Friday, September 27, 2013

Mozambique Day 2

So now that I've recovered a little from jetlag and had a bit of time to process what is going on so far, I thought I'd try to write a post with a little more information.  Here it goes.

The Group:
As I said earlier, there are about 50 of us.  I think there are 14 men and 36 women.  We are from all over the U.S., from Alaska to Florida to California to Wisconsin. There are no married couples in our group, but it is pretty diverse in terms of backgrounds and interests.  The ages range from 21 to 30ish, but most people are just out of college at 22.  We have people who will be teaching chemistry, biology, math, physics, english, and some people who will be training Mozambican teachers.  I just found out I am supposed to be teaching chemistry, but it's still a bit up in the air.  We don't get our site placements until almost the very end of training.

Maputo so far:
We are here in Maputo until tomorrow when we will go to Namaacha, the town in which we will do our training.  We will meet our host families tomorrow!  Namaacha is apparently a town of about 13,000.  We got our host family assignments yesterday and a map of where our houses are in the town.  I will be living with a family of 7 people.  I'm a little unclear how everyone is related, but I know there are two girls aged 6 and 7 and a boy age 10.  From what I've heard the host family experience is usually really positive.  I'm excited to meet them!

In Maputo we've been joined by two current Peace Corps volunteers, one who is in his first year of service and one who is in her second year of service.  They will be with us all of next week in Namaacha as well.  It's been really helpful to talk to them and hear what their experiences are. When they leave, other PCVs will come for a week at a time and help with training.

We were told before we got to this hotel not to get used to the luxury, but it is still going to be an adjustment going from this fancy place to our homestays.  The food here has been incredible.  Every meal is served buffet style with dozens of different dishes to choose from.  The back courtyard area of the hotel looks out onto the bay and there are lawn chairs and umbrellas around the two pools.  It almost doesn't feel like we're in Mozambique.  But soon that will change.  We were told today to enjoy the hot showers because they will be our last for 10 weeks.  Though it's been great staying here, I'm excited to see more of the real Mozambique tomorrow.


So far, I am really happy with my decision to join the Peace Corps.  It's been exhausting, but I think it is going to be an amazing experience.  The support network for volunteers here seems very strong and the sense of team spirit is already alive in our group.  Everyone has been telling us that Mozambique is the best country for Peace Corps and so far I believe them!

Thursday, September 26, 2013


We are here at the hotel cardoso in Maputo! The first order of business was to get some shots...I got typhoid, pre exposure rabies, and meningitis. Now I am free until dinner. our hotel looks out onto the bay and I'm watching the sunset over the water. I'm so excited that we are finally here! I don't know what's on the schedule tomorrow other than a health screening, but I'm sure it will be full!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Travel update: I'm in the Johannesburg airport!  We made it to Africa! Now we just have a flight to Maputo and we'll finally be in Mozambique!  The 15 hour flight was pretty good--highlights were playing trivia and watching Despicable Me.  AND sleeping.  That was great.  I'll post something more substantial once I'm not quite as braindead. :)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Off to Mozambique

So, many people have asked me, "how many people are in your training group?" And I have answered, "I have no idea, but I'm guessing about 20." Well, I was wrong.  We are a group of 50 people, all leaving for Mozambique at 2am tonight.  So far it seems like a good group and I look forward to getting to know everyone more.  We get to Maputo, Mozambique at 2:55 pm on Thursday, September 26th.  I'll let you all know when I get there!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Farewell Campfire

Thank you so much to everyone who came to my farewell campfire last night! I feel so loved and supported. After saying goodbye to Mom and Gay, I am now in the Anchorage airport on my way to Philadelphia.  And on Wednesday, Mozambique!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Departure for Peace Corps

Hello all!
On Sunday I will be leaving Anchorage to begin my Peace Corps experience.  I will fly to Philadelphia where I will be meeting up with the other Education volunteers going to Mozambique.  I still don't know how many people there will be, but I'm guessing around 20.  We will all meet at a hotel in Philadelphia on Tuesday and have some orientation activities there.  Then we will get on a bus at 2am and drive to the JFK airport where we will board out flight for Johannesburg, South Africa.  We will then take a short flight to the capital of Mozambique, Maputo.

When we get to Maputo we will spend a few days there and then travel to Namaacha, the village near Swaziland where we will be doing our training.  We will live with host families there for 3 months while we learn Portuguese and do teacher and intercultural training.  We will have training Monday-Saturday, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm for three months.

For those of you who don't know, after training I will be teaching secondary science in Mozambique.  I don't know where exactly in the country I'll be yet because they don't assign us specific locations until halfway through the training process.  Mozambique is a big country so there is a lot of variety in where I could be placed.  I can't wait to find out! :)

During training, I can receive mail at the following address:

Sienna Laughton, PCV 
Corpo da Paz/U. S. Peace Corps 
Avenida Zimbabwe 345, 
C.P. 4398 

I would love to hear from you guys, either through snail mail or email!

I've never kept a blog before, but I'm going to try to update this every few weeks or so during my time in Mozambique.  Hopefully you'll be hearing from me again soon!