a ride on the chapa

Welcome to the public transportation of Mozambique—the chapa. This is a mini-bus that in the states would fit 15 people tops. I think the record for the most passengers for anyone on our trip so far is 22 people, 2 kids, and a chicken. The crew of the chapa is made up of a driver and the doorman. The doorman really holds the chapa together—literally. His duties include signaling the driver to stop (normally by banging on the roof), opening the door, shuffling the people into whatever space there is (seat or not), slamming the door shut (usually while the car is already in motion), collecting the cash, and occasionally holding on the door on. There are no official stops, you just flag ‘em down when you want on and yell ‘Saida!’ when you want off. The great part about the chapa is that you never have to wait, there are always chapas rolling by. The bad part is that you might have to get friendly with the person sitting next to you. It’s quite the adventure!

*Credit for prime picture taking goes to Mr. Timothy Krug.

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