author: Filipe Condado guest author


For two years I worked as a volunteer in the North of Mozambique at a Catholic Mission, for a Non-Governmental Organization called "Leigos para o Desenvolvimento".

Although it was not the purpose of my work, I was able to photograph the life of the villages surrounding the Mission.

Following my return, looking through those photographs, made me feel I could not keep them to myself. This is how this exhibition came into existence.

Now I needed a title... But what seemed to be simple and obvious was not so easy after all. What did touch me the most? The numerous experiences encountered, many yet to be assimilated? The people I met, with whom great friendships were born? Or nature, which I now understand why we call Mother?

How could I find a word to comprise all the things I could not express about these images?

Toddlers and older children living freely around us, always wearing genuine smiles, fragile and often left unprotected by their families; hard work on the land always depending on providence; the roads wearing their way through the villages, crossing the country and the fields; life elevated in such a special way in religious ceremonies; the mysterious joy that arose from the music and its rhythm...

All this I keep in my heart, in images and hardly any words.

One day, school holidays were half-way up, and I was relaxing in the small garden of the Mission. Students had gone home to help their families working in the fields. At that moment, I spotted Luciano, the student with whom I chatted the most, approaching. He was very formally dressed - jacket, tie and all ? and carrying on his back a sack of potatoes. He had just walked for three hours to come visit me and offer me his gift.

I asked him the reason of his journey and he answered: "Aphunzitsi!... konghokala!" -"Theacher!... Just to linger!"

It was in Mozambique that I learned "just to linger" enjoying time.