Wednesday, November 30, 2005



Hello everyone!
We are going to Nacala, in the province of Nampula!!!!!! It's way up north (the Mozambique map that David put up is great), and it's on the coast. We really don't know much about the place, except that it's a port and our house is a four bedroom house :-) It's also a new site, which means our house is gonna be pretty empty. Nampula is supposed to great for rock climbing, so we're pretty happy about that (I went climbing this past weekend and it was amazing, i'm hoping to be able to put up some pix, but we'll see how that works out).
Man, oh man, it's been a busy week. On Friday we found out our sites (and got mail, thanks Monica and David!), then Saturday was our Thanksgiving lunch (which wet suprisingly well considering we had one small oven...). We finished model school on Tuesday, and started learning local language (Macua for Nampula people) which is gonna be a challenge, but fun. And today it's International HIV/AIDS Day, so we got to come to Maputo and get tested for HIV. And next week is our last week of training!!
Well, i'm gonna post this, and try to get a picture or two up.
Love to all,
PS: we bought a bright blue guitar guys!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


general stuff

Hey everyone,
First things first: huge congratulations to Ivy Grace and Rob for their engagement. Can't wait to celebrate with you guys!

Well, just finished my first week of teaching 45 min. lessons, and overrall i think it went real well. The kids are good kids for the most part, but it's realy easy for the class to get out of hand. I had 55 students! with ages between 9 and 16!! Whenever we try group work or games, I have to be real mean and yell a little, but they behave.
In a week, Paul and I find out where we're gonna be placed, and that's really exciting. It's all we talk bout here, all the volunteers have their ideal spot, and it'll be interesting to see how things work out. Paul and I are leaning towards Nampula province, but we really dont have that good of a reason (except climbing, cashews and shrimp:-) Well, we'll let you know next blog entry!
Hope all is good with everyone!
PS: we're gonna go buy a guitar today (maybe after two years, I'll be able to play something other that "Downtown")

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Site Visits and Teaching

Ok, so last week I was in Maputo and none of the huge amount of what I wrote got posted on the blog :-( To start with site visits, I went to a town in Inhambane province called Quissico, which one guide book I saw says ´may have the best view in the entire country.´ So that was a plus, it was a beautiful place. From the town you could look out on beautiful blue lagoons, behind those were some low hills, and behind that you could see the dark blue Indian Ocean- palm trees everywhere. I had a great time, and we stayed there for 2 days, swimming in the lagoons. Then we went north to Tofo (tofu) beach, which is right on the Indian Ocean. It´s really pretty. Our first night we bought 2 kg of fresh shrimp for about 6 dollars and cooked them ourselves. We stayed in a campground at the beach- I slept in a tent with a mat and a pillow provided- I brought my own sheets. The first morning I was there I went into the water with some other trainees... we were having some innocent fun in the surf. Well the waves were just huge, and after about 3 minutes of course they knocked my glasses off my face and they were just gone forever. So the rest of my time at the beautiful beach I couldn´t see squat. (On Monday when I returned peace corps drove me into maputo and took me to the eye doctor, I picked out new frames and they´re getting me new glasses- they look a lot like my old ones so its ok!). Anyways,

This last week has been micro-school, which eli said is 20 minutes classes. (next week is 45 minutes classes). Being bio I taught twice last week and every day next week, since I have to teach in portuguese! (personally I think my portuguese is really comming along, not as much as eli´s but....). My first lesson was on the excetory system, to 8th graders. I taught the very first 7:30am class of the day, and my class really wasn´t full. But I thought it went really well, I wasn´t nervous (while I was teaching, I´m not saying anything about before hand). The kids seemed to understand. The second day I taught the nefrons, a part of the kidney, and a lot more complicated.... this isn´t stuff from their 8th grade syllabus but I like it so I wanted to teach it. My host brother, who just finished 10th grade came to that class. I thought I did really well, my portuguese was good and I had a good lesson plan. Nobody understood anything. I think its because I was teaching 40 kids, most of whom were´nt at my last lesson, so they missed the basics. My host brother said he understood and that it was a good lesson.

Being a teacher in Mozambique is interesting- the people have a LOT more respect for teachers than in the US. When I walked into the classroom, faced the students and said good morning, everyone shut up and stood up, then they said good morning mr. professor. I said, how are you? and they said together, we´re fine, thank you, how are you? Then they were very well disciplined for the rest of the class, although getting answeres out of them can be hard, because they´re shy. When I call on kids to answer questions I can also make them stand up to give answers- they can be very formal in class. I´ve also heard that they will run all over you if you let them, but most teachers don´t have a big problem with discipline as far as I´ve heard. Anyways, I really enjoyed teaching and I´m looking forward to the next 3 weeks of model school. I got some pictures developed and hopefully can scan and email or just snail mail them soon. Bye!


First Day of Teaching

Yesterday i taught my first lesson! It was only a 20 minutes lesson in order to prepare us for the next three weeks, when we'll be teaching 45 minute lessons (the normal time for a class Mozambique). Originally, i was gonna teach numbers 0-20, and play a bingo game or something, but I observed another teacher teach on Thursday, and saw that the students had never had English, so I cut it to 0-10. It's interesting, because I remember when i was learning German in highschool, i learned 0-100, and a grammar structure in one class, but it's very different here. First of all, they don't have textbooks, so anything that we teach they have to write it down in their notebooks (and it takes them a long time to write stuff, because they're really careful about not making any mistakes because their notebooks are their text books, and they want it to be really clear and without mistakes). Also, Peace Corps encourages the English teachers to speak only in English, so it can take a while to explain stuff (even a game like bingo). And finally, there are 40 students (at least) per class, so it's very hard to do group activities and such. But, overrall, i think my lesson went well, and i'm excited for next week (i'll teach three days). Alright, i think i'm done with the blog for today. Paul is on his way to Maputo now (he went to play basketball this morning), so he can write about his site visit and teaching.
I hope all is well,


Site Visit 2

So, after Chokwe we went to visit another volunteer about two hours away from Hokwe. She lives on school grounds (which is fairly common) in a pretty nice house (electricity, running water from one faucet outside). The town is still really small, kinda like Hokwe but with a lot of trees, so it's not as hot. Sidenote: I saw Jessi there, and she says hi to Rob and Ivy.
The next day we went to Chidenguele which is right on the beach, and that was amazing! We stayed in a resort, because the volunteer there is friends with the owner, and he let us have a house for a day (with the condition that we ate in their restaurant). The house (with electricity and hot running water!) is overlooking the beach, and it was beautiful. We spent the day on the beach, which was practically deserted, and got to eat pizza for dinner :-)
Anyhow, the next day we hitched a ride back into town, and waited for a chapa to take us back to Maputo. The chapa ride itself needs some explanation i think. It was a bit bigger than the normal mini-vans (but not like a greyhound bus), and it was actually pretty comfortable. About an hour into the ride, I hear some chirping sounds (kinda like a bird's chirp and a cat's meow), so i look behind me and i see this lady sitting next to a couple of huge (HUGE) bags, but i see no chickens. About an hour after that, it starts to pour, and we all start fearing for our lives (chapa doesnt slow down at all, water doesnt drain very well, water starts coming in through the window next to me, etc). Anyhow, an hour after that or so, i hear another chirping noise (but i still see no animal). An hour after that, the lady with the huge bags asks to get off, so the cobrador (the guy who collects the money for the ticket) starts taking off her bags: two huge bags (packed with stuff), then a rice bag (which must way about 40 punds at least), and UNDER all this, let me repeat UNDER the rice bag, UNDER the two big bags, were three squished, barely alive, chickens!! I think all the volunteers on the bus were in shock. Anyhow, that's my chickens in the chapa story, and the end of my site visit.
I'll write one more blog about teaching.


Site Visit 1

Hello everyone!
Paul tried writing something on Monday, but somehow it got lost in cyberspace. There is soooo much to say right now, but i'll start off with site visits (since Paul already kinda started with that). I went with another trainee (Mike) to Chokwe (which is in Gaza province, for those who want to look it up), about three hours from Maputo. The idea behind site visits is that you stay with a real volunteer, see how they live, what they eat, where they work, and all that. Originally, I was going to go to Hokwe (45 minutes from Chokwe) and stay with a girl volunteer there. But having the opportunity to check out other sites as well, I stayed one night there, one night in Chokwe, then another night in Malehice, and the last night in Chidenguele (on the beach!!). First things first, Hokwe has NOTHING, and when i say nothing, i really mean it. Jenna (the volunteer) has no electricity and no running water, actually, there's a drought right now, so there's almost no drinking water at all in the town (i was really dehydrated that day). There are two bars i think, but being girls, we really couldnt go there on our own. No restaurants, but one little store where you can buy essentials. A small market with onions, tomatoes, and not much more. The town itself is pretty cool, everyone knows everyone, and the school is very nice.
Chokwe, on the other hand, has everything. Internet, restaurants, bars, bakeries, internet, cheese, etc. The volunteer there lives in an awesome house (electricy, running water, tv and dvd, fridge, stove and oven, etc), but i think Peace Corps is changing the house, cuz it's too expensive for them (the volunteer originally lived in a house infested with bats, he got really sick from bat poop everywhere, so PC got him this house).
Hey, i dont want to lose what i wrote, so i'm gonna post it, and continue in a new post.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Site Visits!

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