October 25, 2003: Headlines: COS - Mozambique: Internet: Blogs - Mozambique: Personal Web Site: Mozambique
Peace Corps Online:
Peace Corps Mozambique :
The Peace Corps in Mozambique:
October 25, 2003: Headlines: COS - Mozambique: Internet: Blogs - Mozambique: Personal Web Site: Mozambique
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Well I am still in Africa, we have had 2 people leave already. Life has been going pretty good. I went on a site visit last week to Chicuque and it was awesome. The volunteers were literally 5 minutes from the beach. Talk about gorgeous, I want to live there and there will be an opening, so I can only hope. Anyway I finally got a dictionary and I have been conversing with my family a lot more. I will be cooking them mashed potatoes on Sunday since they have never had them before. So that should be fun.
This weekend I went out last night and had a blast. I have only had a few hours of sleep so I might not be very coherent in this email. Talk about feeling like you haven't left america. All american music with a few mozambican songs mixed in. But wow is it cheap, Beer is less than a dollar. I got up really early this morning so that I could catch a bus to come and buy a cell phone, yes I have one and write this email. Cor I need you to let my mom use your calling card until next week when I can email her the numbers to mine. My number is 258-82-294-663.
I can't wait till this training thing is over. It is long and boring. The sites seem like they will be more fun. But I have finished week three and am going into week four. So I am almost half way done. OH it is 11:58 am here and 4:58 am in Chicago, so when you call just take that into consideration.
So I feel like I just don't know what to write. Nothing much has been happening, besides school, school and more school. We have met a bunch of other volunteers and they are real nice and fun to party with. I am determined that everyone here likes to drink.
Mom and Scott I received what I am assuming is your first letters. I just got them yesterday. I almost started to cry and then I did.
So I have seen a lot of cows, chickens, dogs, cats and goats and a monkey tied to a tree. But otherwise I guess fmost of the game in Mozambique does not exist, supposedly because of the war and the land mines. It kind of stinks but I guess thats part of life.
So I have a funny story about the other night. My latrine is outside in the open air. Well I was getting ready for bed and decided to go to the bathroom before my family locked the house up. Well I always shine a light down the latrine so all the roaches will scatter and nothinbg jumps out. Well while I was hovering something jumped on my back, I just know it was a roach. I freaked and was paranoid the rest of the night. I have been seeing more and more roaches lately and I guess it is just something I have to get used too. At least I haven't seen rats like some of the other volunteers.
It is starting to get really hot here. Though the weather reminds me of chicago. One day it is sweltering and the next it is freezing. WE are going into summer which is supposed to be brutal. But hey I picked Africa so I am not going to complain.
So I figured out I really miss fast food. When you have been drinking at night and there is nothing but a 24 hour gas station, which I have heard will become our best friend when it gets hot because it is the only place that is air conditioned.
Cor have fun with Tom, Tom enjoy yourself at home. (Tom is finally coming back from hte middle east). Sorry I missed you but hey, life is calling.
Sarah sounds like your having fun in that little town that I can't remember the name of. But sounds like you miss henry loads.- you''ll see him soon
Farhana-you've only got a little bit more of school and good luck on the GRE. Tell me about it when its over. I have to prep myself at some point.
Raj-glad to know your cell bill doesn't exist since I left, call me in africa, I am sure that will help.
Jeannette-I am so pround of you. I am really happy to hear you are doing good. Give the kids lots of hugs and kisses from me and call me so we can talk.
Mom you sound like you are doing great and I am glad to hear that. Good luck with the jobs. I am glad to hear that you are keeping yourself bussy.
Scott thought the letter was great. I am looking forward to hearing a lot more.
I know there are a bunch of people I am missing but I can only mention so many with time constraints.
I hope everyone is doing well and I want you all to know that I love you guys dearly and miss you tons
PS do not send anything in envelopes, unless they are bubbled or something. People tend to tear the ends off and see if there is anythign good inside and there goes whatever was in the envelope. We get the envelope and letter but not the other goods. ¶ 5:18 AM
well i have been living with a family for a few days and wow is it difficult to communicate. I will start first with my move from the Maputo hotel to our school. We took a chapa which is basically a van turned bus to school and our families met us there. Some local kids put on a really neat show for us with singing and dancing. They had some of the kids call out our name and give us a post card. It was definitely a nice welcome.
Next we met our families and my sister met me and her name is Anita and she is 21 and has a 2 month old named Vera. We tried communicating but it was difficult and we walked home pretty much in silence. At times I would point to things and say their spanish name and she would correct me. Out of that session I learned what a dog is called. cao pronounced cow. Definitely a weird language.
So i went to my new house which consists of three cement rooms. My bedroom, the kitchen-living room-basically the all purpose room and the parents bedroom. Outside is an addition made of reed that the 2 daughters sleep in. The kitchen is outside and the latrine where else is outside. Though my latrine does not have roaches crawling out of it like most trainees. And the wonderful bucket bath.
Back to the family, the mom-isabel, dad-paulo, sisters anita and maria and niece-vera. They are all really nice. We have electricity so its not too bad. my bedroom is the nicest room in the house. i am not allowed to have my window open at night, i guess they are afraid of someone getting through the bars, yes my bedroom window has bars on it and i have a mosquitoe net hanging over my bed.
well communicating with my family has been getting a little easier. I am understanding more portuguese but i canºt say i am able to tlak much more, though i try. Hand gestures mean a lot when trying to communicate. Last night me Anita and Vera went to the discoteca. I figure I donºt have to explain that one. I did find out trying to talk and understand portuguese when you are exhausted and have had 2 drinks is really difficult. ~
So school is long...weºre talking 10-12 hours a day. But they feed us a lot. There is always snacks and breaks and stuff like that. The kids are awesome here. They call us white people and we call them brown. They get a kick out of it and it isnºt a negative thing. The food isnºt bad, I get to learn how to cook and wash clothes tomorrow. Also how to plant a garden. The walk to and from school is a good 20 minutes. By the time I get home at night i want to sleep.
This is definitely an exhausting experience. So much to do and learn in such a short amount of time. Well I should wrap this up cause>I only have a few minutes left. I may not write for a week or 2 or so cause we are visiting volunteers next week so that we can shadow them and see how this whole thing is done. I will not write until I get back to Maputo and it is a good 45 minutes to an hour and a half to get here. Depends on how fast and how long we have to wait. So mom love you lots and miss you. Jeannette congrats on passsing the bar and swearing in. Sarah have a good time in Europe and donºt miss Hen too much. Farhana concentrate on school and send me emails venting when you need. Cor dontº stress tooo much, life will work out. Liz and Chris just keep being the brats you are(lol). And everyone else just be happy. ~
So to sum this up I am having a great time. I miss things but when there is soo much to do there is not a lot of time to think, which may be better. Though I hear after we swear in and move to our site there is a lot of down time. But I donºt think it will be a problem.
Anyway I will emial the next time I get a chance and I am safe and happy and not doing anything stupid. ~
Love ya all and miss ya~
10/11/03 ¶ 4:25 AM
To say the last almost week has been overwhelming is to say nothing. We have moved from city to city, and country to country. In Philly we were just waking up really early and learning what we would be experiencing in general and what we should and should not do and learning about each other.
Then we took the long uncomfortable flight to JO-Berg. Well it was extremely long, I couldn't sleep, I was having a small reaction to my yellow fever shot and I watched some really cool movies. We had our own personal tv's and could choose whatever it was that we wanted. Tv shows, movies, music videos...you get the point.
When we arrived in Jo-Berg we were unable to leave the hotel, which was fine with me. We chilled out by the pool, met some rugby players from George (which were really cute) and had a few cocktails. When we got back to our rooms we pretty much had to get ready for more briefing and another move.
We took a flight from Jo-Berg to Maputo and we have been in this hotel for two days and we will be here just another night. The hotels have been really nice and air conditioned. We have talked to lots of volunteers and got lots of shots. My arms feel like someone has been continuously punching me. I got a rabies vaccine!!! I was shocked, but whatever to keep me in good health.
Otherwise, my experience thus far has been very pleasant. I am looking forward to moving in with our families tomorrow. Though I am concerned because I only know a few things like how to ask where the bathroom is, how to say good morning and all those basic things that really don't do much for you if you need something. And I guess it helps that you know what they are saying when they answer back. The language is like a mix of Spanish and French and I find my spanish impeding what I am learning in portuguese. I am sure after being with a family for ten weeks, I won't have tooo much of a problem.
So the cool thing is that I might not have running water, electricity but I will probably have a cell phone. What a contradiction. Basically its like everyone has one. They are starting up a new site in the Northern provinces which I think would be really cool, but soooo far from everyone. We pretty much are guaranteeed to be with at least one other volunteer no matter where they put us. Which I think is great so we can lean on each other when we need too.
Everyone here seems so nice. We have 42 volunteers, which is the biggest group mozambique has ever had. Everyone has been very nice and welcoming. This actually reminds me a lot of the Dominican Republic. That is what I have seen from the airport to the hotel which was about a half an hour drive. It is so weird to see people driving on the wrong side of the car and teh wrong side of teh road. I am not sure what signals they obey but they seem to know what they are doing. I understand why we are unable to operate any type of vehicles here.
Well I should go since there is a line of people waiting for the 2 computers they have. I have been on an hour emailing those I can. So I hope all is well in everyones life and I am doing awesome.
I will hopefully talk to some of you soon!!!!!
I miss you all and love you lots,
When this story was posted in November 2004, this was on the front page of PCOL:
| The Birth of the Peace Corps|
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.
| Charges possible in 1976 PCV slaying|
Congressman Norm Dicks has asked the U.S. attorney in Seattle to consider pursuing charges against Dennis Priven, the man accused of killing Peace Corps Volunteer Deborah Gardner on the South Pacific island of Tonga 28 years ago. Background on this story here and here.
| Director Gaddi Vasquez: The PCOL Interview|
PCOL sits down for an extended interview with Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez. Read the entire interview from start to finish and we promise you will learn something about the Peace Corps you didn't know before.
Plus the debate continues over Safety and Security.
Read the stories and leave your comments.
Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.
Story Source: Personal Web Site
This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Mozambique; Internet; Blogs - Mozambique