Sunday, June 18, 2006



Today was a kinda sad day, Paul and I went to the funeral of the daughter of a friend of ours. When we got to his house, the women and the men were sitting on opposite sides. Not knowing what to do, I went with the women, and Paul with the men (obviously). But then, our friend's son came to us and brought us inside the house where there was the priest and other people, including the parents and grandma. They were all sitting around the little girl, getting her ready for the coffin. Then they brought out the coffin and we went one by one putting flowers in the caskett (sp?), we did this, women first, and then the men. There was a group of women singing during most of the ceremony.
There were two cars ready to take us to the cemetery, so we all loaded up onto those. The front car had the casket and a wooden cross with the name of his daughter written by pen. When we got there, men and women got divided again. While they put the coffin down, the priest said a few words, but mostly the women sang. It's hard to describe the singing, to us it sounds very African (and i dont mean to stereotype). Usually there is a woman leader in the chorus who sings a phrase, and then the group repeats it. Sorry, I know that doesnt say much, but its hard to explain (and considered how musically challenged I am...). The parents and grandma went to say their good-byes, and then the men began covering the grave. After a few minutes, the women went to help, but mostly in a symbolic way (just a few handfuls of dirt). Then our friend came to us and told us to go back to the car.
Once back at their home, there was water ready to wash the shovels and everyone's hands. Once again, we didnt really know what to do, but people were really nice and told us. I think we got the special treatment tho, cuz Paul was the only person sitting on a chair (someone specifically brought him a chair), everyone else was either standing or sitting on the ground. The priest said a few more words, the women sang a few more songs and they set out a plate for offerings. After that, they offered chima and peixe (which we tried to avoid, but got anyway!).
Well, that was about it. I hope all is well for everyone.
Eli and Paul

Friday, June 16, 2006


general post

Hello all!
Everything is going well here, just excited for the visita :-) After about two weeks of 'winter' (chilly in the mornings) it's back to hot - 85 degrees F by 9am. But for those two weeks, Paul actually wore a sweatshirt in the morning three different days (only one of the days, did he actually have to take it off, cuz he was sweating!).
I'm going to Monapo tomorrow to meet two girls that are going to the conference with me and the two girls from my school. I'm still not sure who to pick, I have a lot of people that are interested, and that I think would do good there, but I have about four days to decide!!! While I'm in Monapo, Paul has the wonderful opportunity to endure a 3hour school meeting (about nothing important).
Paul's science fair has been postponed to next week, so will let you know how it goes. There's been a lot of kids who are joining the last minute and need more times for their experiments.
We don't seem to be able to open our emails so:
- Happy Birthday, Dad (David)!
- Thanks for the post, Ivy and Rob - we really miss you guys, and hope you are doing well. Good luck with the camino!!
- I wanted to reply to your email, Sarah M., but will have to do it old style and write you a letter. Hope all is well!

Hope everyone is well!
Eli and Paulo

Saturday, June 10, 2006


They don't do bank cards on Saturday

so I will go another month without an ATM card, and while my account is full of money Eli's account is empty, because thats the one we always use. And since my monthly trip to Nampula, 150 miles from Nacala, happens to be on a Saturday, I can't get a new ATM card to access my money. Luckily I have just enough on me to get back to Nacala. And buy a 1KG bag of peanuts. And buy a book on the street. But I can't buy anymore today, really.

Besides the frusterating bank situation- they're less than helpfull most of the time- things are going well. Next friday is our science fair, which I'm hoping goes well, but right now it's anybodies guess as to whats going to happen. We have a huge number of students who said they were doing projects (like 40) but we'll see who shows up!

Also, we just got a grant from the boys conference to buy materials to paint murals at school. So I came into Nampula today with one of the students to buy paint and things. Hopefully in a week or two they can start doing some murals! We'll see how it all goes, we only managed to buy red, yellow, green blue and brown paints today (to mix with the white base paint), so we don't have black and our range of colors isn't huge. Still, it's a start.

Eli and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary on the 12th!

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Here´s a picture of my student Abdulcadre, painting his mural (there was a picture of him last time as well).

Here´s me in front of my mural, which includes both the planet earth and sun, the giant condom, and the peace corps symbol that says JOMA underneath it. This picture is funny because my hair was getting long and I had it cut again as soon as I got back to Nacala!

Friday, June 02, 2006


Mmm Chamosas

Today we learned (or our empragada did) how to make chamosas, a fried triangle of dough filled with meat and potatoes. It almost reminds me of a michigan pasty, only smaller and with a different shape. Since we´ve finished our box of Snickers (which is very distressing) this may be just what we need to fill the snack gap.

The science fair that I´m organizing along with my ped director is two weeks from today! We posted a list of all the people who have turned in their proposals for experiments, and the list numbers 38 people!! And I know that some of my biology students aren´t on the list. However, I think that many of the people who said they were interested probobly will not come through. But still, it´s exciting! I´ve also been talking to some of the local business people and 2 different restaurants have donated certificates to us for prizes, so thats nice! Hopefully it goes well.

Today I am using the internet in another place in Nacala (a school in the cidade alta, about 15 min. away from our house), but unfortunately it can´t seem to open our email and often can´t load web pages, although it´s half the price of our usual internet connection. We´ll see how it works out.

The only other news is that I´m trying to give computer lessons at school, but the word has gotten out and I´ve got a 2 page waiting list of students who want to learn! It´s a little out of control because I really am not good at teaching people how to use the computer in Portuguese (nobody has ANY idea about anything! Using the mouse, keyboard, you name it is new!) is a challenge. I´ll be working on it though.

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