Friday, October 31, 2008

lots of love from mozambique!

Hi again! I am done with my duties as a teacher…I am officially half way done with my teaching career! Life is moving along rather quickly right now, our house has been a parade of visitors lately so things have been exciting. A few random stories from the past weeks. We had the Mozambican equlivant of senior prom and it was pretty fun, the students “waltzed”, but it was more like all of the most dramatic parts of a waltz in a few seconds and they just repeated it a few times, but it was pretty cute. There should be some pictures on webshots if you are interested. The other day I was telling one of my students about winters in south Dakota and how children like to build snow forts and snow men and all of those other types of fun things, and right before we finished talking he asked if these snowmen could walk. The idea of making a “person” from snow was so far fetched for him, but it was really cute. Not sure if I have mentioned this before, but I have become a little bit of a liar here, and I told all of my students and the neighborhood kids that jackie chan is my father, and they think it is the coolest thing ever. But everytime a white guy comes to our house they first ask if he is one of our husbands, and then they ask if it is Jackie chan. Or when I ask them what my name is they say dona Cecilia Jackie chan. They also asked if all of the people in Jackie chan movies actually die or not, I guess that they don’t totally understand that they are movies and not real life things. Went to the market to buy food today and stopped to talk to this lady we know, she might have had a bit to drink, but as she was explaining some things to us she was patting my boobs like you would pat someone on the shoulder and thought absolutely nothing of it, it took just about everything in me not to burst out laughing in her face. Hope you are all preparing for the upcoming cold months, we are almost finished with the really hot stuff, just waiting for the ultra exciting rainy season to start. Rain 7 days a week…cant wait! Lots of love!
Linds J

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ola! Everything is going well here in Catandica, finally finished my classes for the year so now all that I have left to do is what we call conselhos de notas, which is when all the teachers get together and they try and make you give students higher grades, kind of annoying, but if you aren’t there they might just go ahead and change grades, but that is a couple day process and then I am done. We went to the beach a few weeks ago,and it was amazing, minus the fact that I fell asleep reading on the beach, this made the ride home one of the more unpleasant experiences in my life. I loved the beach before coming here, but going to beaches with next to no development is amazing, we walked along the beach for 2 hours and the only thing we saw was a small fishing village with less than 100 people. It was BEAUTIFUL! Not too much exciting has been going on. Although we did get a helicopter fly-by hello from some of our friends, and then the kids were asking if we saw the helicopter. Last week we had a huge thunderstorm for about 2-3 hours, the energy went out and it was one of the coolest storms that I have ever seen. Normally I might be kind of crabby about the energy going out,but I was quite pleased this time. 12 October was Dia dos Professores- Teachers Day, and I think that teachers in America deserve this day too. The day started off amazing when my best friends ( boys ranging in age from about 4-14, whose father is a witch doctor) brought me ripe mangoes! Starting the day with ripe mangoes, nothing gets any better! We had a party at our school where the students served us chicken, salad, potatoes, and beer. It was pretty fun, a little bit weird to have students serving beer, but some of the other teachers were so drunk they could hardly dance, so I didn’t feel too bad. By the end of the night all of the teachers were dancing and the students loved it. I think that it is the goal of a lot of students and teachers to get carrie and I to dance, because when we do they go crazy. On Monday I presented certificates to the students who participated in English theatre, all of the students who were there happened to be boys, and thought that rather than shake hands that it would be appropriate to do the kiss on each cheek thing, and after every student the other students had a lot of fun cheering,it was kind of embarrassing.On Saturday we have the Baile Dos Finalistas- which is basically the equivalent of a senior prom. The preparation for this dance has made me realize that I teach at the closest thing to a “ prep” school that exists in Mozambique. The students have been working since the beginning of the year to earn money for the dance, but it is kind of sad because a lot of them don’t get to go because they don’t have money. It costs 150 Meticais, about $10, which is a ridiculously large sum of money for most of the kids. But they are brining in chefs from Chimoio, they have been learning the waltz, and there is a dress code. The boys have to wear black pants and suit coats and the girls have to wear white or crème colored dresses, it all seems a bit over the top to me, but we will see how it goes. The students are really excited about it, and really excited about the fact that carrie and I are going. I cant imagine being excited about having any of my high school teachers being at prom, let alone asking them weeks in advance to save a dance for me, but I guess that just goes to show how different the student/teacher relationships are here. Another thing that I have been wanting to write about for a while, but have just failed to do so is the way that names work here. First of all people have names such as Vinagre( Vinegar), Cebolla (Onion), Alface (Lettuce), Castigo, Ndamo( Punishment) Faz-Tudo ( does everything), Sabao(Soap) Sande(Sandwich) Tendai( Gratitude), Torres( Tower). All lovely names, so we all know how names work in most western countries right? Well here it is a little bit different. First of all when people get married a lot of them don’t change their names, at least where I live. The other thing that is a lot different is the way that children are named. For example. John Smith marries Jane Doe, they have a child and name it Matthew. So the kids name would be Matthew John Smith, if Matthew has a kid named Ben, the kids name would be Ben Matthew John, , it took me a while to figure out why when you ask someone their name do you get a million names rather than just the first name, and this is why. And in many cases the mothers name is just forgotten about. Interesting huh? That’s all for now! Hugs and kisses!
Linds :)
Not sure if I will get to it, but there should be some new pics up on webshots!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hello Hello! I am having a love hate relationship with Mozambique right now, so take this as a warning before you start reading. First of all thanks for the birthday wishes….it turned out to be a very interesting day. I was in the city the day before and when we were at the chapa (mini-bus) stop we were kind of playing with this little boy and making faces at him and whatnot. When we are almost out of town Carrie notices that this little boy is still on the chapa, so she asks the cobrador (the guy who collects the money) who this little boy is traveling with, and he continuously ignores her. 150kms later, we arrive in Catandica. (On the way we stopped on this bridge and watched some guys slaughtering a hippo…kinda gross, but kinda cool). We start walking home and notice that this boy is following us, so we ask what he is doing and he starts crying. We take him back to the chapa stop, and they tell us that we are responsible for taking him to the police because if not we are going to be accused of child trafficking. AWESOME! So we take him to the police station where we get to deal with an officer who appears to be intoxicated, and more concerned with our marital status than this boy. Over the course of a few hours we learn that this boy is 7 years old and that his father cells CDs on the street in Chimoio. The police say that they will take him to social services...done with that thankfully!......or so we thought…Monday morning the boy shows up at our house bawling….he ran away from social services so Carrie takes him back and they say that they are sending him back to Chimoio on Tuesday. Ohh wait….Wednesday morning I look out the window and who is sitting under our tree…none other than the little boy. So we once again take him back to the village, and during the course of the 30 min walk this little boy becomes almost un human…it takes 3 adults to carry him as he is kicking, hitting, screaming and trying to bite us. We get him back to social services and they claim that they have been looking for him, but who really knows. But honestly a 7 year old kid travels 150kms by himself, and no one really seems to care…soo weird. The other part of my hate relationship is that I am working with a couple teachers and about 15 students on an English theatre presentation, and the night before the competition their biggest concern seems to be what we are going to eat for breakfast and if they are going to get a per diem or not…soo frustrating…cant you just do something because you want to and not because of the money that you think you should get. And the love part of it…. For my birthday 3 students who also come and hang out at our house gave me a teacup and saucer…they are so sweet. They were a bit upset that I wasn’t here in the morning on my birthday because apparently the thing to do is pour water on the birthday person. The Kids here are just sooo CUTE! When we first arrived all of the kids just called us muzungu( white person), but now they say Dona Cecilia Dona Cecilia tali shanwali( no idea how it is spelled, but it means hello friend in dialect.) and I also find it rather amusing how much entertainment can be had by the hair on my arms….the kids think it is really cool. Basically the kids are the best thing ever…if I am having a bad day I can almost be guaranteed a smile when I walk down the road with all the kids…some of the parents have even started telling us that the kids talk about their friends Cecilia and Carolina J
Other than that not much new, but the time you read this I will have officially been in Mozambique for over one year! To get you really excited about the upcoming winter months at home…it has been 90 by 9am the past 3 days…sounds like fun doesn’t it? And I finish school in 21 days!!Love and miss you all!
so that is all kind of old news now, but since i already had it all typed out ifigured that i might as well post it. the english theatre competiton went well, minus the fact that the other 2 teachers from my school and 3 of the students thought that it would be a good idea to get drunk, but other than that it went well. i just got home from the was amazing, you can walk for miles and miles down the beach and there is no development, it is just untouched and so beautiful. i guess not much else to is done is 11 days! yay! love and miss you! :)