Wednesday, August 29, 2007


As aulas começam amanha

As aulas começam amanha

Literally translated it means classes start tomorrow, but what it really means is ‘nobody knows when classes will start, but show up every day just in case.’ And that pretty much sums up the current situation- doing final grades for the second trimester still isn’t done (even though class was supposed to have started on Monday) and many students have not even returned from the holidays. It will make an already short last trimester (shortened by almost a month because of the national census) even shorter.

The next month will be pretty busy here. This weekend (or next, depending on if the students return or not!) we will be taking 4 kids from our JOMA group and Adolfo to Mocuba for a two day theater training. The Mocuba JOMA group will be planning and putting on the training and it should be a really experience, both for our kids to improve their theater and to share ideas with the Mocuba kids. Also the 15th is the regional science fair in Nampula. We will be taking the three winners from our local fair to compete, and Nacala will also bring a group of students (we did a science fair there last year) which is exciting. For now those kids are working on refining and improving their experiments. (One of them is trying to run a light bulb off of a lemon, but is having some trouble, anyone have ideas?).

Following the science fair we have a COS (close of service) conference in Maputo, which we go to even if we extend. That means missing another week of school! (The trimester ends in mid October, and the last few weeks are final exams and grading so there really is not much time for classes!!).

The school received a chessboard (possibly two) and the other day I taught one of the other teachers how to play. I’m hoping to teach a small group of kids to play and then leave those chessboards in the library. We’ll see how it goes, but other PCVs have started chess clubs and been pretty successful.

The only other major news to report is that the school is starting to make mud bricks for a new peace corps house. That way there will be a place for us (and the new volunteer who will come to teach biology in December) will have a place to live when we leave the missionary housing. The fact that they are starting is really good news and I’m really hoping that they get it done before December!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


At long last, an update!

Yes, it has been a long time without a blog entry, and I'm sorry for that, although many of you have received a PDF newsletter which talked about July. The last two months or so have been pretty busy for us. We came back from our first trip to Malawi at the end of June. There was only a few weeks of school and then final exams following that, and the second trimester was officially over. This year Mozambique is doing their third national census, and it's a very big, very serious undertaking... I'm actually very impressed by the organization of the whole project, although we are taking nearly a MONTH LONG BREAK from school in order to get it done! (It is, however, incredibly important for the future of Mozambique, so I understand. Its a very detailed census). So, what are we doing with all this free time? First, we held the first ever science fair in Ile, and went to Gurue to help with their first science fair. (Send me an email if you want a copy of the newsletter that talks about the science fair Both of the science fairs were excellent, and we will be taking 3 students to Nampula in September for a northern regional science fair...also a first time event up here in the north.
In July we made a 2nd trip to Malawi, in fact going back to the very same Liwonde National Park, but this time we went with other PCVs (from Mocuba and Gurue, our two closest neighbors). We arrived in the park exactly 1 month to the day since our last visit. We spent 3 nights and had a great time. At one point a large heard of elephants walked right past us, in a marsh, another time we were in a tree house 'lookout' and saw a herd of 34 elephants go underneath us.
The biggest news though, is that my parents visited! They were in Mozambique for about 10 days (a 2 week trip minus travel days). They spent several days in Ile, went hiking through the tea plantations of gurue up to an amazing waterfall and back, saw the school but unfortunately no classes, went to Nacala and spent two nights at a resort outside the city, saw whales in the bay, and spent a night on the Ilhe de Mozambique. They actually flew out of Maputo today, having arrived yesterday in the city and managed, without speaking portuguese, to get to the hotel, go out for pizza and ice cream, and get to the airport with out problems. It was, I think, a wonderful trip, and I will leave it to them to describe it in more detail. (to be posted here soon, I hope).
Also, a big announcement from Eli and I: we are receiving funding for a project through PEPFAR, the US program that funds HIV/AIDS programs, to create DVDs with short HIV/AIDS films. It's a big project and I'll be staying an extra six months in Mozambique in order to complete it. So, I will be returning around June, 2008. Eli has decided that she would like to continue teaching for a third year, and, pending final Peace Corps approval, will be staying until December of 2008. (Although Peace Corps will give her a plane ticket to come back to the US in June or July for a month). I know you may be sad that we will not be coming home as soon as you had hoped, but on the bright side, there will be 12 more months of exciting blog entries :) Hope everyone is doing well back home, take care,

Paul and Eli

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