Lady Of Remedies


A true Mozambican experience came my way when I reached the town of Cabaceira, a long-forgotten Portuguese settlement overlooking the Mossuril Bay.

I found the Igreja de Nossa Senhora dos Remidios (Church of our Lady of Remedies) on a Sunday morning. I enquired about entering. “Yes, but no.” was the reply. Meaning yes I could, but not then, I had to return after the service.

I returned a little later and enquired again. “Yes, but no” was again the response. This time I understood the answer to mean yes I could but not without a donation. Having no cash on my body at the time I returned later with my ‘donation’.

Heading toward the 433-year-old church with camera in hand I heard those same – now familiar – words again. “Yes, but no”. This time it meant that I could take photos but not without a further ‘donation’.

I shot off a few frames of the entrance and intricate handcarved wooden doors. I then proceeded into the church and busied myself with finding a good angle. As I extended out the legs of my tripod – the dark interior would require a long exposure – I heard them again, “Yes, but no”. It became apparent that my previous ‘donations’ for entering the church and photographing the church did not actually cover any photographing of the inside of ‘The Lady of Remedies’. A further ‘donation’ and I was welcomed to continue.

Having set up my frame but knowing that I needed a finishing touch I glanced over to the holy book beside me. My glance was caught. “Yes, but no” and a further ‘donation’. With my pockets now empty I placed the book on the altar and fired away.

            Thanking her, I left the ‘Church of our Lady of Remedies’ happy in the knowledge that I had some good shots.

             I am sure that later in the day, in one of the local bars, my ‘donations would lead to more thanks to the ‘Lady of Remedies’ for the shots.