Saturday, October 13, 2007

A real post at last!

So, here I am back in the city! Amazing to think there is only one more week of classes and then just determining final grades! I never had time to describe my last vacation, as this is my first trip to town since mid august,s so here is a summary of my trip with fellow northern PCVs Heath and Bethany...

From our regional conference in Nampula we went to Gurue in Zambezia province and spent about four days there-and baked lots of brownies. Gurue is beautiful and cool, up in the mountains amidst tea plantations. We did a day hike up to the waterfalls and threaded through paths of bright green tea leaves, snacking on fresh local tangerines as we walked. Some kids even followed up and down the mountain with their herd of about 25 goats!

From Gurue we spent an afternoon in Quilemane, the capital of Zambezia, with one of our PC language trainers. Ana Karina was so sweet, inviting us to stay in her home,and preparing the local specialties, including Chicken Zambeziano-grilled with coconut-which is one of Moz's best dishes.

Then down across the Zambezi river. The bridge was bombed in the war, so for now there is a ferry until they one day finish the new bridge.... The ferry is fast except when they run out of gas like they did when we got there, a frequent occurence. We then cut through Sofala province, by Gorongosa national park on our way to Chimoio the capital of Manica province. The terrain is so different--dry grasslands and for the first time in months I couldn't see a single cashew or mango tree! Granted the chinese logging industry has stripped entire provinces of hardwood. I was most struck by how much open, ininhabited space there was--my province is so densely populated you cant drive five minutes without seeing a mud house.

In Chimoio we saw lots of freinds passing through and ate the best pizza in Mozambique in a restaurant owned by an Italian woman--Chimoio also has a cheese factory! Then a day in Sussendenga, which included a wonderful evening with some ex-pat protea-SA national flower-farmers who made us feel right at home.

Then off to Vilankulo in Inhambane province, our ultimate destination. There we had som more good food, and saw lots of friends, as transit is so much easier the farther south you go. We even went snorkeling and saw thousands of fish of all shapes, sizes and colors, from black white and yellow angel fish to big fat red ones. Note my extensive knowledge of fish :)

And then the four day overland trip back to Namapa....with a bus each day from Vilankulo to Chimoio then to Quilemane then to Nampula and finally to Namapa. The worst was Quilemane-Nampula, as there werent any seats even though i got there at 3:30....so i got to stand/crouch for the first 8 hours, end then got a seat at Alto Molocue for the last five. Ah Mocambique...

So there it is in brief--an exhausting trip but well worth it to see friends, get to know other parts of the country and eat well, which of course is always one of my priorities.

The last trimester has been fun, teaching the Reproductive System, and oh boy do my kids have a lot of questions! I'm looking forward to the next and final week, when my kids will present their final bio project, skits on HIV, interviews of community members, etc. I was so happy yesterday when Dr. Maria told me that more of my kids have been coming in to take HIV tests since I taught sexual health and community resources. Now I know I've got some of them thinking!

Now for some R and R with Megs and Sarah in the city, and then back home to Namapa...

Next time I promise an update on the last trimester, including the student who came to live with me. Sweet girl, and I'll tell you all about her later, but for now a bit of suspense :)

The usual groveling thanks to:
For packages--Uncle Dave, my friends at OlympiaWest, Erin, my brother, my Grandma and my mummy
For letters--my parents, Laura and Connie of course, and a bunch from Chen
Emails--my lovely Sveta, Tammy, mummy, etc.
You are all amazing!

To answer Ganesh's question, my gmail is lbelazis@gmail.com. Oh, and it just occurred to me that you can all {or rather one per week} make song requests for me on Border Crossings, that I will hear on shortwave! I forget the phone number, but its on their website. Its a DC number, and they take calls when they broadcast 15:00 universal, which i think is something like 10 am at home. Or email bordercrossings@voa.gov.

Take care all of you, and I will see you in December-i fly from JoBurg December 2, and dont come back until Jan 10th!

Laura

1 Comments:

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Ganesh said...

Looks like you didn't get either of the postcards I sent :-/ hmmm....

 

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