Sunday, January 21, 2007


To Inhaca... almost

Our fancy conference at the Hotel Cardoso has ended (sadly-no more 4 star treatment) so all the Peace Corps volunteers have moved en masse to the Hotel Africa II- minus the 4 or 5 people who went home. Eli stayed because she is part of the planning committee for REDES (the girls conference), and I stayed because, well, I'm sort of a drifter. I actually asked Peace Corps to change my plane ticket so I could stay a few more days and now I'm sharing a room with someone from the REDES committee- which is free. So I thought I would use all this free time to take a trip to the island of Inhaca. A 3 hour ferry ride from Maputo, it's one of the more popular vacation destinations in the country; famous for its snorkeling, beaches, dolphins and flamingos. Half of the island is taken up by a biological research station and nature reserve, so I brought my binoculars all the way from Zambezia.
I took a taxi at 7am today with two other PCVs (one who actually lives on the island, lucky guy), only to find out that, for some reason which was never made clear to us, the ferry isn't running today. So no trip. So here I am trying to pass the time away in Maputo on a Sunday, with Eli in meetings all day. The only thing that's keeping me afloat is the new gelatto place that opened :-)

Here's a picture of the bird that lives next to my house in ile. No, I didn't take the picture, I got it from google, but it looks the same.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I forgot all the good details!

I know it´s been a while since the last big update. We have either had lots of free time but no energy or internet access, or no free time with unlimited (wireless!) internet access. Anyways, back to the beginning:

How did we spend Christmas? Originally we wanted to travel and be with other PCVs, but since our house didn´t have bars on the windows we didn´t feel very comfortable leaving, especially with all the expensive things, like the computer, in the house. On Christmas morning we went to another teacher´s house and spent the morning talking and eating pineapple, then had lunch at his place. Right after lunch we went to our school directors house, who was having a baptism party for his child. For the party he had a large reed hut (similar to a party tent) filled with tables and food and people; we got to spend a few hours eating and drinking (and they kept bringing us beers!) with Mozambicans. It felt like a good bonding time- getting to know some of the people of ile.

We didn´t do anything special at all for New Years, but I´m sure we had fun.

Shortly after New Years the school managed to have bars installed on our windows (although I´m not sure I have much confidence in the guy they hired to install them- he was just the only person in town who happened to have any metal bars at the time). We also went for 3 weeks with out power; the school (actually the student dorms, which is separate from the school) neglected to pay the electric bill, and it took them 3 weeks to pay and get us reconnected! So 3 weeks of using candles and with no movies! (Thanks to Julie and Justin for sending us back to Moz with over 65 movies!!) One of the hardest things was the lack of light and being forced to use coal to cook everything, plus taking cold showers every day!

To pass the time we also painted our house, and now it looks much better than it did originally. If all goes according to plan we will be moving to another house shortly, but you never know in Mozambique, so we decided to make this house as comfortable as possible…

Right now we are in Maputo for a week long conference on HIV/AIDS, as well as some other administrative peace corps things (health check-ups, etc). It´s great for us because we stay in a 4 star hotel, eat good food, and get to see everyone that we haven´t seen in the last year or so! Everyone in PC except the very newest volunteers are here, so there are about 60 of us. After the conference Eli is staying for 2 days to plan the next Girls´ Conference, during which time I will be bumming around the city.

I know I promised a long blog, but it´s been so long that a number of things have slipped my mind. I can only remember to add that on the first night that our power went out we found an enormous centipede in our house, crawling among some boxes of books; it was one of the grossest things I´ve ever seen. One of the things about ile is that you see a new weird bug just about every day, and many of the bugs get superlatives like ¨ugliest¨, ¨biggest¨ ¨fastest¨ etc.

Also, chech the previous post for a link to my pictures on

That´s all for now!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Link to Pictures

I´ve started posting some of my pictures on, definetely go there and check them out! I´m posting under the name Paulthelatino, or you can follow this link: Hope it works for you :-)

Sunday, January 14, 2007


A week in Maputo

Eli and I just arrived at the Hotel Cardoso- one of the nicest hotels in Maputo (in fact, in the whole country), and we´ll be here for about a week for an HIV/AIDS conference and our mid-service conference (wow, half way done!). All of this is thanks to PEPFAR; the Presidents Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief; or, how to spend 10 billion dollars quickly. I paid for access to the wireless internet, so we should be able to update from our room here :-) I´ll try to post over the next few days and fill you all in on whats been happening over in our corner of Africa :-) But just as a teaser, here are a few pix:

This is the view from our balcony at the Cardoso- very, very sweet.

Below is a picture of ile from the top of a nearby mountain- we have 2 big ones just beside the town. Most of the houses are mud brick with thatched roofs. The second picture below is from the other side of the same mountain, just showing off the landscape.

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