Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ela Danca Bem

Back again, but this time only because I am a total and complete idiot. I have been told I am a dumb blond before, but I think that this story tops them all. At some point over my Christmas holidays I lost my bank card, I wasn't too worried about it though because you need the pin to do anything so I was just kind of putting off getting a new one as long as I could. I finally went to the bank on a Friday and got a new card, considering all of the paperwork was in Portuguese it was much easier than I had imagined. It took forever but oh well. To make a long story short, my card didn't work for 4 days, and when it finally worked I was so excited to finally have money ( I had been living off 3.5 Mtn- about $0.10 ) that I left my bank card in the ATM, now I get to go through the entire process again, hopefully this time it wont take 4 days to get a working card. But anyway... I am falling in love with Catandica. As I have said before we like a few Kms from the market, so we have to walk into town most days to buy one thing or another, and the kids that live along the road never cease to make me smile. They now know that I am not professora kelly and that my name is cecilia (Lindsay is way to hard for native Portuguese speakers to say). When then see us coming down the road they start yelling “professora cecilia, professora carolina.” it is crazy to be able to make a kid smile just by saying good afternoon. What is even more cute is the fact that the really young ones don't even speak Portuguese, so they don't even understand good afternoon, they just love the fact that we say something. They have also picked up the habit of grabbing my hands if they are free. It is the cutest thing to see huge smiles just because they can walk down the road holding my hand. The past few days we have been doing some work at the school, helping to type lists of kids who passed and those who failed so that they can make up new lists for classes this year, and the directors are amazed at how fast we can type. I have a feeling that we will be asked to do a lot of typing over the next two years. We also have two kids living with us. Simba and Tembo( the boys who lived with the former volunteer) are living with us for the time being. They stayed at our house over the holidays, and when we got back they asked if they could stay with us until they could move into the dorms. So for 2 weeks we have 4 people living in our house, a little cramped for my standards, but I can deal for a couple weeks. And they do lots of cleaning for us, so it is a fair trade.
From this point forward I am going to try and include random facts/stories about Mozambique in general:
The Capulana- Possibly the best invention ever.
The capulana is basically just a wrap, but it can be used for just about anything. Most women wear them as a wrap, usually over another skirt or pants ( I don't know how they do it with the heat). Capulanas are also used to carry babies. The women put the babies on their back and then use the capulana as a carrier- simply genius. Any one who has a baby and doesn't want to spend $70 on a baby bjorn let me know and I will send you a capulana. Capulanas are also used as bags, blanks, sheets, pillows, wall decor, diapers, curtains,. They are also wonderfully used to make shirts, skirts, dresses and pants. When I come home with 86 capulanas in 2 years you will know why- they are amazing! I have yet to see this done, but we were informed early on not to use a capulana to carry an animal( ie. Puppy or kitty) because the women will see it as offensive.
Also if anyone has any suggestions as to how to improve this- or any questions that you want answered- let me know
love and miss you all!
Linds :)
I am going to try and start my webshots thing again so if I get it to work I will put a link under my address!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

hello africa tell me how you're doin!

i have an address now!
write it just like this
Lindsay Songstad
your address goes here
Alexa Banks
C.P. No.173
Chimoio, Mozambique
that my friends is supposed to be an envelope. so address everything to alexa and just put my name on the return address with your address
also a watch would be a wonderful thing to have sent- i would prefer one with a velcro band
love you-
linds :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

feliz ano novo!

Hello everyone! so much has happened since i last wrote. For christmas about 15 of us went to stay with some friends in gorongosa. it is an amazing place close to gorongosa national park, unfortunatly we were not able to go to the park because they close it for the rainy season, but we had a ton of fun. we spent most days at the river and most evenings cooking amazing meals. who ever would have thought that on christmas day i would be taking a bath and washing my clothes in the river. we spent alot of time having a "spa". we sat between rocks on the river and let the water beat down like a massage, then did little peticures using river rocks. it was amazing. on christmas night we even had cheese foudu! there are now 10 of us in a place called chimoio. chimoio is the capital of manica provice and i think there are about 20,000 people that live here. it is a cool city with a lot of little shops and stuff. my friend alexa lives in a really cute apartment here, so we have been having fun. for new years we had an 80s prom party.we went to the used clothing market and bought some of the worst dresses that have ever been made and ended up having a great party. new years day was a day that seems so far from being in the peace corps, you probably wont believe what i did, here is a brief recap just so you can see how unpeace corps the day was:
first of all we texted a friend using a cell phone(cell phones in the peace corps?)
at 10.30 he picked us all up in his brand new honda truck, on the way to his house i listened to music being played from his ipod, and i was actually using a seatbelt(a first for mozambique) we got to his house and put our stuff by the pool. he then asked if we like gin and brought us out gin, tonic and limes. around 1 he left the house and told us to cook whatever we wanted. we then had a lovely lunch of shrimp and pasta while sitting in a massaging chair watching mtv. when we got home we had chicken stir-fry and chocolate fondu for was just such a crazy day. i never would have thought that i would do anything like that in all my time in the peace corps. this guy works for the world food program and knows most of the peace corps volunteers in mozambique, he said that we can use his house whenever we want to have pool parties- he has also offered to give us rides to and from catandica and chimoio when he has trips to make. dont worry we have checked with other volunteers and this guy is cool, no one has had any problems. he is just a cool guy with an awesome house. hopefully today we are going to set up a post office box, and if everything works out i will put up my new address tomorrow. if anyone wants to send a garlic press feel free. also any movies would be great because life in catandica can get to be a bit blah(but i still love it!)any random spices(because i am going to be an amazing cook by the time i get home!) old navy flip flops size 7- i know it is winter so they probably arent avaliable now.i think that is all for now. love and miss you all. i hope the snow is not to horrible! ohh ya if anyone has a number with an area code that starts with 31 let me know because there is a loop hole in the mcel network and i can call for free!
linds :)