Wednesday, July 6, 2011

American Independence Day

So this past weekend we had a whole bunch of friends come to Inharrime to celebrate July 4th. It ended up being a great group of people and a wonderful weekend. Some people arrived on Friday and we just hung out and ate at the hotel that night. The hotel seemed overwhelmed by all the Americans but we all got our food without too much trouble.

On Saturday we did our shopping in the village and then just hung out at my house and cooked all day. We were not abstemious with our food and pretty much ate the entire day. We ended up taking all of my movable furniture outside because it was a beautiful day. My yard (which normally looks like a white trash yard) was transformed into a Frat front yard on the first nice days of the year...couches and chairs outside with cooking and football. Also Scooter had the great idea to have everyone buy a ridiculous American shirt from the many second hand clothing booths in Mozambique. It was so funny to see all the different shirts and hear all the stories of where they got them. Scooter even bought a shirt off a kid's back at the border crossing!

We also made a bonfire at night which was so much fun. I really enjoyed having everyone over and it was a great group. No one left before helping clean up or paying (which is pretty normal at Peace Corps gatherings). The weekend was a huge success and I'm so happy we were able to celebrate the 4th!

June 25

The last week in June has been an amazing one. It started with Mozambican Independence Day, June 25. One of the girls in my REDES group came over and we went to the praza to watch the activities. Since Independence Day was a Saturday many people left town to celebrate so there were not many people at the praza. They had a dance group perform and in the group was a girl who was about 2 years old. It was really cute to see the little girl doing as much of the dance that she could.

Other than that the weekend was just spent hanging out with my Mozambican friends and studying for the GMAT.

This week was an amazing one because of so many different reasons. First I started taking Portuguese lessons with one of Scooter’s colleagues. He has already helped my Portuguese so much and is teaching me grammatically correct language. Since many people here speak the local language first and don’t really learn Portuguese until they go to school the Portuguese spoken tends to not be grammatically correct. Since I have pretty much just been learning Portuguese from working I was not speaking 100% correctly. I’m happy to have the chance to learn the language and potentially be perfectly fluent by the time I leave.

My REDES girls had a big part in making this week so great. The lesson we did this was about sex vs. gender. It’s a very complicated topic for most people but the girls tried to learn and participate. Last week we discussed our futures and I wanted tie in the fact that just because women here do most of the work doesn’t mean they are the only one’s that CAN.

The girls also got really into a competition to design the T-shirt for the REDES conference that is in August. A lot of the girls came to my house and just hung out while drawing. They are so funny and asked so many questions. It was nice to be able to just hang out with them. Because there are so many (I have about 80) it just makes it too hard to try and have them all over to my house. I hope the girls will continue to come over and we’ll be able to have more of an exchange as I get to know them better.

This weekend Inharrime is hosting a 4th party. So far we have about 25 people coming so it should be a lot of fun! Happy 4th!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I can’t believe that it has already been 2 months since I last wrote. I feel like the time has flown by as it normally does. The days are short and the electricity has been going in and out so my days have been packed trying to use the light.

I started a REDES group at the primary school with 7th grade girls, and the turnout was amazing. I had 80 girls interested so I had to split them into 4 different groups. It’s quite overwhelming to have so many girls but it is also quite rewarding. This week we have been playing Frisbee and the girls love it. They haven’t quite gotten down the rules to ultimate Frisbee so it turns into a game of running with the Frisbee. A lot of the girls are shy but after the few meetings we’ve had I can see some of them starting to come out of their shells. I think it also helps that I make them do crazy stuff like dance without music (more like jumping dancing). It’s so much fun to be able to see all of these around town and see the changes that are happening.

This weekend I will be going with 8 kids from the theater group I’m helping out with to a workshop in Chicuque, a town about an hour away from Inharrime. The theater group has taken a while to get started but I’m hoping after this weekend the 8 kids will be so excited that everything will start to run smoothly. We were thinking about doing a play for Mozambican Independence Day (June 25) but considering it’s so close I don’t think it will happen. It’s also interesting to have a group with both boys and girls and to see the dynamic.

My job is going well but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed. Because I’ll be getting replaced 3 months before I end my service (which is November 18) I feel as of right now that I need to try and get done the things I want to by mid July. I’ve been working with my Peer Educators on creating income generation projects. We are still in the beginning stages of it but they are starting to think “outside the box” which I view as a success! We’ve also started doing reviews of all things health. This month and a half (since I’ll be leaving mid July) is about HIV/AIDS. I am also doing these reviews with a local organization.

As of now I’m also counting down the days until I’ll be in Cape Town! (but that also means taking the GMAT) I can’t believe that the test is less than a month away now! I’m excited for the trip and to get away for a little bit however I’ll be much more relaxed once the GMAT is over!

Thursday, April 14, 2011


As I’m sitting here with my luke-warm hot chocolate, the cold weather has finally come to Mozambique. The wind has been blowing for a few days now and I think that my fence is not going to with stand it. Around this time last year is when my fence and papaya tree were ripped out of the ground. The energy is out due to the weather so I’m sitting outside trying to use the last light of the day.

My job has been going very well recently. I finally have work to do!..although it might be too much! My work with my big NGO has slowed down a little due to a problem in New York but hopefully that will be taken care of soon as I had a lot planned. I’ve been working with associations in my community and I’m really excited to be starting these partnerships. They have so many ideas and really like having me there. I’ve also started income generation projects with all the organizations I work with (or have at least talked about it) so they will be ok after all the aid money has left. I was also just accepted to do an activista exchange and medicinal plant training at the end of May. I’m really excited to learn about the medicinal plants of Mozambique and I think that this training will really help the organizations that I work with.

I started working with a theater group of about 10 kids who are really excited to be a part of it. I have a counterpart who is really excited to start work and is constantly coming to me with all of his ideas. I actually need to tell him to slow down…
My all girls group is in the process of reorganizing right now because of many different reasons but hopefully soon the group will be meeting every week. At least this year I have a Mozambican counterpart that is so excited for the group so I won’t be the only driving force with it! We actually had a big event on April 7 (Mozambican Women’s day) to celebrate being a woman. We had the 2 groups from Inharrime present (mine had 12 so we’re getting there) and had invited strong women from the community as well as welcomed all the women that had wanted to come. In Inharrime we have a woman Police chief, a woman Doctor and a woman Prosecutor which is unheard of. All three women came prepared and gave wonderful speeches (I was even surprised by the things I learned). The girls were animated and asked some great questions and you could tell everyone had a great time. I even had 4 colleagues come and participate.

For the weekend of April 1st, we went to tsene to celebrate Erin’s birthday. On Friday we pulled a prank on her (her first ever) by making a wall of duct tape and adding fishing line so she really couldn’t get out. The beach was a well needed break and even included a mud bath! It was a wonderful weekend with great company.
It feels like time is flying by and I can’t believe that I’ve been here for 18 months.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

wow I can't believe that it is already the middle of february! it feels like i just got back from my vacation with my family. Last weekend was a very fun weekend!
It started with an intergroup exchange between my and Erin's (my new site mate) group and scooter's group. We had about 20 girls at my house for the entire day and even had 7 sleepover. It was so much fun to have a group of Mozambican girls just hanging out and having fun for the entire day. Normally they have so many chores that i think it was a nice change for them. We started the day with a brainstorming session of questions to ask my counterpart (who never showed up). She was going to come and talk about her life as she is a great role model. she is 27 only has 2 children (2 girls) and doesn't want more, a nurse in the hospital, and she just returned to night school for 11th grade. I thought she would be a great woman to come and explain why she has chosen the path in life that she has. It also would have been great because she has returned to school after so many years out of it because she wanted to further her education and possibly become a doctor. it was disappointing that she didn't show up for both me and the girls.
we played a lot of fun games including:
-my neighbors (where you say something true about yourself and then everyone who it applies to has to switch spots and the last person standing has to come up with the new fact)
-American football
-my best qualities bracelets (say a quality and choose a bead and end up making a bracelet comprised of all the girls best qualities)
-They learned to make earrings which we will sell and teach the girls income generation

Scooter, Erin and I made them Chicken Parmesan for lunch with a cabbage salad and made them cheeseburgers for dinner. it was fun to be able to have the girls try foods that we talk about to really have them learn a little bit more about america. Throughout the day the girls also just hung out at my house and looked through all of the magazines i have acquired since being here. to end the night we showed the girls harry potter in Portuguese and for the girls that spent the night the little mermaid. All in all the day was so much fun even with the things that did not go exactly as planed.

On Sunday I went up to Massinga and met up with a lot of PCV's to watch the superbowl. It started at 1am and ended aroun 5-5:30. It was such a fun night to do something very American and to be able to watch the game. The game was shown at a gas station so that was also quite an experience for them to have the store taken over by maybe 20+ americans. I was so
exhausted from our exchange that during the game I actually ended up taking a nap on the floor...all in all it was quite an amazing experience!

Family Visit

My trip with my family was amazing! They came to Mozambique and I met them in Maputo. It was so nice to have the entire family come to see Mozambique. Now when I talk to them they know who and what I’m talking about. We only had 4 days in Mozambique so it was a quick trip but it was so much fun. They got to meet all of my colleagues at the hospital as well as the peer educators I work with. I spent my birthday at my favorite beach (Tsene) and it was a nice relaxing day.

After Mozambique we flew to South Africa and did a safari for 3 days. It was amazing! We saw 4 out of the big 5 which included seeing lions and leopards every game drive. We didn’t see the water buffalo because there are none in the area where we were. We finished our trip in Cape Town and it was amazing! Cape Town is such a beautiful city and had so much to do. We also went to the cape of Good Hope so now I only need to go to the Cape of Horn. I can’t wait to plan a trip back! I put pictures up on facebook of our trip if you would like to see any of the places.

I got back to site on the 13th and have just been trying to make a plan for this year. As I was planning it was crazy to think that I only have a year left…not even. I think I’ll finish my service in November and then travel around and be home before Christmas. I’m starting to think of a big trip home…maybe even circumnavigating the globe which will be fun to plan.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


On Saturday November 27, Emma had her despidida party. She invited all of her colleagues to her house for the occasion. On Saturday Scooter and I went and helped out from bringing the tables and chairs from the school to getting water (and getting into a water fight) to cutting all the potatoes for the fries. We cut them quite small so they would cook like American fries. (Here they have fries all the time however they are cut so thick and are not crispy at all…). There were PCV’s from the area that came as well as our big surprise of two of our good friends from Gaza and Maputo provinces. Scooter and I actually kept it a secret the entire time and it was so much fun to see Emma’s reaction when she saw them!
The party was a mix between Mozambican and American styles. Emma’s colleagues gave her capulanas and put them around her then lifted her in a chair. It was really nice to see and they all sang while this was happening. The food was amazing! Everyone stayed and danced for the night. It was a great way to send off Emma after 2 great years of service!