Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bom Dia!

The official news: I will be teaching Biology in Mozambique while speaking Portuguese!

All things below are subject to change, so keep that in mind.....

Timeline:

Now-September 24th: Getting things ready--primarily seeing you lovely people who I will be so far way from in the next two + years!

September 25-28: Peace Corps staging at some currently undisclosed location in the US (probably Philly), where we will have general introductory stuff plus a whole hoard of shots.....

September 28-December ?: Pre-Service Training (PST) in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. This will consist of very intense language, subject area and culture training.

December ? 2006 - December ? 2008: Teaching Biology somewhere in Mozambique. Half-way through PST we (40ish new peace corps trainees, PCTs) will go on a tour of the open sights and we will bid on our top three. I'm told by returned volunteers (RPCVs) this means we get none of our top three ; ) There are pretty good odds that I will have neither internet nor electricity. I will probably be in a mid-sized town, and will most likely live in a concrete hut (no mud hut alas!) in a complex belonging to my school. In addition to teaching biology I will probably have secondary projects in health (HIV and malaria are BIG problems there), and biology (labs, clubs, adult ed., etc.).

Here are some of the frequent questions I've been getting:
Q:
How can we keep in touch with you?
A: --I hope to update this blog on a semi-regular basis (whenever I get into a city, maybe once a week, maybe once every couple months). It will be difficult to read and answer a lot of emails, so I'm going to try to post to this blog instead of writing dozens of emails.
--Don't expect to talk to me on the phone. Phone calls are ridiculously expensive. Some PCVs get local cell phones and can then receive calls, but I'll keep you posted.
--Please write me letters! I'm guessing this will be my most accessible means of communication. My PST address will be:
Laura Belazis, PCT
Peace Corps
C.P. 4398
Maputo, Mozambique
Once I get my site I'll have a new address, so keep checking the blog for that!

Q: Fala Português? (Do you speak Portuguese?)
A: No! I bought myself a book, so I've learned a few smidges, but the majority of my language training will be in-country. During PST we will have classes every day and will be living with a host family, so we will be immersed. Exhausted, but immersed. They say that by the end of PST most PCVs score at around the intermediate level of foreign service language exams (pretty amazing, huh?). If you don't demonstrate your language proficiency at the end of training they send you home. If you do, you get to shed the title of PCT and become an official Volunteer with a capital V! Quite the incentive to study!

More to follow, but those are some of the key points. Let me know if you have questions or comments, and be sure to give me a call so that I can see all of you before I leave!

2 Comments:

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Mike Sheppard said...

Laura,

I just came across your journal about your invitation to Mozambique. I added a link to your page to a database I collected of Peace Corps Journals and blogs:

Worldwide PC Blog Directory:
http://www.PeaceCorpsJournals.com/

Features:
1. Contains over 1,600 journals and blogs from Peace Corps Volunteers serving around the world.
2. Official rules and regulations for current PCV online Journals and blogs. Those rules were acquired from Peace Corps Headquarters using the Freedom of Information Act.
3. The map for every country becomes interactive, via Google, once clicked on.
4. Contact information for every Peace Corps staff member worldwide.
5. Links to Graduate School Programs affiliated with Peace Corps, along with RPCVs Regional Associations.
6. And each country has its own detailed page, which is easily accessible with a possible slow Internet connection within the field.

There is also an e-mail link on every page. If you want to add a journal, spotted a dead link, or have a comment.

Thanks for volunteering with the Peace Corps!

-Mike Sheppard
RPCV / The Gambia (’03-’05)
http://www.PeaceCorpsJournals.com/

 
At 7:17 AM, Anonymous joshua pires said...

congratulations laura, you won the peace corps lottery! i am a pcv in mozambique, and it is indescribingly amazing. enjoy your few days in philly, watch as many movies as you can on the flight, and i'll see you here in october.
--joshua

 

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