Monday, October 29, 2007

hello all!

hello everyone! all is well here in mozambique! whats new.... i have started teaching some english classes at the secondary school, not real classes, but between 7 and 12 students who want some extra practice. it is really cool but really imtimidating at the same time, i never realized that being a teacher would be so hard. what is more weird is that most of the students are my age or older and they call me o senhora professora which is a sign of respect both in and out of the classroom. this past week was interesting i thought that i had a really good week for portuguese and we had a mock lang interview on friday and the guy told me that i need to increase my vocabulary and work on past tense verb forms. so much for me thinking that i had a good week, but i heard today that he told everyone the same thing, so we are kind of thinking that it might just be a scare tactic. this past weekend was the 6 month ceremony for the father of my house having passed away and it was a huge learning experience. friday i watched the head of a cow be cut all nasty to eat and i watched a goat be slaughtered. i think about 30 people slept in my house on friday, and i felt like a huge snot as a lounged all alone on my full size bed and huge room while everyone else was cramped elsewhere in the house, but i am not nearly comfortable enough to offer to let someone else sleep in my room. saturday morning a caravan of 10 cars went to the cemetary and there was a ceremony in the local language. a lot of singing and talking that i did nto understand. everyone present placed flowers on the grave and then family members sprinkled watet over the grave, not sure the significance of that. afterwards we returned to the house and everyoned washed their hands before going in the yard, once again not sure of the significance. the men all sat on chairs and the women sat to the side on straw mats and a prayer was said and then we all ate. i was a veg for the weekend because i was not about to eat cow head, goat head, or chicken innards. after eating the men all drank wine and beer and the women sat and talked. i asked why the women dont drink and one of the men said that it is because their husbands say they cant. but for some reason i was allowed to drink, but i have been told before that american women in mozambique are not really women but they are not really men, somehwere in between. i spoke a ton of portuguese and learned a lot but it was frustrating to speak to all these people who are not used to dealing with me and my horrible portuguese. other than that not much is new. i guess i got another marriage proposal on friday when i went to the bar with my brother to buy some beers. it is amazing how many people here speak english. really makes it hard to learn portuguese. i have been telling people that i cant speak english, so they dont really know where i am from. i guess that is really it for now. love and miss you all!
linds :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

1 Month!

ok well not really one month, but it has been one month since i left home, saturday will be one month in Mozambique! so just a bunch of random stories from the week past. one day my sisters friend came over and she was asking me if i know how to cook and do lanundry and i said no i am learning, but i said that i do know how to iron. and she then told me that i was never going to get married in mozambique. ok i didnt plan on getting married here. no you wont even get a boyfriend if you cant cook and do laundry. by the end of the conversation i was laughing really hard. what was more funny was that the next day a cousin came over and told me that he loved me and that i would make such a beautiful wife and mother. the tactfulness of mozambiquan men. saturday a bunch of volunteers got together and made french toast..ohhh it was amazing! i just learned the other day that they do pay as you go electricity here. people go to some shop and buy credit and then come home and punch the numbers on a reader to get electrictity. kind of crazy. i also went to church for the first time on sunday. it was in portuguese and shanganna( i dont know how you spell that but it is the local language). last night i atteneded an english is going to be very interesting to have my own class. the teacher was handing back final exams, and he called each student up in front of the class and then told them their final exam results. if people did poorly he told them so in front of the class... so much different from what i am used to. after he finished the results i introduced myself and the class asked me some questions. the first question was wether or not i am married. and it was followed by my age. i declined to answer either just because i didnt want to deal with more stupid comments. this week is going well so far. my class has a new portuguese professor and i think that things will work out well. i am still not learning as fast as i would like to, but there is not much that i can do. i always feel like i should stay home and study, but it seems so much more beneficial to go out in the community and be social with the people. i learn a lot more quickly that way , but what i learn is not what i am being tested on. oh the dilemma. if anyone wants to send me some string that would be cool. like the kind that you use to make friendship bracelts in 7th grade. and maybe some chewing gum because i love it. that is all that i have for now. my next post might be pretty interesting because my host moms entire family is coming this weekend and from what i am understanding i am going to spend the day at church on friday and at the cemetary saturday followed by some party. it is looking to be an interesting week ahead! take care! love and miss everyone!
linds :)
not sure if i mentioned this earlier, but many men here have more than one wife. we had a presentation earlier today done by a current voluntter and he told us that he had a conversation with a chapa driver and this was his justification for men having more than one wife. there are more women in mozmabique than men, and women can not take care of themselves, so it is a mans social duty to take care of a woman, and if he has the money to take care of more than one he should.... interesting isnt it?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

back again!

whoa back again in just two days...but today was a short day for class so hey why not. so after i left a post on sunday i was so lucky to go to the salon with my sister again...i tried explaining to them that it is silly for me to get my hair done because it doenst last, but they dont seem to care and still want me to get my hair done. i really dislike going to the salon because i feel like a grease monkey afterward. my hair honestly looks like i just got out of the shower,but my family thinks that it looks so pretty. so what do you do? dad this one is totally for you...good thing we cant have visitors during training... on sunday i was doing the dishes with my mom and the soap in the sink was gone so she went into the bathroom and got the soap from the tub. yep you got it, they use the same soap for dishes body and clothes! tasty isnt it! today my portuguese class made lunch for our moms, interesting trying to come up with an american meal in mozambique. our first idea was hamburgers and plan b was blts, both of which fell through because we cant get ground beef or bacon. we ended up making fancy grilled cheese with tomato onion and lettuce and onion rings. the moms were impressed, and it was tasty. what a wonderful day. but i do have a sweet battle wound... a blister on my pinky from hot oil. we cooked at my friend jesses house and he has 2 year old twin sisters who i am in love with! they are the cutest kids. i was holding one of them and the mom told me to take her back to america...and she was not kidding. it is crazy. i really dont have much else to say now! take care
linds :)

did i ever mention that i shower 2 times a day... i thought that i was going to shower every few days...but no my mom makes me shower every morning and night. crazy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Galinha (thats chickens in portuguese)

So i dont know how to stay roosters in portuguese, but that is how you say chickens. i pretty much have grown to hate roosters with my entire being in the last 2 weeks. i kid you not they start crowing at 4am- honestly roosters give a girl a break. but other than the roosters i am still loving it here. as hard as it is to beleive that it can be cold in africa it has been muito frio lately. like cold enough to wear jeans sweatshirts and socks, not at all what i was expecting for africa, but then again i am about 5 min from the border of swaziland, so we are pretty far south. the last week has been somewhat uneventful, but i have learned to do my wash by hand and how to cook some local dishes. both of which take considerably more time than they do in the states, but i am going to be one heck of a domesticated woman when i return. we cooked this dish called couvey. it is made from the leaves on some plant, but it takes almost 3 hours to cook. first you have to smash peanuts and then cut the leaves and then grind coconuts and then let it all cook. these mozambiquan women are seriously amazing, i dont know how they do it everyday.ohh before i forget, thanks for the phonecalls and comments, it is a really great feeling to know that people care. i miss you all! and mackenzie figured out the country code and left it as a comment, so if you want to call she put up a bunch of info as a comment on the last post. last week after dinner i was clearing off the table and as i was walking to the kitchen a mouse ran across the floor and i freaked, then 10 min later i went use the bathroom, and i got the door shut and looked up and the mouse was on teh door frame, and i couldnt get the door open because it sticks really bad so i was screamning like a mad woman,and my mom about had a heartattack because she couldnt figure out why i was screaming. now they make fun of me all the time because i am scared of mice. yesterday a bunch of us volunteers went to this waterfall about 6 km away. i am sure that during the rainy season it is really cool, but do to the lack of water, there was no waterfall, but the area was still really cool, so it was still worht the time it took to get there. not sure if i said this last time but my village is called namaacha, not sure if there is anything online but it might be worth a try.after the waterfall trip we went and watched a couple games at the local soccer field with proved to be really entertaining. another thing i learned this week was that the father of my family recently passed away. my mother wears all black and my sisters wear a black ribbon on their shirts. i found it ratehr interesting how they mourn. unlike the states it is not accepted to cry in public after a week or so. i cant really think of what else has been going on.i miss you all and hopefully i will be able to get back on again in the next week or so. ohh ya i stupidly put my camera cord in my other bag, so i will not be able to upload ny pictures until december. keep in touch!
linds :)

Saturday, October 6, 2007


so i have way more time than i thought... my mobile number is 826279082 but i have no idea what the country code, and the internet is too slow for me to want to look it up. but if someone wants to look it up and call me that would be cool. i think that i am 8 hours ahead of central time. so more about where i am living. it is a village of about 9000 people and i will be here for the next 9 weeks. we have language and cross cultural training everyday. it is pretty cool. my host family consists of a mother, 2 daughters, 1 grandaughter (all of whom are close to me in age) and a grandson who is 4 and he is the best porgutuese teacher ever. he follows me everywhere and cries if he cant sit next to me at dinner. .. its cute. my house is a mansion compared to most of the other volunteers. i have a kitchen and bathroom that are both in the house. and my bathroom has a bathtub(no running water to it though) and a flushing toilet. i never would have thought that i would enjoy bucket baths so much. basically it is a a big pail of water and you bathe yourself by pouring it over you cup by cup. sory this is so scater brained and not organized. food is awesome. lots of rice and south beach here. but i cant believe that they can cook so much good food from scratch, but it is all tasty. they are severly lacking in the peanut butter department though. ohh ya so i took my first chapa ride today. a chapa is kind of like a minibus but you cram 19 people into a space made for about 12, but it is less than $2 for an hour ride...not to mention they dont have shocks and people dont want to open windows is life in africa, but it is great


Hi Everyone! Sorry it has taken me so long to get in touch- we are on a field trip to Maputo now so we are spending a little time in an internet cafe. i arrived in Mozambique last tuesday after a super long flight from philly. but the flight was good and my fellow peace corps volunteers are amazing, so it was alright. mozambique is absolutly amazing! i moved in with my host family on sunday...things are starting to get better. the first few days were really rough because i could hardly communicate , but with 5 hours of language class a day things are getting much better! i have learned a ton of portuguese the past week, but i still dont feel like i am learning fast enough. last night i helped my sister cook dinner...she must think i am a total idiot, but i told her that i never cook in the us, and then she thought i was really crazy. i also went to the salon with my host sister yesterday. she had the lady to my hair in curlers...i guess that she didn realize that my hair wont stay... but it was cute for hte few hours that lasted....
umm i dont know what else to say, i am a bit homesick, but i love this place...the people are amazing and so is the food. everday i walk about 10 min to my portuguese class and i laugh so hard because little kids will chase me yelling white in portuguese, and when they catch up to me they laugh because i talk to them in portuguese. i hope that everything is well at home. i miss you all terribly! love you!

linds :)