Tuesday, April 29, 2008

hello hello!

So life has not been terribly exciting here as of late. I have turned into a big sissy, I keep thinking that it is cold here...i think wrong. We finally got a thermometer and it is about 62 when tend to think that it is cold. I dont know how I am going to survive another south dakota winter. Hit the big 7 month mark today( april 27th), I cant believe that I have already been gone 7 months. I think that this is the longest that I have been away from home, kind of crazy. So now I have less than 20 months to go.. woo hoo

Saturday, April 19, 2008

eu so eu ( i am me)

hello hello! so i have so much to say, but i am being kind of lazy and dont really want to type it all. but i just finished a pretty darn amazing week. there is this girls group here called Redes . in english it stands for girls for information education and health. we had 54 girls from all over the country together learning about womens empowerment and making healthy decisions. it was so crazy to see the transformation in the girls over the course of a week. some of them came in super shy, and they left with so much confidence. it was great! i have also never seen people have so much fun with toilet paper. we did a human mummy contest, and i think that hte girls had more fun playing with the tp afterward. it was just hilarious. i think that i am going to get in on the planning for next year, so that should be fun(a ton of work) but fun. random gross story. bt i woke up this morning feeling terribly ill, and when i got off the bus in the city i got sick. then some dude walked up to me and told me that i had to clean it up..uhh sorry dude you just watched me be violently ill. thanks! and then afterward i went to the post office to mail some letters, but they didnt have stamps. a post office not having stamps? alrighty then. i think that is all for now. love and miss you all!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

this is what i really wanted to say

So much to say: Most days there are 7-10 different boys( of course not girls, because they have to be home or in the field helping mom) who hang out in front of our fence saying “ tha-tha” “tha-tha” (hello in dialect, probably spelled wrong) “dona Cecilia, dona Carolina” and they basically just stand there in shifts talking until they get some sort of acknowledgment. Some of them take the goats to and from the fields, and the others...well i am not sure what they really do. I asked some of them how old they were... my guess would have been about 6 or 7. but they said they are 9 and 10. i also asked if they go to school and they said no. I am not sure if this answer is entirely true because they don't speak Portuguese all that well, so they may not have understood the question. But it doesn't seem that unreasonable that they wouldn't go to school because they sit in front of our house everyday. I was just sitting outside messing around with them and i figured that i could at least do something useful, so i wrote down the numbers 1-10 on a piece of paper. Clearly something that i thought would be elementary for 9 and 10 year olds, but i was wrong. They could all count to 10, but if i pointed to a number out of sequence, the only way that they could recognize it was to count up to it. I am not exactly sure why they don't go to school. School here is free until 7th grade, but students have to wear uniforms, and these are not free, so that could be one reason. They also might have to work in the field, or in some cases it could just be that the family does not think that education is important. Whatever the reason may be, I am hoping that we can at least get them to recognize the numbers 1-10 and letters, hopefully over the course of the next 2 years we can move on to reading and simple math, but who knows. It is just terribly sad to me that they could go to school for free, and for some reason unknown to me, they don't. I have been learning a lot about the school that I teach at recently, and there is so much of it that I just cant believe. Sorry if I have said this already, but every morning classes start at 7 and kids have to be there by 6.45 and then line up by class and sing the national anthem. We have these 2 huge gates at the front of the school, and when they are getting ready to close the gates the guards blow a whistle and the kids run like made to try and get in before the gates are closed. One day I was walking to the market and the director was standing in the guard house yelling “run, run , run, faster, faster.” it all just seems so weird to me. The reason that it is such a big deal to get there on time is that kids are only allowed 3 absences per class, and if they have more than 3 they cant pass (well theoretically, but there is so much corruption here that they can just pay someone, but that story will wait for another day.) What I have been learning that I don't like mostly has to do with the dorms. The kids have to wake up at 4 everyday but Sunday, and then they can sleep until 6. they are also not allowed to leave the school grounds except on Sunday, and even then they have to be back by 4.30, so if your family lives far away, you can only seem them on holidays. Also students have to be sick for 15 days before the head of the dorms will let them leave to go home, it is so crazy weird. Tembo (one of the boys who stayed with us) was sick and we were trying to get them to let him come rest at our house so we could give him good food and stuff, and we had to go to the dorms with the director of the school, and as we walked through he woke up everyone who was sleeping and told them that they had to go do work. Some things here I will never understand. There is also a couple students from other classes who like to come over and practice reading and speaking. It would be nice if they were my students, but oh well. But one of the boys is 16 and the sweetest kid ever. His family lives 1.5 hours away by chapa, and he lives here in Catandica with 3 of his brothers, all students at the school. The four of them share this two room mud hut, and I think that things might be pretty rough. But last time he went home to see his parents, and he came to my house on Monday with a pumpkin, a cucumber, and 4 lemons. It just amazes me that they have nothing to give, but they give everything that they have. I cant really imagine 4 brothers in America being sent to live 1.5 hours from their parents and supporting themselves. Nothing else too exciting has been going on, the children still jump up and down and chant “ MuZungu” every time Carrie and i walk by. Amazing that after nearly 3 months of living here and walking to and from the market on the same road everyday that the sight of a MuZungu never ceases to excite them. They are also incredibly amazed by indiglo watches, indiglo watches might actually be cooler than the muzungus wearing them. We made the mistake of the little “1,2,3 and then you pick the kid up and swing them game” now every time we want to get rid of them it takes about 5 minutes to pick up every kid and swing them, but thats ok, they love it. I think thats all for now!
Happy Birthday Kenz!( Ya I realize that it is really late now.)
Love and miss you all!
Linds :)
ohh ya the trivia from last time....lots of plastic bags and a condom.....a soccer ball. They take all the plastic bags and tie them together and them for a soccer ball, real soccer balls here cost about $40, a bit spendy. The condom is blown up and put in the middle and all the bags are wrapped around it. Sometimes they only use the plastic bags, but then the ball doesn't have as much of a bounce. Genius kids huh?
This is unbelievably long...sorry...but I the first one is the one that I couldn't post last time...and well.... this is about my amazing vacation that I took over Easter weekend. I thought that Mozambique was pretty amazing before, but after visiting the beach I am sure of it. You all need to come visit. We went to a place called Vilankulos and it was amazing. It might have been the most beautiful beach that I have ever seen in my life, and in addition to being beautiful, there were no tourists. The tides are just amazing. When the tide is out there are a ton of boats that are beached and then when it comes back in all of the boats go out for fishing. It is pretty cool to see. You can also buy fresh fish, shrimp, crab, squid, and just about any other sea food that you can think of for next to nothing. One day we took a day trip out to one of the islands and went snorkeling. It was my first time and to be honest I was pretty scared at first, but after about 5 minutes it was awesome. I got a little cut up because being the smart girl I am, didn't realize how strong the current was and bumped into a huge rock thing...oops, but it is ok because it was totally worth it. I think we probably saw about 50-70 different types of fish, it was just awesome, I guess I don't know how else to say it. I guess you just have to come and see how amazing it is. I think that my next goal is going to be to get certified for scuba diving. They also had some amazing art that doesn't come to my parts of the country. I might have gotten myself into a little trouble splurging on art...but oh well.... I will only live in Africa once right? When we were driving back on Sunday we saw a group of about 20 wild monkeys just hanging out on the side of the road, it was kind of crazy, something that I never thought that I would see in my life time. Ohh ya...embarrassing story of the year.... I got home from school the other day and realized that I had a hole in my skirt....so my students could probably see my butt for all of class ...nice work teacher Cecilia. I think that is all for now. Love and Miss you all. One trimester down....only 5 to go! If anyone has some recipes they would like to send me,(email would be best) that would be amazing. They have to be pretty simple because our ingredients are pretty limited here. Yet another random comment... I was talking to one of my colleagues and he asked me what the significance of my anklets was.... I guess they dont have a significance, just for looks really. He told me that people here only wear them to fend off bad spirits, and they type of thing around your ankle depends on what type of spirit you are trying to keep away.
Another random story.... I went to school this morning to do some work and I was in a kind of bad mood. To annoy me even further this police officer said ( in Portuguese) “ good morning, how are you?” “ we are good thanks, and you senhor?” and then the jerk says “ senhor policia” you have to be kidding me. Senhor isnt good enough it has to be senhor policia. Clearly I am not Mozambican, give me a break jerkface.

ohh ya if anyone still loves to send packages:
i dont need anymore chapstick,lemon pepper, toothbrushes, and razors
things i would love to have more of:ketchup, parmasan cheese,once again girly things, and fun spices

lots of love!
Linds :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

hello hello!

once again i cant get my darn flash to work! ahh i am getting so frustrated! but i love and miss you all!, i am back now with nothing to do, so why not at least give a little sort of update. over easter weekend i went to this place called vilankulo, and it was absolutly amazing! it was probably the most beautiful beach that i have ever seen, and there were no tourists. we went snorkeling one day, i was terrified for hte first 5 min but i got over it and had a blast! i wasnt the smartest girl and didnt realize how strong the current was, and therefore got a little cut up, but it was totally worth it. i am guessing we saw somewhere around 60 types of fish, it was crazy- i think you might have even liked it zo :) we also got to eat some amazing seafood, something that we definatly dont get here in the mountains. when we were driving home the guy slowed way down and on the road in front of us was a group of about 20 monkeys. something that i would never have thought i would see in the wild. not even in a reserve or anything. they were just hanging out. pretty darn crazy. i just finished up my 1st trimester! finally! 1 down and 5 to go. i could quite possibly be the most unpopular teacher in all of catandica. the students love to cheat, and i think that carrie and i are the only ones who give zeros for cheating, the kids hate us as teachers, but other than that i think they like us. I gave a couple zeros on the final trimester exam, and those kids really hate me because that grade is worth 50% ....my students here make me laugh so hard becuase the days when i feel the crappiest and crabbiest are they days when i walk to school and the neighbors and my students say how pretty i look. i think they must have pyschic abilities or something, they can just tell when i am having a bad day, pretty impressive. yesterday i was talking with one of my colleagues and he asked what the sifnificance of my anklets was... i said that they were just for looks. he then told me that people here only wear them to fend off bad spirits, so people think that i am trying to fend off spirits...always nice to know. the other day i was in a pretty bad mood...what a surprise... and i was walking to school and this police officer said ( in portuguese) good morning, how are you? and i said i am good thank you, how are you senhor? and he turns around and says "senhor policia" i was pretty annoyed with it. clearly i am not mozambican, do you really need to get angry about me saying the policia part... frustration! ohh ya if anyone wants to send me some simple recipies, i mean really simple that would be great. those involving squash would be fantastic because that seems to be what is growing the best in our garden, and i am not really sure how to cook it.
love and miss you lots!