It’s been a while since I’ve written a post and we are now into our 4th week of school. I’m getting more comfortable with teaching and finally learning my student’s names. I’m giving my first test this week, mostly about natural numbers, negative numbers, addition, and subtraction. Teaching is still very challenging, but at least all my classes usually have an eraser for the chalk board, provided by one of the students.
Life is settling into a routine, which is extremely welcome after the past few months of no structure. I teach only in the afternoons, Monday through Thursday, so I have time in the mornings to do lesson planning, workout, go to the market, and hang out with the neighborhood kids who aren’t in school. (Kids here either go to school from 7am-12pm or 12:30-5:30pm, depending on the grade). Since I teach only 8th grade I teach from between 12:30 and 5:30 pm. The schedule is different depending on what day it is. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays I only teach 3, 45 minute classes per day, but on Wednesdays I teach three doubles in a row so I am teaching straight from 12:30 until 5:30. It is exhausting! I don’t know how full time teachers do it and survive the week. It’s also really nice to have three day weekends. It makes travelling on the weekends much more realistic and gives me a chance to really unwind from the week.
My evenings are pretty much the same as they were before school started. We have visitors hanging out on our porch until it starts to get dark. They play cards, listen to me play guitar, or just chat. Once the sun sets they head home and I make some dinner. Then it’s a quiet evening of reading, watching TV or movies on my computer, and playing cards with Emma. I recently found a travel scrabble game in some of the stuff Lisa and Dan left so I’m pretty excited about that.
Two weekends ago I went down to Mabvudzi Ponte (Laura and Helen’s site) to visit. It was a quick trip, but we had fun. Matt and Jeff came over to celebrate Matt’s birthday and we ended up going out for a beer with some teachers from the school. Getting back to Zobue from Mabvudzi Ponte is always an adventure since there isn’t much traffic on the road to Mabvudzi Ponte that connects with the main road that leads to Zobue. I ended up getting in the back of a truck filled with goats, charcoal, and chickens for the 45 minute ride. Sitting on a crate of empty beer bottles with the cool wind blowing in my face, I was loving my life.
|Three of the guys in the back of the goat-filled truck with me.|
|Some of the many goats I shared my ride with.|
Other random life events in Zobue:
The other morning when I looked out into my yard I saw that the brick wall of the showerhouse we never use had fallen down! It must have rained so much that the mud holding the bricks together gave out. Luckily our other brick walls are made with cement, not mud.
|This is a side view of the showerhouse before the wall fell down. This picture was taken when we first got to Zobue and the rains hadn't really started. Was it really that dry and brown?|
|This is a front view of the showerhouse after the wall fell down. Also notice all the green grass that has grown up since December!|
Last weekend I went hiking up the mountain behind my house with my neighbor friends Albertina, Celia, Sardinho, and Jaime. Afterwards Albertina invited me to her house to watch some English movies or listen to English music. I wasn’t really sure what that would be like, but I accepted anyway. We ended up watching Rihanna music videos with about 10 kids crowded around the TV and me trying to translate the lyrics to Albertina and her sister Sylvia. Sitting in a house with a dirt floor watching Rihanna music videos—not an experience I ever would have had if I wasn't a Peace Corps volunteer.
|It is definitely not a Mozambican thing to smile for pictures. People here are all smiles until you want to take a picture of them, then they are all serious business.|
|This is me with one of my neighbors, Sardinho. He is a 4th grader who comes over in the mornings and asks me to help him learn math and practice reading. How can you say no to that?|
Other than that, life continues on here. I can’t believe it’s almost March! These two years are really going to fly by.