We just finished week 5 of training and things are becoming routine. That initial excitement and thrill has worn off as we have each settled into our daily schedule and grown accustom to the ways of our families. I feel very much at home here in Namaacha and enjoy being around all the other volunteers. On the other hand, I’m ready to get out to site, to see new things and start cooking for myself. Little things are starting to frustrate and annoy me. I’m not use to explaining my every move to people or having my silences analyzed. My mom has decided that when I’m quiet I’m thinking about the boyfriend I left behind in the States. Based on some pictures I’ve shown she’s convinced she knows who it is but assures me that I will meet a nice Moçambiquen man and forget all about this lost love. Sometimes I just don’t feel like talking and anyone who’s spent time with me knows I’m always like that. Not being able to say whatever’s on my mind is tough though and sometimes rather than explaining it in a roundabout way, I stay quiet. The last several days between the heat, wind and thunderstorms we’ve lost power quite a bit and that’s led to some good discussions with my family. Last night I explained that I’d be teaching 10th grade (decima classe) for model school and then had a Portuguese-English vocabulary session with everyone around the table. I enjoy those evenings but typically everyone is watching their telanovela until we eat around 8:30 or 9 and then I go to bed. Doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for deep discussions.
But things are starting to change. We took our mid-way language proficiency exam (LPIs) last week and language groups are shifting a bit as we head into more technical training. The first five weeks were more language intensive and now those classes will taper off as we prep for site. For those of us in education, the next week will be mostly lesson planning for model school where we will each teach four full length classes in Portuguese to local kids. It’s good for us to practice in a “safe” setting where we can get feedback and ask questions. I’m already nervous. Right in the middle of model school is our mental health break and most of us are headed out to the beach at Xia-Xia. Some current PCVs have set everything up for us and I think everyone is ready to see a new part of the country. We find out our site placements the night before we leave so it should give us a chance to debrief/vent/party/mope away from PC staff and our families. It’s a bit crazy because after Xia-Xia it’s the second week of model school (with an afternoon free for Thanksgiving!) and a week with our homestay celebration, final LPIs, World Aids Day, closing sessions, swearing in and shipping off. A couple of whirlwind weeks to finish off PST.