Tag Archives: new me

Letter #4

12 Aug

Ola all,

If you didn’t hear from me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year. I am sure that everyone had a great time. I am happy to say that I spent my Holiday season in Mozambique. And no worries it was spent with some great people and I had a wonderful time. Since the year has come to a close I thought this letter would be not just about the great things that are happening here but also some of the difficulities that I am facing. I would love to paint an only rosy picture but that of course would not be 100% true.   So this letter is the Good, the Bad and the Fabulous. Lol

Let’s start with the Good. I LOVE Manhica. And I want to make sure that everyone knows why. It is the people. The people here are the best people you will ever meet. Friendly, caring and truly want the best for you. For example, during the Holiday season my phone decided to stop working. It stopped working on a Saturday. I went to town on a Sunday trying to buy a new phone, but everywhere was closed. I started talking to a shop owner that I have befriended. At first he said that he would give me his phone if he had one. Then he went out on the street and found a boy who had a phone that he was willing to sell. The boy was trying to sell it for a price I would not take 250MTs equivalent to about $10.00, not a lot but it wasn’t worth it since I still had to buy a new phone.. So the shop owner, Micheal is his name told me to give him 100MTs. Micheal then gave the other 100MTs and told the boy to take a ring from his store for the balance. Those are the kinds of people I meet here.

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Also at this shop is a Mozambican girl named Innocencia. I sit with her almost every other day. She is sweet girl, 20 years old. And has big dreams of doing something with her life, traveling the world and finishing her education.

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Those are just some people in town who I have grown to love. Then there is my school. Here in Manhica.

I have meet some amazing people that really are taking care of me. I will start with Tinga. If you have skyped with me then you have most likely seen him. He has been here with me during the holiday times when no one else is at the school. He is the art teacher here and was an orphan. He has worked himself into his position and he loves what he does. He is the person I primarily speak Portuguese with since everyone else speaks English!!

Then there is Micas. The Music Teacher. He invited me to his wedding the weekend before Chirstmas. He is an awesome guy who calls just to check on me and make sure that I am still alive.

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Daniel is the 3rd English Teacher here at school. He has also worked with volunteers for many years. I have kind off adopted his family. I spent Chirstmas at his house, cooked with his wife and had a great time. Although Daniel is on a quest to find me and every other volunteer Mozambican husbands. I think it’s just because he doesn’t like to see us go. Lol

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Then we have Professor Lima, he is a music teacher at the school I hope to work with as my secondary project. He is extremely passionate about music and dance. His school was constructed with the help of volunteers a few years ago and he has been working to keep it up every since. Difficult because the students can’t pay regularly and it is hard for him to commit all of his time to the school since he doesn’t get paid. He is also an English teacher and would love to quit his job and work with at the Music School all the time but money would be an issue.

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So that is the good.

The bad.. I hate insects.. bugs, everyone who knows me knows that. And here ofcourse they are in abundance. To start many of you may have heard about my cockroach problem. My house was literally overrun with cockroaches.. I spent two weeks cleaning out every nook and cranny in the house. I went through 10.. yes 10 cans of bug spray! And I couldn’t cook. Thank goodness for Tinga who feed me for the week that I was on a no food in the house strike. Glad to say now though there are virtually none left. One every once in a while I can deal with, but..ugghh..… Also, mosquitos looove me.. My legs are scared from Mosquito bites right now. I don’t know what I need to do but I am looking at something that I can get to keep the mosquitoes away and now reduce the scars I have.

Next bad is the pressure. As much as I love Manhica, this is a place where the volunteer before me made a wonderful lasting impression. I hate to compare myself to other people but I can’t help it and all that I think about is well dam.. what is everyone gonna think if I don’t do the same things she did or act the same way she did. But one PC rule is never to compare yourself to other volunteers. I am trying to keep that in mind and assess what the community needs and try to help out in a way that I can rather than only continuing what the previous volunteers may have done.

Final as much as I love passaering (walking around) in the community and making new friends and hanging out with people. There is A LOT of down time right now. You have to really work to not occupy your thoughts with things that can make you nuts. Especially on the Malaria meds! LoL J/k But it is quite a challenge to find things to do and occupy your time. You can only hang out with people so much and getting into town isn’t the most fun journey either. So I am relying on Portuguese movies, the library and Game of Thrones, and The Wire. LOL. Which brings me to something very important. IF ANYONE CAN GET ME THE NEW SEASON OF GAME OF THRONES, SCANDAL etc.. on a USB drive or something I would LOOOVVVEE You!

Now the Fabulous!

 

Again I love it here. My holiday was spent cooking with wonderful people and trying to speak Portuguese. Lol Yeah TRYING! It is still a challenge, but I love it. I love sending texts in Portuguese and having people understand what I am saying and understanding what people are saying. I am excited to start teaching at Chibututuine. I was able to sit in on the graduation of the previous class and it was beautiful. This week we start the entrance exams and interviews for the new class coming in. I can’t wait to meet my students and get back into a classroom.

 

My favorite place on a hot day is Casa Fresca, an awesome café (restaurant..lol)that serves anything from pig head and xima to hamburgers! My view is awesome, we are on a cliff  and the view of  mountains in the background that is the beach that we walked to that I mentioned a few letters ago.

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Thank you for the emails, messages, videos and skype convos. As much as I love it here I miss you all! I am still working on my school library here so if anyone has Essence or Ebony Magazines, and even Times, Newsweek, People anything please send what you can. Also, if you can send me your mailing address that would be great. I would like to keep it in a file so if I ever need to send anything I can just sent it.

Fica Bem!

Dione

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Letter #1

19 Jun

Where do I begin with this update? I can’t believe that I have landed and have been in Mozambique for the past two weeks.  The entire occasion has been such a head rush.  I brought my birthday in traveling through three countries and having an amazing group of people who had just meet me, wake me up in the airport with a serenade of guitar and a Happy Birthday song!  From there forward I knew I would be fine.

 

After we landed in Maputo, we stayed in a gorgeous hotel with a beautiful view of Maputo and the Indian Ocean, there we received a few trainings.

 

After two days we left to the city of Namaacha, Mozambique, located at the southern tip of Mozambique, on the Swaziland Border.  There I meet my host family.  Each Peace Corps Volunteer Trainee is given a host family to live with and to show them the ropes of living in Mozambique.  My host family is a beautiful woman named Cecilia and her granddaughter Nelly.  I call them minha mae and minha irhma.  I absolutely love them!!They are sweet and kind, and patient with the fact that I have no idea what they are talking about! Yes, they speak full Portuguese and I kind of just sit and nod my head and smile.  In the pictures they are wearing the purple and orange, “I love NY” t-shirts that I gave them as presents.

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In return, I received a capulana, which is the traditional wrap that women wear around their waists or heads, but really is also used as a basket, bag, baby carrier, blanket, pillow, purse, shirt and anything else your heart could imagine.  I am living in a house with a bathroom and not a pit latrine, which I was slightly disappointed about.  But I do get to take bucket baths, which I now believe are the only proper way to get fully clean.  Why wasn’t I taking bucket baths before??!!!

 

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I will be in Namaacha for three months.  Here I am taking extensive language courses and technical training.  My struggle of course is the language.  I won’t lie I am completely worried about it. Many of the volunteers that have come are fluent in Spanish and so are transferring that skill easily. I, on the other hand, have 6+ years of no language study. 

 

Every other morning I run along the border of Swaziland and Mozambique.

 

  

 It is gorgeous here.  The people are beautiful, the country has its own soul.  The history of Mozambique is violent and here in Namaacha, you can see places where the war, colonialism and poverty has taken its toll, but the people of Mozambique are resilient and open.  I am obsessed with the history you can see in the houses.  There is also no way to sum up my experiences in just these updates, or my blog but I hope that you in a way feel the soul of the country with me as I write you. 

I have received on letter from one of my students already. It took a month to get here.. lol, but it got here. I don’t have regular internet access, but when I get an email or a letter I will try to respond.  I am working on my blog but I don’t want it to just be a diary entry, I want to capture something, and I’m not sure what yet. When I figure it out, I will update. Until then, enjoy the pics!

 

Getting Life in Order! *Working List*

10 Aug

In preparing for my departure, it has become clear that I have a million things to do! I thought that I would work for the month of July, just to earn some extra money before my departure. But now I am exhausted and I feel so unprepared and behind. I have loans to pay off, and things to buy and packing to do. I will start with my packing list, because I need somewhere to put it anyway.  Right now it is on my phone, but with my luck with phones I will lose it and have to start all over again. So hear we go. ..

Clothes:

  • Tanks for undershirts
  • Cotton shirts
  • Cotton long sleeve shirts/ button downs
  • Professional Skirts
  • Scarves (to spice up my outfits)
  • Cardigans
  • Comfortable/ professional heals
  • Professional Flats
  • Running Sneakers
  • Chacos
  • Comfortable Dresses
  • Underwear
  • Sports Bras
  • Leggings
  • Running shorts
  • Jeans/shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • Flip-flops
  • Poncho
  • Ankle Socks

Accessories

  • Nail polish?
  • Earrings

Electronics

  • Computer
  • Extra Battery
  • Phone?.
  • Adapter
  • Converter
  • Hard drive
  • USB’s
  • Headlamp
  • Batteries for head lamp
  • I pod and speakers
  • Cameras
  • Rechargeable Batteries

Toiletries

  • Powder
  • Toothbrush
  • Floss
  • Deodorant
  • Bug spray?
  • Lotion
  • Castor oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Vegetable Glycerin
  • Sanitary Napkins
  • Razors
  • Moisturizer
  • Brush/comb

Medication

  • A lot of Aleve
  • Vitamins
  • Bug spray
  • Allergy Meds

Other

  • Sleeping bag
  • Essence Magazines
  • Stamps
  • Pens/ sharpies
  • Present for families
  • Towel
  • Backpack
  • Seeds
  • Cooking knives
  • Zip lock bags
  • Water bottle

Documentation

  • ID
  • Yellow Fever Card
  • Loan Paperwork
  • House Paperwork

Now I would love any comments, suggestions or thoughts on my packing list.  Especially if there is a question mark next to something, it is because I have no idea whether I should bring it, or what types of the item to bring.  I am crazy worried about how everything is supposed to fit in my two suitcases.  But my friend told me to make sure I roll!! lol.