Thursday, May 31, 2007



Sometimes Eli and I sit around and talk about things that we miss from home. Like big screen movies and popcorn. Oh wait, we have those here J Our missionary friends have a projector which they use every Saturday as a home theater system. I guess that after moving to our new house we can’t really complain about roughing it anymore (although our gas tank did run out last weekend and we had to take bucket baths again for a while, it was hard, trust me).

This weekend we have a professional photographer coming up from Quelimane to do a session with our JOMA group. It should be pretty exciting, hopefully he will have a really strong impact on the quality of the kids’ pictures. His main focus will be putting meaning into pictures- sometimes I feel that the students interpret all of their photos too literally.
Next Sunday is ‘Ile Day’, celebrating the founding of Ile, so it should be an interesting holiday. We already have our Ile Day t-shirts (for sale in the street). Whether or not people will be recovered enough to work or teach on Monday is anyone’s guess. Also Friday is ‘Children’s Day’, although our students aren’t technically considered children anymore (cheers to Saioa though) they all want the day off- there should be classes but you never know.

Take care everyone.

Friday, May 25, 2007



Here are some pictures of classes in Ile- the first two are of kids working on a group project where they were making informational f liers about either AIDS, malaria or nutrition. The pictures were actually taken by a student from our youth group who was practicing photography for the photojournalism project (using Julie's old digital camera). The picture below is of the tea plantations in Gurue.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Hard at Work

Believe me when I say we’re working hard: Eli and I are teaching photography lessons with our digital camera, teaching gender and HIV/AIDS classes on the weekends, organizing a science fair- which also has weekend meetings, writing grants for our photography project, a world map (painting) project, and a video project. As soon as the basketball court is fixed I’ll start coaching basketball again, and Eli is considering both coaching girls’ basketball and doing a small English club. On top of it all we’re teaching- and I just received an 8th class! It’s certainly enough to keep us busy- it seems like we’re always running from one meeting to the next.

Right now we are training our JOMA group in photography. We’ve bought 2 film cameras from Malawi but are training with Julie’s old digital camera since it doesn’t cost money when the kids take bad pictures (and so far they have almost all managed to cut the head off the subject in their first pictures!). I then hook up the camera to a TV and we can look at the pix the same day. The plan is that once the kids are trained they’ll start taking pictures showing either gender inequality or HIV/AIDS – they’ll pick a new theme each month. At the end of the month we’ll put together a short photo essay which we’ll photocopy and distribute in the town and neighboring schools. It’s a fun project because all the kids are excited to use a camera. We were already interviewed, along with some of the kids, by the community radio station, who saw us taking pictures in town!

We’ve started preparing for a science fair- both a local Ile one and later on a regional one (although I’m not planning the regional one, but we’ll participate). I had 30 kids come to my first meeting, although we’ll see how many of them manage to make projects. This year I will put a lot more time into organizing than last year- getting a good place, inviting all the important people of the town, etc. We’re hoping it’ll be a big success!

If you were to go to the school in Ile today, you would probably find a bunch of cut of shirt sleeves on the ground, scattered around in the dirt. Why? Apparently long sleeve shirts are not part of the school uniform, so the other day one of the teachers called every student who had long sleeves, and cut their shirt sleeves off them, in front of the whole school! Then he kicked two of them in the butt for good measure. We felt pretty bad for the kids, who had raggedy shirt cuffs- especially two of them who had had fairly nice white shirts. We were pretty surprised at the whole thing.

We’re hoping to take a trip to Malawi at the end of June, along with some other PCVs from Zambezia province. It’d just be a few days, when we have a long weekend, but we’re really excited to go- we hear a lot of good things about Malawi and it’s really not that far away (well, by chapa things seem a lot farther than they really are).

No idea when our cell phone tower will start working… there are rumors for early June, but you never know. Other sad news, one of the 6 other PCVs in our province had to go home for health problems, so we have one less immediate neighbor! It’s sad, we were already few up here. Next year they’ll be putting a lot more people up here, but of course, we won’t be here!
p.s. blogger is weird on these gurue computers- I can't tell how the pictures are going to come out- but there are pictures of Eli teaching the last class of the day, a picture of students learning photography (yes, they are taking pictures of a bathroom), and a picture that one student took in the market. Enjoy.

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