Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year( Hope you have lots of time to read!)

18.12.07 Tuesday
Below (6.12.07) is the post that i was so upset that i lost last time. But if you don't want to read it don't bother because it may not be too exciting. But anyway... i am now a Peace Corps Volunteer! Finally! After 10 weeks of my darling homestay family and living like a 12 year old again, i am very happy to be living on my own. Well kind of on my own... i have an awesome roommate named carrie who is from Charleston, south Carolina and she rocks. She is a huge fan of phase 10, honestly how could we not get along. Our house is great. It is actually nicer than the lovely little place i called home in vermillion.(I just took a little break from writing to fix the lock on the back door, this might be one of my proudest moments in Mozambique to date- I just fixed a lock!) Sorry if this is a lot of stuff that I have told you about before. But our house is in a teacher sort of compound. We are about a 2 min walk from the school and there are 12 teacher houses set up in a town house sort of fashion. Our yard and driveway are fenced in and we have 2 gates that lock, well one locks and the other is broken, but no big deal. Good thing we have a drive way that way when I get all sorts of visitors who rent cars they have a place to park the car at night :) but I have a living/dining room with a table and 6 chairs, a couch , 2 chairs, a book shelf and coffee table. In the kitchen we have a stove fridge, pantry, and sink. The bathroom has a BIG mirror(the largest I have seen since leaving America), shower, toilet and sink. My room has a huge closet, bunk beds and a small dresser. I just said today that I think that this place would be the perfect place for me in America My school is amazing. All of the rooms have desks, chalkboards,and ceiling fans.there is also a computer lab,and chem/bio/physics labs. The directors are all very nice, and I am really looking forward 2 the next two years. I have made 2 new friends. Simba and Tembo, they are students at the school and lived with the volunteer who was here before us. They are 18 and 19 and amazing. They help us with yard work and for the first few days went to the market with us to be sure that we were not getting muzungo( the word for white in the local language) prices. The most important thing to mention is that I saw a monkey in the wild. It was probably about 100 yards away, but it was amazing. I have also become more domesticated than I had ever imagined possible. I can now make a wonderful mango salsa that rivals my mothers homemade salsa (sorry mom, I guess you will just have to come visit to see for yourself ;) to go with the lovely salsa I can also make homemade tortillas and tortilla chips. Other amazing food that we have made includes spaghetti, curry and nan, and yogurt. One night we also make chicken strips (from a frozen chicken that we had to cut apart ourselves, a big accomplishment for both of us), but we ate them with real ketchup! I am so excited to get gas for the oven because as soon as we can bake the possibilities will be endless! The one down side to this house(sorry I have ADD and cant put this in any sort of order) that there is a HUGE bug problem. Lots and lots and lots of bugs, so I am glad that I got over that fear during homestay. I have also decided that the whole idea of those princess net things is crap, the only reason that you should sleep under a net is for protection from icky nasty bugs. The other night I woke up because there was a bug crawling on my leg( and yes I was under my mosquito net). But the beauty of this place makes up for the bugs. Hopefully there will be pictures accompanying this, but being that I am pre-typing this I am not sure if it will work or not. We are surrounded by mountains and they are amazing. It rains almost everyday, but that is the reason for the amazing lush greeness of the area so I will not complain. I love it here, so hopefully it will keep up for the next 2 years. I can not believe that it is almost christmas. I try and tell people here how cold it is at home and they think that I am struggling with portuguese because there is no way that it can really be that cold. That will be it for now. I hope that I am not boring you all to death. I love and miss you all. Once again thanks for all the thoughts and mail! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you. I am still working on figuring out something for mail.
6.12.07 Thursday
So I hope everyone has a lot of time to read...I woke up at 4.30 this morning and i have nothing to do, and now that i have my computer i can write my blog entries at home... it is going to be long. Tomorrow is swearing in-when i actually become a real volunteer and not a trainee. I am really excited. Then on Saturday I leave for Catandica, the place that i will call home for the next 2 years. I don't even really know what has happened since the last post. We had one more week of model school and thankfully that is over. I loved teaching but no so much being observed by my colleagues all the time. This past Monday and Tuesday we had a supervisors conference where we got to meet the director of our school. He seems like a really cool guy, but i am kind of worried because when we had question and answer sessions he was the one who was always asking why volunteers cant work more hours and why cant volunteers teach night classes, so that makes me a bit nervous. This conference was the most boring thing ever,and it was done in all Portuguese so it was pretty exhausting to be translating things for myself all. They served us lunch each day, and let me tell you buffet style eating is not a talent here. The concept of a line is out of the question, at first i got really angry about it, but then as we started talking about it it made sense. These people were raised with the mentality that if you don't eat now and get your fair share it might not be there 5 min from now. After i realized that i was a little less angry. The last session of the conference we were given the opportunity to write down questions that we didn't feel comfortable asking, and you would not believe how many of the questions were about volunteers marrying Mozambicans or volunteers being in relationships with directors or volunteers having children here. It was crazy. We are scheduled to get to our site on Sunday, and when we told the director he asked us if we wanted to start work on Monday. (We don't have to start until January when school starts) Peace Corps said that if we don't want to do it that this is the perfect time to start practicing the wonderful word NO! Apparently the school will ask you to do just about anything and at first a lot of people struggle to say no, but we said no, so hopefully they wont ask again for a while. Oh ya last Saturday we had a homestay celebration. It was basically just a party to say thank you to the families that took us in for the past 10 weeks. There was so much food and so many people it was pretty fun. We also got capula (the wrap sort of thing that the women always wear) from our families, and it was really cute. I guess i really don't know what else is going on except that i am so very excited to go to site!
i think that i should have a new mailing address in the next couple weeks, so as soon as we get our post office box set up i will let you know! I love and miss you all!
and for my darling family in cali:i got 2 of the packages yesterday...THANK YOU! I can not wait to eat ketchup(real stuff that doesn't taste like sweet and sour sauce)

26.11.07 Monday
Wow I am so excited! I am sitting at my homestay house on my computer and I can actually type correctly and not struggle. What an amazing day!On Friday night I went to the preschool graduation with my sister and it was so cute. All of these 4 and 5 year old kids singing and dancing. Saturday all of the peace corps volunteers had this huge thanksgiving feast and it was amazing. I have not eaten so much good food in one sitting since I was in America. It was really fun, and it almost didn’t feel like I was half way across the world. On Sunday I had my hair braided. Now I am not so sure that I want to shave my head because I kind of look like a man with my hair braided….but I guess I will just wait and see what the future has to hold. Model school is annoying because it is supposed to help prepare us for what school is really going to be like, but that is kind of a joke because like there is anyway that we will ever have a class with only 10 students, every teachers dream right? When I got home on Friday night I discovered that my 2 year bag had been dropped off(hence why I now have my computer) and I was ecstatic! But I realized that so much of what I brought was a total waste of weight. I can get toothpaste and soap here. Some stuff like school supplies I am really glad that I brought, but I feel like a lot of it was a waste. But I wont complain that I have it. Getting some more clothes was like Christmas a month early. I can not even imagine how sick of my clothes I am going to be by the end of two years, thank goodness for used clothing markets. Who ever would have guessed that goodwill(or worse yet…clothes that even goodwill couldn’t sell) would be the highlight of my week? So I love and miss everyone and I hope that everything is going well on the home front. Like I said I think that internet at my site is going to be kind of rare so this may be my last post for a while. So if I don’t get to the internet again before Christmas…Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. If anyone can figure out how to do the 315 area code thing through google I can call you for free so jump on it! Hugs and kisses
Linds J

Thursday, December 6, 2007


so i had this amazing post pretyped and now i cant get it to open. so not to many details. but i am alive and i swear in tomorrow. i am ~going to be a real volunteer now, not just a trainee. going to catandica...sorry for the spelling error. hopefully i can get the other update back and post it . i am still loving life... i hope all is well

zoey grams gramps doug and boys...thanks for the packages..i got 2 of them so we will just see if the other two come. i cant wait to eat real and miss you all

linds :)
this picture was taken on my site visit. these kids love cameras!