They sound funny but… when the people in the country is dying by starvation as it is happening in Angola and Moçambique, it is very sad.
The only reason Angola did not collapse like Moçambique was that the government, wisely, decided not to interfere with Cabinda Gulf Oil (an American company) and Diamang (partially owned by The Beers).
The royalty from the oil and diamonds are sufficient to maintain the government senior officer and party members living in luxury and support 60,000 Cubans troops and other socialist advisers.
Angolan army also became one of the most powerful of the African continent ranking in 10th place amongst the clients of the arms dealers.
When you live in a corrupt system it is almost impossible to stay clear from the mud. If you don’t want to take part in the deals around you, you mean danger for the rest of the group and sooner or later you will be framed and finished.
And we started questioning ourselves…if it was worth it… and we finally came to the conclusion that it was not.
It took two years and all the influence I could move to obtain the passport to go to Portugal visiting our parents.
I was so desperate that I started building a boat to sail across the Atlantic to Brazil, despite the fact that I never sailed in my life.
Finally, with my wife pregnant of 7 months of our second daughter, we managed to obtain the tickets and necessary papers to go to Portugal on holidays.
On July the 22nd, 1979 we left Angola on holidays and forgot to return.
Europe did not appeal to us as we went to Macau in Southeast Asia, where I worked for two years with the power authority over there.
Burnie - Tasmania, Australia 2000
Republic of Nauru - Nauru 1983
Macau - 2018
Aqueduct of Águas Livres - Lisboa 2018
We have very fond memories of Macau and China, but the future is also uncertain in this part of the World and we decided to move on.
I was then trying to obtain a visa to come to Australia but it is very difficult from Hong Kong.
I thought if I come closer to Australia it would be easier to get a visa and my supposition proved to be right when I accepted a job offer in Nauru, Central Pacific, working for a phosphate mining company.
I worked in Nauru for 5 years and during that time we traveled twice around the world looking for a place to settle. Australia still looked the best and we decided to come here.
We came to Australia and Burnie 4 years ago and we felt that we made the right decision.
Australian people made us feel at home right from the first day. Last year we decided to take up citizenship and became true blue Aussies. Unfortunately, they did not allow us to become Tasmanians. Apparently, unless you are born here you cannot be one of them, we were told.
However, we are very happy here thanks to people like you.
Thank you very much for listening.