So it’s nearly the end of March and I’ve just reached the six months mark. I found a half written letter to my uncle the other day from early November (once I realized how expensive the mail system was I gave up my goal of long hand letters, sorry folks) and reminisced as I reread those fears and apprehensions after being in country for a month. I still have my language struggles and miss home all the time but I can communicate, I have a purpose and feel connected to the community. I have a home now and friends and inside jokes.
Speaking of the new house, I really wish I could post some pictures but my computer died and I currently don’t have a way to transfer them off my camera but maybe in a few weeks at our reconnect conference. Either way, the new place is wonderful. It’s back from the old oven house in a different row amongst the barrio dos professores. And since its situated further back there are more trees blocking the sun which makes the house a good 10 degrees cooler than the other one. We also each have half of the duplex so we can finally settle in and personalize the space. We each have a sala (living/family/front room) and a quarto (bedroom) with doors to the outside in opposite corners. There is a “door” between the sala and quarto on each side which is actually just a space cut out of the dividing wall. I plan on making a curtain door to get a little separation but it’s not a high priority at the moment. Our dealings with the slimy carpenter were well worth it as the big windows provide good ventilation and create some light crosswinds. I am also going to get curtains made for them as my neighbors can currently see into my house at all times. I still don’t have any furniture but am going to talk to the Dombe carpenter this week about getting a bookshelf, wardrobe type thing and maybe a table made. Apparently he is not capable of making bed frames (multiple people had tried and it’s usually a disaster) so we’ll have to get those in Sussendenga and arrange to get them back in the back of a truck. I’ve been able to go through and organize my stuff but am still pretty much living out of suitcases and boxes. I did however paint my side blue (it’s definitely Carolina blue but I’ve gotten over that because it makes the house so light and open) with a darker blue stripe along the bottom.
The big tree out front provides nice shade and the quintal (backyard) will eventually have a fence of some sort around it. Our casa do banho is in sad shape at the moment – you have to put your capulana over the entrance or everyone in the area can see you and I’m just barely short enough to avoid having to duck to be concealed by the walls. Our latrine is our biggest problem as we’re fairly sure it’s going to cave in. Mona and I found out that if we speak loud enough we can hear each other through the walls and it’s become custom to warn the other person if you’re headed out the latrine so they’ll know that a scream means you’ve fallen in. We’re being slightly dramatic but it’s like a little gamble every time you go in, makes life exciting I suppose. Although Mona’s notified me that if she ends up in the latrine it’s a new beach side house or a ticket back to America for her. I may be left alone in the Dombe if we don’t get it fixed soon! But we have talked to the DAP (Directora da Pedagogica) and she is working out the logistics for getting our cement casa do banho/latrine figured out. Maybe it will all be done by the time I can post pictures and I can do a real before-and-after show and tell.
Not much else happening besides teaching and dealing with the ridiculous heat. Our neighbors are all wonderful and make sure we eat properly (which usually entails us eating with them) and get a few luxurious cold sodas every week. A big group of the central volunteers (those of us in Manica, Sofala and Tete) and a couple from the north met up this weekend at a retreat of sorts to celebrate a birthday. Casa Msika is just 46km outside Chimoio on the edge of Lake Chicamba near a dam (http://www.casamsika.com/). It was beautiful and open and very relaxing. You can’t actually swim in the lake due to wildlife but the infinity type pool overlooks the hills and water. As usual we ate amazing food, played ridiculous games and drank in the comfort of our anonymity. That website has good Google map of the area but the pictures don't work so I got these from Audrey's facebook:
|it was a D-themed party in honor of Diana|
|feeding the crocs|
I suppose that’s about it for now. I have yet to get my good mattress but my back is doing well and rarely hurts or is tight at all. I gave my first test and despite warnings from all MOZ 14ers had a small percentage actually pass and was slightly depressed. But life goes on and the adventure continues!
P.S. I’m going on record for the first time to say that I am officially coming back to Colorado for three weeks this June and I’m proposing to all those outside of Colorado that you plan a trip to see me! It’s just an idea but otherwise it will be a long year and a half before you’ll get the chance again. Of course you could also visit me here in Moz but I’m fairly certain its cheaper to get to Colorado!
P.S.S. I posted this once of Facebook but watched it again last night with some fellow PCVs and just had to get it out there again. I just die everytime! Happy 50th Peace Corps!
Waka Waka - Shakira (I've been having a lot of "Holy crap I'm in Africa" moments lately, so This Time For Africa!)