Monday, November 27, 2006

Site Placement, etc.

I´m going North! Really North. My new housemate Mary and I will be the farthest up of any PCVs in Moz (for now). Moz is roughly the height of the Eastern seaboard (huge country!), and if I`m in southern Floriday now I`ll be north of Boston when I get to my site!

Our site is in the northern part of Nampula province, approaching Cabo Delgado. Our house will be cement (presumably with a tin roof, easy-bake oven effect here I come!) with electricy, thank God, so I can have a fan to combat the ridiculous Nampula heat. We may or may not have running water--we don´t know yet because they haven´t actually finished building our house....

Custodio, our fabulous and dedicated programming director assures us that they have a nice place lined up for us until our house is completed. Although I´d really like to start getting our house together--decorating, building things, etc., while we have time before school starts in February, but I suppose it will be nice to be able to supervise (and maybe make suggestions) as they finish building. It´s kind of strange to think that someone is building me a house....

I don´t know Mary very well--her training group is in a different town--but from the little I´ve seen she seems laid-back and nice, and I hear she has a good sense of humor so I think we´ll get along well. I am really glad that I have a site-mate, especially since we will be rather isolated from the others--I think the nearest Volunteers will be 3-5 hours away by chapa. However, we are already making tentative Christmas plans! and maybe getting everyone in teh Province together at Ilha de Mozambique, which is supposed to be really nice.

Neat upcoming things; Peace Corps wants to open another office in Nampula to better support Volunteers in the North (they have been gradually expanding the program from the south to the central provinces and now into the north). PC wants to open up Cabo Delgado, and since we´ll be the closest Volunteers we might get to help with site development. I can´t wait to get up there and find out more about my new home! Nampula is supposed to be really interesting and extremely diverse because of the ports--70% of all Moz trade goes through Nacala.

Not quite so neat things coming up; I´ll probably be ~3 hours by chapa from my bank/post office/internet in Nacala, so it will probably cut back a bit on the frequency of letters/emails/blogging. However we do apparently have cell service in my town, and I can send you eleven text messages for the price of one stamp, so send me your numbers if you want me to text you! Because of the way phone credit works here (no cell phone plans) it doesn´t work well for me to call out (~$1 per minute for a LOCAL call!), but any of you are more than welcome to call me--apparently the 6 cent/min phone cards work pretty well and are relatively easy to come by online. Hint hint.

Thanksgiving was fabulous and I ate a RIDICULOUS amount (the director of training lauged when she saw how high my plate was piled). The day before I was sick, and terrified that I wouldn´t be able to eat Thanksgiving dinner. But by a great stroke of fortune it was only a 24 hour bug. I wish the Mamas here who think I´m too skinny could have seen how much I ate--I tell them I eat a lot, but they never believe me. They pinch my stomach and then shake their heads in disapproval.

I guess that´s enough info for one entry--we´re all recovering from an over-excited day of combined Thanksgiving and site placement--the two biggest events of training before Swearing In on December 8th!

Wish me luck with my 4th language--we start local language survival classes Friday, and I´ll be learning Makua!

Special thanks to Dad for his letter, and Liz for her letter and FALL LEAVES--I ran around our thanksgiving celebration showing everyone :) It was a beautiful cool (!) day for our Thanksgiving, almost reminiscent of Fall, and I got the leaves/letters that afternoon--it made me really happy.
Special thanks also to the lovely people who emailed me: Auntie Judy, Marie, Trev, Uncle Jon, Prof. Fraser, and Mummy! What a good week for emails :)

Will try to update again before we fly off to Nampula! Wish me luck!


At 2:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey you,
I found your blog online outa pure boredom and found it interesting. I never expected anyone from our preppy spoiled town of mclean to work in the peace corp.
I enlisted in the army after 3+ years of college at VCU and GMU and reading your first experiences there almost to be similar to mine at boot-camp. Letters too, were of a huge value because of being out in the middle of nowhere away from family and friends.
We met on the hs track because our lacrosse teams were doing that stupid running thing for conditioning, and we were the slow ones in the back. My friend Jeff Sowers knew your brother and I mentioned that to you, and you just blushed and said something like, "Oh god.. this is gunna be embarrassing".
When i went back home for thankgiving I got some thanks from people saying soldiers dont get thanked enough for what they do, but personally I think people like you don't get thanked at all for what you do.
Keep up the good work teaching bio.
take it easy


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