to moçambique with love.

in 2005 i flew to moçambique fulfilling a long time dream to live in africa. i would have stayed if i could have… but judging by some of the aftermath of my visit it is probably good that i didn’t. i still long to return… but i may have to bring my beefy bodyguard when i do thanks to a very persistent young man. as recent as last month i received repeated phone calls from him. i made my coworker answer and yell in english that she didn’t understand him nor did she know a robin. and then, today, a random email from my one-time non-lover. i thought you would enjoy the progression of our correspondence.

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From: TELNIO MANUEL VICENTE NHAMUE
Date: Wed, Dec 14, 2005 at 3:42 AM
Subject: amor e saudades suas
To: me

olha eu quero que saibas que tu moras no meu coracao e que te tenho todos dias da minha vida.infelismente nao vou puder ir a missao por varios motivos que so posso dizer quando estiveres proximo de mim.Eu nao sei se ja achaste alguem ideal para te fazer feliz mas se e que nao, o meu coraçao esta pronto pra te ter como futura mae dos meus filhos e como grande amor da minha vida.As vezes me pergunto sera que os nossos sentimentos sao iguais?o que e que agente faz para estarmos juntos?sera que voce sonha o que eu estou sohando?o que e que agente faz para matar saudades?eu quero te ver o mais rapido possivel porque ja nao suporto viver sem voce. um beijo te amo muito.My cell number is 825331888 eu quero te ver dentro deste mes de Dezembro……Qual e o seu maior sonho?O que e que pensas do seu e do meu futuro?seu serviço vai bem?um beijo para sua familia…… [look, i want you to know that you are in my heart and you can have all the days of my life. unfortunately i will not be able to serve a mission for various reasons that i can only tell you the next time we are together. i don’t know if you already found someone special who can make you happy, but my heart is ready to have you as the future mother of my children and as the great love of my life. sometimes i ask myself, is it possible that our feelings are the same? what we can do to be together? can it be that you are dreaming what i am dreaming? what can we do to kill these feelings of longing? i want to see you as soon as possible because i can’t live without you. i send you a kiss. i love you very much. my cell number is 825331888. i want to see you by this december… what is your largest dream? what do you think about your and my future together? is your job going well? sending kisses for your family…]

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From: TELNIO MANUEL VICENTE NHAMUE
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 2:47 AM
Subject: corresponden
çia
To: me

Olha Robin,esta tudo bem ai?por favor vem me tirar da solidao.sera qui ja me esqueceste por estarmos muito tempo sem correspondençia,ou ja nao queres saber de mim?Robin o que e que penças do nosso futuro?O que equi agente faz com a distançia?sera que um dia estaremos juntos?Sera que tu ainda penças em mim? [hey robin is everything okay over there? please help me rid myself of this loneliness. could it be that you have already forgotten about me? it has been a long time since we’ve talked. or is that you don’t want anything to do with me? what do you think about our future? {this is where i, robin, have to step in… OUR future? i don’t remember ever talking about OUR future EVER. i think we had all of three conversations. only one consisted of him telling me i was to be his wife. i think my response was something along the lines of, sorry, i go back to the united states tomorrow.} what should we do about the distance? do you think that one day we could be together? is it possible that you still think of me?]

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From: robin marie tanner
Date: Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 7:32 AM
Subject: fique tranquilo
To: TELNIO MANUEL VICENTE NHAMUE

claro que lembro de voce. sou lisonjeada por tudo que voce falou. mas, a gente nao pode ser um casal. a coisa e que nao veijo um relacionamento com voce. de verdade nao e possivel porque nossos circunstancias sao tao diferente. acho que nao da pra sonhar mais sobre este proposito. realmente voce e um grande homem que tem bastante fe e valor e sei que um dia achara um esposa lindona. nao posso ser aquela mulher. pois e, os meus sentimentos sao os sentimentos de amizade. nao sao de amor. eu posso ser sua amiga. podemos corresponder por email. espero que voce entendas. nao quero que voce fique triste ou sem esperanza. [of course i remember you. i am flattered by what you said but we can not be a couple. i don’t see a relationship with you. truthfully, it isn’t possible because our circumstances are too different (read: you live in a hut! or 2008 robin is married) i don’t think it is good to dream about this anymore. you are a great man with tremendous faith and virtue and i know that you will find a beautiful wife. i am not that woman. besides, my feelings are feelings of friendship – not love. i can be your friend and we can email. i hope you understand. i don’t want you to be sad or hopeless.]

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From: TELNIO MANUEL VICENTE NHAMUE
Date: Fri, Dec 16, 2005 at 3:23 AM
Subject: correspondençia
To: me

fiquei todo tempo pençando em ti,sonhando que seria feliz ao seu lado,pedindo a Deus que me guardasses no seu pençamento,mas ja que os nossos sentimentos nao sao iguais vou continuando pedir a Deus.Mas ofereço te estes verçiculo:Genesis 3:18 e Aos Romanos 8:35.Quando e que vens a Moçambique?Seu trabalho como vai?Sua familia esta bem?Ja achaste o grande amor da sua vida?…fiquei tao surpreso com a sua resposta…um abraço bem forte pra te. [i’ve spent all this time thinking about you, dreaming that i could be happy with you at my side. i’ve been asking god to keep me in your thoughts… but now that i realize our feelings aren’t the same i will continue asking god. i offer you these verses Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field… (??)and Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulations, orr distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? When will you come to Mozambique? How is your work? And is your family well? have you already found the great love of your life? i was very surprised by your response. sending a very big hug.]

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From: TELNIO MANUEL VICENTE NHAMUE
Date: Fri, May 9, 2008 at 8:47 AM
Subject: saudar
To: me

ola, tudo bem? imagino que tenhas me esquecido [hello, how is everything? i think you have forgotten me…]

to be continued…

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2 thoughts on “to moçambique with love.

  1. >This all brings to mind a couple of movie lines:”Oh Rhett, you’ll never kiss me!” (Scarlett O’Hara)”Toto, I think we’re not in Kansas anymore…!” (Dorothy) Maybe you could mail him a big biscuit – say size C.Wow, now I think I really do have the vapors! Hey, didn’t Scarlett say that too?

  2. >Robin, that is crazy and funny and disturbing all at once. Christian must appreciate the alluring and wonderful woman he has in you!And I was all excited to try my translation on Portuguese as I began to read this post.. then I saw you translated it! our vocab is more sophisticated than mine. I totally simplified in my version!

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