Tag Archives: Calanga Beach

Letter #2

5 Aug

Letter 4

November 5, 2013

It has now been over a month that I have lived in Mozambique. Now has really been the time for me to become more and more a part of the Mozambican culture. This has also included introducing Mozambique to the American culture and exploring more of the country.

To start, I was able to attend a Mozambican wedding. Where the Bride and Groom were members of my Mae’s church. This was a wedding, of course, like I had never seen before, the music, the food, everything. Everything in Mozambique has a very community communal format, so the gifts part of wedding was a display by various communities that were invited, singing and presenting gifts to the new couple while they sat. Gifts included a new couch set, pots and pans, a dresser set, and other house hold items. It was an amazing event, also took place in an incomplete building. No ceiling and no windows. Thank goodness it didn’t rain. Which brings me to another point. It is freezing cold in Mozambique, I froze my butt off during that wedding, and all of the little old ladies were giving me their capulanas trying to keep me warm. After the ceremony I was ushered up to the front where I stood there with the bride and groom while they cut the cake… LOL very awkward but I was much honored.

 

To continue to sharing of cultures this month we held a lunch with the Mae’s of our community. This meant that the Mae’s would cook food for our language group of traditional Mozambican dishes and we would cook an American dish for them. Our group decided to make chicken tacos and crepes. Yumm! Our Mae’s made a traditional dish of chove, a green leafy vegetable, in a coconut sauce and a chicken stew. I love chove, it is delicious and the food here is delicious as well. Of course, since we are in Mozambique, making chicken means killing chicken and guess who got to do the honors??!! LOL yup! I am now a professional chicken killer!! Two chickens’ dead, later I was on an adrenaline rush! lol After though, I did get my first bout of sickness in Mozambique, probably because killing chicken and then working with those same bloody hands without any proper way of washing them included crazy cross-contamination. Lol. But I am ok, I survived (painfully) but I survived! Our Mae’s cringed and grinned through the chicken tacos, don’t know if they liked them that much but we thought they were delicious!

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Halloween also passed, one of my favorite times of the year, sooo ofcourse I thought I would be a great idea to introduce our families to our American Halloween by holding a Halloween Fair for the criancas in Namaacha. Yeah, I am already on a planning craze.. So a committee got together and planned games, face painting, put the head on the skeleton and a dance party. We gave out candy as prizes and all of the volunteers brought the criancas in their families out for it. It was great, the kids loved it and we got to celebrate Halloween and say thank you to the community that has taken us under their wing! Also, in the planning phase a few of us we able to take a trip out of Namaacha to Maputo, the capital to do some purchasing.

Although trying to find Halloween decorations in Mozambique is quite a challenge, but we made due with orange paper towels..lol using our resources, Peace Corps 101! I dressed up as a Black Cat jar, which is the name of the Peanut Butter Brand here.

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This month has also included a lot of travel. We were able to get in quite a few hikes, one we have called the three corners. This is because once you get to the top of the mountain you are standing where there are the borders of three countries, Swaziland, Mozambique and South Africa. That is a beautiful view.

We were also able to visit the site of one of the volunteers that works at a Teacher Training school, similar to one where I will possibly be working. Her site is in a town called Manhica, in Maputo Province. There were did a 4 hour hike to a GORGEOUS beach. On the way we got a few rides, which speaks to the beauty of the Mozambican people, in one car there are 5 of us in the trunk of a truck and a total of about 11 people in the car. We are squished in trunk and when it was time to get out we realized that the bag strap and hook of one of the volunteers was stuck in the trunk and the door would not open. We tried everything, but that door was stuck. We finally had to cut the bag, but the door would still not open. With no attitude and no rush, the lady who gave us the ride apologized a million times for the fact that we had to cut the bag. Mind you, she had given us a ride, her door was the one that the broken, getting it fixed would cost ten times more than the bag, and she was Mozambican.

During our hike we also had no clue where we were going, we had to ask along the way, the final leg of the journey we walked through a village where the mother told her children to walk with us to the beach, this group of children walked and entertained us for the entire way, few of them actually speaking Portuguese but the local language of Chengana. When we got to the beach they jumped in the water. We laid around, some of us went into the water and then after a while we were all laying on the sand. The children eventually came out of the water, put on their clothes and we watched and waved as they just walked away. That simple, no hassle, no fuss. That is this country.

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You may have heard about some political unrest in Mozambique, but no worries, we haven’t been effected, except for some travel restrictions. Besides that you would never know anything was going on.

Portuguese is coming along, I have had my first few conversations with various people in Portuguese, but it is coming too slow for my tastes. I decided I need to start putting myself out there more and just speaking to more people, but it is tough. Our days are packed full of stuff and by time the night comes I am exhausted. Please send letters (I love getting them) to the Peace Corps Address I sent a while back. As for a wish list…I don’t really have one. I am not really missing anything. Hair products are a little tough to find, but besides that, Surprise me!

If anyone sees Chirstopher Ortiz, tell him I receive his letter, although it is difficult to get mail out of Mozambique I will try to get one back to him. I am also slowly responding to email. People with IPhones are doing well out here, they have internet access at their fingers, but I don’t have one nor am I planning to get one, so I have to rely on our modems which I have to buy credit for on top of my phone credit. Blah.. lol

Hope everyone is doing well over in the states. Please send life updates! Miss you all!

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