So today (3 de Fevereiro) I got up at 4:25 and went to meet my fellow Guijanians at 5 to head out to an event in the provincial capital of Xai-Xai for Hero’s Day – a national holiday here in Mozambique to commemorate the nation’s heroes. Got there at 5 and no one was around so I went back home and sat around until around 6 and then returned where I found close to 30 vehicles – chapas, cars, huge trucks, etc. packed with things and people going to Xai-Xai and soon enough we proceeded to head out in a 30 vehicle caravan for the next 2 hours. Word on the street was that Guebuza, Mozambique’s Present was supposed to be there and that he was. I listened to him and a number of other important figureheads speak in the middle of this jardim where they inaugurated a statue of Samora Machel – Mozambique’s first President since independence – this year marking the 25th year since his death. It was really great to see how many people showed up for this special event. Roads were blocked off for people to walk, police were directing traffic, streets venders and food carts lined the streets, there was so much life – an avid people-watcher would have had field day!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Dancamos com Backstreet Boys, conversamos sobre Michael Jackson e accordo com Eminem (oh and a Piri update tambem)
So yesterday the family that lives behind the house I am staying in had a Backstreet Boys music video marathon on their TV. So the other volunteer and I along with Piri-Piri had a dance party in the yard to Backstreet Boys – incredible! Oh yea and the father of that same family has been quite interested in learning about Michael Jackson – asking about women in his life, his kids, how he died, whether he was cremated, etc…Needless to say I don’t know enough about the man because many of his questions remain unanswered. Oh yea and the eldest son of that same family LOVES Eminem and he has been playing the same 1 or 2 songs from morning until night for the past few weeks…he asked me last week if I would help him translate the lyrics to the “Momma” (I don’t know the real name of the song) song and I told him I would as long as he promised to not play it every single day! J For all of you who who are dog lovers…Piri is doing well she has been going on morning runs with my roommate, which is tuckers her out she also still brings us presents of goat skins, old bones of random animals and the newest thing are dirty baby diapers! I am teaching her to sit, stay and sleep…we’ve almost mastered sit and will be moving on soon!
We technically started school last Thursday, however I have still yet to meet all of my students. The first few weeks of school are spent enrolling students, teachers still planning lessons and students deciding when they are finished with holidays and ready to come back. There are about 1000 students at the school and 4 English teachers - two English teachers for 8th-10th and two for 11th and 12th grades. The students in the 8th-10th receive 2 classes of English/week, while the students in 11th and 12th receive 5 classes/week. I will be teaching only in the morning (from 7am to 12:05) and will have 4 turmas (classes) of about 40 students each. My schedule changes depending on the day – Mondays I have six classes (3 doubles/duplas) with my three 11th grade classes, Tuesday I have two classes (1 double/dupla) with my only 12th grade class and Wednesday…So far the students have pretty good I have yet to have a full class with all of my students so we’ll see how things go when I get 40 students in a classroom. I did have something funny happen the other day in class when we were going over classroom rules. I asked the students what it meant to respect yourself and then asked them to give me examples in English/Portuguese…one student decided to say in Portuguese with the most serious face that not peeing in your pants was one way to respect yourself, besides being true his comment definitely generated some great laughter! More stories to come…
Sunday, January 2, 2011
So since school is not supposed to begin until the middle/end of the month I have had quite a bit of free time and usually spend part of my day just sitting under talking to people about how yet again it is another hot day. So I have been trying to spice up that convo a bit and decided to bring out all my lovely pictures of family and friends back to home to share. It was such a wonderful idea too because it has helped me “trocar” (exchange/trade) experiences. We have talked about how there are non-white people that live in the U.S. (thanks to many pictures of Bernard and I), how old people live to be (thanks to my wonderful grandparents who just celebrated their 63 wedding anniversary on January 1st), going to university, sports (specifically baseball, hmm I wonder why…love you Tony!), the different climates, markets, types of buildings, languages, Uganda, HIV/AIDS and much much more…It’s crazy how something as small and insignificant at times can spark some incredible conversation and help people feel that much more connected to you. So now when my neighbor’s see that I am on the phone with my family and friend’s back home they can picture their faces.