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!