t manage.

After This exciting trip to Kruger we started the trip back to Maputo, where we arrived in the dark.

Sunday we joined some friends at a Hindu festival, which was full of glorious hindu food – spicy and vegetarian. We ate until we thought we were going to pop, while we listened to the live music and watched the various activities taking place. It was exactly how you would imagine a hindu festival – full of colours, flowers, and happy people.

//Niamh

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