2008.11.05: November 5, 2008: Headlines: COS - Mazambique: Blogs - Mozambique: Women's Issues: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer My African Adventure writes: The things Ive learned...

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Mozambique: Peace Corps Mozambique : Peace Corps Mozambique: Newest Stories: 2008.11.05: November 5, 2008: Headlines: COS - Mazambique: Blogs - Mozambique: Women's Issues: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Volunteer My African Adventure writes: The things Ive learned...

By Admin1 (admin) (141.157.6.22) on Sunday, March 22, 2009 - 8:27 am: Edit Post

Peace Corps Volunteer My African Adventure writes: The things Ive learned...

Peace Corps Volunteer My African Adventure writes: The things Ive learned...

Anyone would be shocked at the amount of work 9-12 year old girls do at my house. I know when I was their age I couldnt balance gallons of water on my head or cook entire meals with charcoal and plastic for heat, or sweep the dirt around our house every morning. 85% or more of the students in Mozambican schools are male. Why? Because the culture and social norms make it so difficult for girls to continue. Unplanned pregnancy, duties to family and general harrassment are some of the factors working against them.

Peace Corps Volunteer My African Adventure writes: The things Ive learned...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The things Ive learned...

Ive only lived here for a little over a month, so it may sound cliche to say this, but I have learned a lot about myself thus far.

For instance: even bread, when consumed 3 times a day as a main dish can grow tiresome; I can handle squatting with my dirty water bucket bath, squatting over my poop chimney, squatting to wash my clothes on a dirty rock (counter intuitive, is it not?), and dealing with roosters who cannot understand that the sun does not rise at midnight. Those things I am actually quite OK with.

What I have learned that I cannot handle is the absolute degradation of my gender. I may be just a woman, but I know that Baghdad is not in Canada. I know that George Bush is not President of South America (or America for much longer! Go Obama!), and I know that red wine is not actually blue.

These are real situations I have encountered here. But still, I am supposed to be content with washing clothes and cooking for my husband as a daily routine?I think not. One of the 3 goals of Peace Corps is to share about American culture while Im here. I fully intend to at least attempt (with the most stubborn of efforts) to teach women that they can be so much more than a stereotype and can do more than fulfill a gender role.

Anyone would be shocked at the amount of work 9-12 year old girls do at my house. I know when I was their age I couldnt balance gallons of water on my head or cook entire meals with charcoal and plastic for heat, or sweep the dirt around our house every morning. 85% or more of the students in Mozambican schools are male. Why? Because the culture and social norms make it so difficult for girls to continue. Unplanned pregnancy, duties to family and general harrassment are some of the factors working against them.

There is also a considerable shortage of women for them to look up to as role models of something other than the housewife. I dont want to force American ideals on them, I just want women/girls here to realize they have choices and they dont have to do things they dont want to. Therefore, the solution, in my eyes, to the gender problems lie in education. Ill go door to door if I have to, or drag the girls to school. Everyone deserves and education and what they do afterwards is up to them. Sorry. Im done venting now. :-)

Everything else is going well here. We are going on site visits this Saturday. Ill get to shadow a current volunteer and see what their life is like for 5 days. It will be a much needed break from my host family. Im anxious to see the conditions Ill be living in for the next 2 years as well. Im sad to not be in the US during this crazy election time! History in the making! Everyone is really pumped about it here. Last couple days were a bit of a struggle for me...thankfully I have a Dad who can help me keep things in perspective, and Cody to write me inspirational/motivational speeches. The one month milestone is rough...but I am going to stick this whole thing out. The Peace Corps is supposed to be the hardest job youll ever love, right? Much love to everyone. I honestly miss you all more than I can say.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: November, 2008; Peace Corps Mozambique; Directory of Mozambique RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Mozambique RPCVs; Blogs - Mozambique; Women's Issues





When this story was posted in March 2009, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director Date: December 2 2008 No: 1288 PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director
Honduras RPCV Jon Carson, 33, presided over thousands of workers as national field director for the Obama campaign and said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 "super volunteers," who were a big part of what made Obama's campaign so successful. PCOL endorses Jon Carson as the man who can revitalize the Peace Corps, bring it into the internet age, and meet Obama's goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011.

Director Ron Tschetter:  The PCOL Interview Date: December 9 2008 No: 1296 Director Ron Tschetter: The PCOL Interview
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter sat down for an in-depth interview to discuss the evacuation from Bolivia, political appointees at Peace Corps headquarters, the five year rule, the Peace Corps Foundation, the internet and the Peace Corps, how the transition is going, and what the prospects are for doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011. Read the interview and you are sure to learn something new about the Peace Corps. PCOL previously did an interview with Director Gaddi Vasquez.

Feb 22, 2009: Return to Indonesia? Date: March 1 2009 No: 1333 Feb 22, 2009: Return to Indonesia?
Clinton says PC expects to resume in Indonesia 18 Feb
Indonesia still touchy about Peace Corps 17 Feb
PCVs Remain Safe in Madagascar 30 Jan
Dodd's Senate seat up for grabs? 21 Feb
Tony Hall Talks About Poverty and Hunger 18 Feb
Pro Football Player Aaron Merz to serve in Zambia 17 Feb
Moyers could be new Murrow for US Public Diplomacy 17 Feb
Obituary for Nigeria CD Francis Underhill Macy 10 Feb
George Packer writes: Parties argue government role 10 Feb
James Rupert writes: Missile Strikes Counterproductive? 10 Feb
Danny Hevrol in Madagascar amidst fighting 6 Feb
Reed Hastings writes: Please Raise My Taxes 6 Feb
Obama overrides Hillary on Chris Hill appointment 6 Feb
Joseph Acaba has "The Right Stuff" 4 Feb
Maureen Orth writes: A New Start 2 Feb
Henry Rayburn could make art out of anything 1 Feb
Obama out to marry military power with diplomacy 30 Jan
Mike Fay honored by the San Diego Zoo 30 Jan
Charles Stroh writes: Karzai seen as impediment to change 29 Jan
Madeleine Meek writes: The market and the bath 26 Jan
NPCA gets new Web Site 22 Jan
Read more stories from January and February 2009.

Some PCVs return to Bolivia on their own Date: October 23 2008 No: 1279 Some PCVs return to Bolivia on their own
Peace Corps has withdrawn all volunteers from Bolivia because of "growing instability" and the expulsion of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg after Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the American government of inciting violence in the country. This is not the first controversy surrounding Goldberg's tenure as US ambassador to Bolivia. Latest: Some volunteers have returned to Bolivia on their own to complete their projects.



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; Blogs - Mozambique; Women's Issues

PCOL43106
63


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: