Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Just a quick update!

So, school has started and is in full swing. I LOVE my job!!! I am teaching 11th grade biology (taxonomy and classification), 11th grade english, and 12th grade english. I am super nervous about teaching english... I didn't prepare for it. Oh well... All is going well.

I have started working in the lab at school. I have been teaching my colleagues how to use our microscopes and materials in the lab. I am really enjoying it. I have been staying pretty busy, but don't worry I still love it here.

I am really enjoying Catandica. My site is absolutely beautiful. It has been raining for the past 3 weeks straight. The temp has been in the low to mid 70's during the day and 60's at night. LOVE IT! I just really hate the mosquitos! I sometimes have to go to bed early so that I can escape them and hide in my mosquito net.

I have been in Maputo for the last week. I have been here for med. I had a dental issue. Then once that was resolved I had a horrible reaction to my meds. I felt like I was going to die! Today I am feeling much better. I get to go home, to Catandica, tomorrow. Not really looking forward to the long chapa rides but I am anxious to get home. I miss my bed and my friends in town.

I'll try to update again soon. I hope all is going well! Miss everyone like crazy!

Love to all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas






















Good day all!

How is life at home? So I heard about a crazy blizzard in OKC during Christmas! I cannot believe I missed it! I am super jealous!

I enjoyed Christmas with the Central gang. We all went to Gorongosa for the holiday! We had so much fun! It was really nice to be around friends on Christmas. I would have loved to be with my family but that really wasn’t an option. Although my family did call me and we got to talk for about an hour! I love phone time with my family!

Upon returning home from our mini vacation we discovered that our house was broken into. ONLY my stuff was taken. My ipod, DS, headlamp, and electrical converter (which didn’t work so I hope the losers who took it can’t charge ANYTHING of mine) were taken from my room. I was sad to lose my things but I am ok now. But a crazy thing happened… they didn’t take my computer which was underneath my ipod and DS.

The same day we got home we went to our director’s house down the street. We needed to tell him what happened. He was so very worried about us. The next day at 8 am there were guys here measuring our windows and doors for bars. I have never seen anyone in Mozambique get anything done that fast!

For New Year’s the roommate and I just stayed at our house. We could only be away from site one of the two holidays. We had to make ourselves stay up until midnight. We had an Office marathon. I guess it was pretty fun! I will defiantly remember how I celebrated 2010. Cannot believe it was in Mozambique… that is sooo cool!

So school starts next Friday (January 15th). I am getting excited! I really want to know which grade I will be teaching so I know what material I will be covering. Today I walked to the school because I needed to chat with my director and I got to talk with some of the students… it was awesome!

I don’t have any big plans for the last two weeks of freedom. I think I will just try to enjoy the free time while it lasts. I hope everyone is doing well!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Site!

Bom Dia Friends and Family!

I feel like I have a lot to write about this morning. So, I am warning you… this may be long.

December 8, 2009 was our swearing in ceremony at the US Embassy in Maputo. It was amazing! I actually teared up a little when we had our right hands raised and we were repeating after Ruben. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening! I had waited so long! I AM A REAL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEER!!!!

After the ceremony we got to tour the Peace Corps office in Maputo. It was fun trying to cram about 70 people in the office! That is where I had to say some goodbyes! It was hard! I didn’t realize how close I had gotten some of my new friends! I probably teared up then too!

After swearing in and the tour of the office, the Central Region folk stayed over night in Maputo because our flight left very early the next morning. We celebrated! It was like a much needed mini vacation! There are 11 of us in the Central Region. I am pretty sure we have the best group! Central includes Manica, Sofala, and Tete. Anyway, we head to the airport early early early the next day to find out that only half of us are confirmed on the flight! It was just craziness! I was part of the group that got left behind. We weren’t too upset though. Yes, we were sad to leave our friends but PC hooked us up in a nice-ish hotel for another night and we got more per diem. We think they were just testing our patience as new PCVs.

We finally made it to Chimoio. When we got there we had about 30 minutes before our supervisors conference was to start. The conference was nice. It wasn’t what I would call fun but it was a good conference. That evening we all hung out together for the last time for a while. It was bittersweet. We were all so very excited to get to site but we were sad to say goodbye.

Our supervisor picked us up the next day to take us to our new home. The truck he picked us up in was tiny! Our suit cases and boxes and stuff fit nicely in the back but the cab was a little cramped! Poor Kendra had to sit in the middle… it was a standard. Our director seems like a pretty cool guy. He didn’t talk much on the way so it was a very quiet 2.5 hour drive.

The minute we got to town he took us to our house. We immediately unloaded our luggage and then we were instructed to go to the school. Within about 25 minutes of arriving we had a staff meeting. It was crazy. Our director was trying to explain to our new colleagues that we have only been speaking Portuguese for 10 weeks so they should have patience with us. He also told them that when we are sick they are not allowed to visit us. That made me laugh. He was really trying to be nice to us and he was.

We finally were able to come home and relax and unpack! It was amazing! I love our house! We are so very lucky! We have two bedrooms and an indoor bathroom with running water most of the time, a kitchen with an electric/gas range, a living/sitting room, and verandas both in front and back. We have electricity almost 24 hours a day. That is amazing! The thing I love the most are our ceiling fans! It is REALLY hot here and they are life savers!

The view here is amazing! Directly behind our house is the school gym but behind that is this HUGE mountain! Now, I am from Oklahoma and we don’t have mountains… just big hills and I find it fascinating. It is really pretty when the clouds are low and they are coming in over the mountain… AMAZING! One day I am going to climb it!

So I do have plans for Christmas. We are getting together at a friend’s house. I am glad we will be together for Christmas. We exchanged names for Christmas. I don’t know what to get my secret santa. We are going to Chimoio tomorrow so maybe I’ll find something!

I don’t know how I will feel on Christmas day. This will be my first Christmas away from my family. It will be hard and I will probably cry. It has already been hard because this is my favorite time of year! The season, the lights, the weather…. I love everything about it! But here in Africa it is HOT and there aren’t many holiday decorations or holiday music everywhere you go. It doesn’t even seem like Christmas to me. Hopefully this time next year I will be visiting home and the year after that I will be home for good. So I only have to miss one Christmas! Sounds like a plan to me!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Catandica BABY!

Boa Noite!

SOOO…. I am going to Catandica, Manica! We swear in as volunteers on Tuesday Dec. 8! The next day I will be flying to Manica! I cannot believe this is actually happening! I have waited for soooooooooo long! I will be living in a house with a roomie. Her name is Kendra. She is a MOZ 14er too! She will be teaching English. I am glad I have a roomie. I think it will be awesome! We have already made the rule that we MUST speak only Portuguese to each other… I need the practice!

Did everyone have an awesome Thanksgiving?! I DID! PC let us have party! They provided turkeys and roasted veggies. We were supposed to bring sides and sweets. I made my mom’s traditional rum cake. It was rockin’! although the rum here tastes different… still good though. I made a trial cake for my host family and my host mom ate it all! She asked for the recipe! That is a HUGE complement… that is because my REAL mom rocks! So anyway our turkey day festa (party) was awesome! There was soooooo much food! We have some good cooks in MOZ 14. It was the first time I have been completely full since I have been here! Not all my cake was gone so my language professor took it home… it was his birthday. He ate ALL of it! Then the next day he asked my friend and me to make him a cake for his graduation from university. Of course we said yes!

Sometimes I wake up and cannot believe I am actually in Africa. I am sooooo lucky that I have an amazing family and rockin’ friends who are so super supportive! I am having so much fun and I am working so very hard! I cannot wait to move to Manica to continue my work! Thank you to all my family and friends! You all are the reason I am here! Because without your support, thoughts, and prayers I don’t think I could it! You all are AWESOME! - ok that was my cheesy thanksgiving speech.
Miss everyone LOTS!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Week 5 and 6

Hello Friends and Family!!

How is everyone?!

I am doing well! Everyday is super busy! This week we were on site visits. Each trainee went out into Moz to visit a current volunteer. I went to Quissico. It was amazing! I got to swim in the Indian Ocean! Yes, you should be jealous! It was a much needed break, even though the rest of this week has been tough. I am feeling a little overwhelmed with everything we have to do. Next week starts model school. We will be teaching Monday through Friday to Mozambican students. I am teaching 8th grade. I am a little nervous!!!! I don’t feel like my language skills are good enough yet to be totally comfortable. I know I can do it, but I am still nervous! BUT next Monday we are supposed to find out our site placements!! I cannot wait! I know where I would like to go, but I don’t know if I will be placed there. I am trying not to get too excited.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!!
Megatron

Monday, November 2, 2009

I have been here for 1 month!!! OMC!

Boa Noite!

I have been in Africa for more than a month! I doesn’t seem like it has been that long… probably because I am sooooo very busy!

Week 4 was tough for me. My group was working on 45 minute lessons. It is not easy teaching biology in Portuguese for 45 minutes! I know the material but I don’t feel like I know the language well enough to teach well. My professor says we are all doing great, but sometimes I think she is just being nice. J

My language class is going great. I feel like I am learning soooo much! I am now having REAL conversations with my host family and they understand what I am saying!! And you all know how much I love to talk!

My host family is taking great care of me! I actually think they are spoiling me sometimes. My host mom makes frequent business trips to Maputo. Every time she goes she always brings me something. Usually it is a food item for my lunch or launche (midmorning or mid-afternoon snackage). This week I got Laughing Cow Cheese. Except here it is called “Vaca que ri”. Yes, I was excited… You don’t know how much you love dairy products until you have none!

Saturday was Halloween. PC gave us permission to have a Halloween party. It was AWESOME! All the trainees were supposed to dress-up and bring a family member. Since my host sister was in town I took her. We both dressed up as ladybugs! It was fun trying to explain the concept of Halloween. They don’t really have any holiday that is similar. My family thought I was crazy when I was explaining trick or treating. It was fun though. After the party we were supposed to take our family members home and then all the trainees were going to meet up at a barraca for some fun… it was SOO much fun! I am not really a party person but my friends made me dance! I am pretty sure I was doing the Chandler dance!! What can I say… I am white girl with no rhythm! It is ok though… one of my friends was dancing with me and neither of knew what we were doing… maybe he just felt sorry for me J ha ha!
This week is going to be awesome! Tomorrow we are going to talk about classroom management and how to deal with large class sizes. (Usually the class size is about 70) After lunch we are going to tour the orphanage here. I am not sure how I feel about that yet. On Wednesday, we find out where we are going for site visits on Saturday!! I cannot wait for site visits! Friday I have a language proficiency test… let’s pray I do well! I don’t want to be that person who fails… that would be sad! L

I miss home like crazy, but I am having soooo much fun!

MozMeg