Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Lula Pancakes- cross cultural experiences in Moz

Feliz Natal everyone! Eli and I have had a really busy last two weeks! We had 6 people staying in our house from Christmas (the four other PC Nampula people and our friends Jessie and Marie from the southern gaza province- Jessie is Rob´s cousin for those of you who don´t know! They took a 60 hour bus trip to come see us). That was a great but hectic time- and we finished by taking a trip to the Ilha de Moçambique, which is a world heritage site and very beautiful. We also spent Christmas eve at Fernao Velhoso, a pretty beach near us. Its been hard to remember that it really is christmas time!! Its so hot and tropical here that it just doesn´t seem right.
Let me step back and explain the title of the post. Eli and I recently made pancakes and since we didn´t have butter we used oil. What we didn´t know is that a woman who had cooked for us the day before had used that same oil to fry lula´s (octopus) and then returned some of it to the bottle. So we had a little bit of a surprise when that batch of pancakes had an overwhelming fishy taste! Now we only use butter for our pancakes. Speaking of cooking, we bought an oven just before christmas-its like a giant toaster oven, but we can do chicken rotisserie style in it. We used it to make cookies, brownies, and a mango crisp (apple´s are too expensive here, and mangos were better anyway!). Thats been nice and should help eli and I to cook some more food that we´re used to. (we still have a small coal burner in case the power goes out).
For Christmas eve we made pasta with a mango tomato sauce, that turned out really well- (like a normal tomatoe sauce but with mango chunks cooked in). For Christmas we made a seafood scampi with shrimp and lula that turned out excellently. The day after we went to ilha, although we didn´t stay long. We plan on going back for new years. Classes don´t start until Feb. 1st, so we have time to travel, although teachers meetings and planning start 2 weeks before that.
Eli and I are getting more integrated into our community- we´ve had some long conversations with some of the people here, and even got two stools as christmas presents, but haven´t made any real ´friends´ yet, because of the lack of time. Still, things are good and we hope to get an empregada and dog soon... the dog may take a while. Also, I got accepted to New York Medical College but I am going to decline. To answer Kerry´s question we are sleeping with mosquitoe nets (although eli thinks they come through the holes in the net), but in our apartment bugs aren´t bad. In other places they are. I´m taking pictures but don´t have a digital camera. I will have to mail them home and then ask my dad to see if he can scan and post those. Also, the whole moz10 group is posting pictures on www.ofoto.com with the username mozten@gmail.com and the password peacecorps1 but I dont know what they´re putting there.
Mpaka meloo (until tomorrow in Macua, but more like next week)!


Friday, December 16, 2005


The Eagle Has Landed

Wow! We´re finally in our house in Nacala! Except it isn´t a house- it´s an apartment! We have a lot to tell, last weekend was our swearing in ceremony at the ambassador´s house. There were two great speaches from volunteers... you can already guess that I gave one of them :-) I didn´t think it was that bad, but an english teacher, Kris, gave the other and when the Moçambican minister of education (or representative of) gave her speach it was, Kris this, Kris that (5 times!) and she never mentioned mine. Eli says I´m bitter but I´m really not.
Ok, here´s our address in Nacala really quickly before I forget! Send it to us at-

Escola Secondaria de Nacala-Porto
Caixa Postal 187
Nacala, Nampula

Ok, so we flew up on Monday morning- leaving Boane at 4am!! Between the two of us Eli and I checked 9 peices of luggage and had 4 carry ons. Thank you Peace Corps for paying for the extra luggage. Some people brought huge stereos, foot massagers and even a bike so we werent that bad! Our first day in Nampula we tried to go to Nacala and move into our house. Well, to be polite we met with the district administrator of education first, and thats when I heard them saying that they had changed our house at the last minute without telling Peace Corps! They also said that our house wasn´t ready. So we stayed in a really nice hotel on the beach for 2 days while they got the ´new´ place ready for us.
Sounds good, but then I get a call from the director saying the new place is going to take a little bit of work, so we won´t be able to move in until march maybe. So its back to the original apartment until then! So currently, today is our 2nd day in our new place. Its HUGE!!! We have 3 bedrooms, a gigantic living room (it came with a giant tortoise shell!!) and a long porch. We have a two room kitchen, running water (sometimes... usually in the morning) and electricity. 1.5 baths. Its a fixer-upper, but we won´t be staying long enough to fix er up. Our director did get us a brand new refrigerator and tv, as well as a little electric stove top and some dishes, pots etc. There was already a bed with a foam mattress. We´re pretty much settled in, things are good. Someone from the administration has been over helping to cook, clean and show us around. Soon we´ll be getting a dog and an empregada (maid). It really is a huge house. The new place that we´ll eventually go to is smaller, but in a much nicer neighborhood, and perhaps will have a view of the water.
I´m really afraid the internet will die, so more later!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


Only 1 More Week!

Hi! I know Eli started off with something in Macua, but she´s really into that local language thing and I don´t know anything but this one frase! ( Kimpelaa kamparão, which means I´d like some shrimp!) Well, we have one more week of training, and I can´t wait for it to be over so we can go to our site! Next week we are going to be meeting our directors, which should be interesting. I am going to ask if there is any chance that I can teach teh 11th grade, which is taxonomy! (The whole Genus species thing!) I don´t really know a ton about taxonomy but I´ve gotten really interested in it since graduating. Schools that are big enough to teach the 11th grade are really rare, most high schools here end at the 10th grade, but Nacala is a bigger city (the 2nd biggest in Nampula I think, although I´ve heard that the biggest is still only like 4 blocks of big buildings!)
There are only giong to be 4 other peace corps volunteers in the Nampula province, 2 girls who will be about 1.5 hours away from us and 2 boys who will be about 6 hours away from us, although they´re all really nice and we should have a good time with them (we´ll at least get to know them pretty well! After them the nearest people are a 2 day train ride away! And we have to cut through Malawi to get there!). The Zambezi province below us has nobody, and Manica has only a few, so we have to go west to Tete or SW to Manica to find the nearest people, although the vast majority are in the far south of Inhambanne or Gaza. I think we´re between 700-800 miles north of the capital city and the peace corps office! But we actually will have open ended plain tickets back to Maputo in case we ever need to return in a hurry, also every site has cell phone coverage.
I hear there is good scuba diving near Nacala, and there is a place to get your diving certification, so Eli and I may do that depending on the price. Also, a little ways north of us is Pemba beach (it´s actually probobly a long journey, but possible) and it´s supposed to be the 2nd best beach in the whole country. Considering that the place is full of beautiful beaches, that´s saying a LOT! Also, just a little south of us is the Isla de Moçambique, which is a world heritage site and is supposed to be really beautiful. Usually when you see pictures of Nampula they come from that island. The other thing I heard about our site is that it´s incredibly hot! Our latitude is about 15 degrees! That compares to below Puerto Rico ande Haiti in the north, or about honduras I think.
I´m working on uploading some pix to www.ofoto.com. I´m not sure how you can find them yet though.... I´m emailing them to some people who´s email I have on hand, otherwise you might be able to go to the site and search, the email address they are under is mozten@gmail.com. Or email me and I´ll send them to you!



Yihali everybody (hello/how are you? in macua)!
Back in Maputo for the day (this might be our last day before we head off to our sites!). Nothing really new since last entry, so I thought i'd talk a little about the food here, and especially about the fruit (mmmm). I must admit that our diet here (living with our host family) consists of a lot of rice. We eat rice with every meal, and sometimes it changes and we have french fries (which are really good, but really bad for you). With the rice we have carril (gravy) and sometimes chicken or fish (the fish is really good!). But, besides some excepti0ns (we had shrimp a couple of times), that's been our diet (i have gained weight!!). But, the best part of our diet is the fruit. Let me tell you that our host family has in our back yard three mango trees, an orange tree, a coconout tree, a lichi tree (no fruit yet tho). Then they have a small farm with a banana tree and a papaya (papayas here are huuuuuuuge) tree. But that's only what our family has. There are a lot of people selling fruit in the street, and among the most interesting and good fruits, there are massalas (which look absolutely disgusting, but taste like warm apple pie, seriously -- it's round and green/brown, and hard in the outside, then you hit against the ground to crack it open, and you have something that looks like it could be a brain, or something, but you eat it, and it tastes like apple pie). Mozambique also has some really interesting bananas, they have the ones that we have, but they also have these smaller ones that kinda taste like pear (i know it sounds weird, but they're really good). Also, I have to admit that the fruit here is dirt cheap, you can get a big nice-looking mango (that tastes amazing!) for 1 conto (which is like 4 cents). Anyhow, that's that for today. Hope all of you are ok, healthy and keeping warm :-)

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