November 12, 2011
I just returned from a site visit and am very grateful that PC had the funding to send all 51 of us out to various sites around the country. While I did not visit my official site (I find that out on Wednesday), I really enjoyed getting the chance to visit a PC Volunteer. I was lucky enough to be able to go North to Nampula province by airplane and visited two sites – Ilha de Mocambique and Nacaroa.
The Ilha was gorgeous as it used to be the Portuguese capital of colonial Mozambique. While many of the buildings have fallen into disrepair, the entire Ilha is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the government is slowly working to restore it. This was a very interesting site because it is also a tourist destination – which means (like every other PC site in Mozambique) it has its positives and negatives.
I spent most of my time in Nacaroa, which was a small town about two hours outside of Nampula City. Nacaroa is one of the few PC-Moz sites that does not have electricity, most seem to have electricity for at least a couple of hours a day. Whether or not this electricity is reliable is a completely different story . . . However, I survived the 4 days without energy and, although I would prefer a site with energy, now know that I could go without (thank the lord that my kindle battery lasts forever). While the art of carvao (charcoal) cooking will take a while to perfect, at least I have some practice now. The volunteer I stayed with was very helpful and even shared some Kraft Mac & Cheese (using a cheese packet sent from home) which was amazing.
After having some form of control over my own life for the past week, moving back into my homestay was a bit difficult. While the family is great, I am really looking forward to having my own house, etc. As of Wednesday I’ll have an idea of where I’ll be living, so trip planning (for multitudes that plan on visiting Moz in the coming years) can start then!
The Portuguese is still coming along slowly but surely. I did okay on my week 5 language test, so I get to teach and watch others teach at the PC model school. I need the teaching practice, so I am very excited/nervous.
Also, I received my first card in the mail a week or so ago, as far as I can tell cards/letters take about 2 weeks and packages about a month.