Thursday, August 23, 2012

I've been one poor correspondent, I've been too, too hard to find (but that doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind)

It has once again been brought to my attention that I am failing to regularly update my blog – I apologize for the oversight and therefore hope you will excuse the following random collection of thoughts and their lack of a coherent theme.

1.     The rat came back. Actually, I’m fairly certain it was a different rat, nonetheless there was a rat in my house for three days. I am quite proud to note that I was actually able to sleep during these three days (unlike the last time I had a rat problem and I didn’t sleep for a month). And this time I know that the rat was in my house during the day . . . and my lazy cat did nothing about it. The cat and the rat were in the house at the same time, I basically threw the cat on top of the rat and locked them into the house (which is all of 20x20) and the cat went back to sleep. Fail. The sticky trap finally caught the rat at 4:30 in the morning at which point I realized that I would not be getting any more sleep that night and that there was no way I was going to be able to kill the rat. So, I stalked down the compound’s guard (quite possibly waking him up) and had him kill the rat for me. When I explained my theory of how to best kill the rat (sticking the trap in a bucket of water to drown the rat), he laughed, took the rat outside, and stepped on the rat’s head.
2.     I was stung by a scorpion. Laurie and Chris had been in Inhassoro for the weekend – we made bagels and ate them with Vil cream cheese, pretty much my idea of heaven – and we had been talking about scorpions. Mapinhane (their site) apparently has a large number of scorpions, but I had never seen one in Inhassoro, so was fairly convinced that we did not have them. False. Went to the market the next day to buy a capulana (piece of fabric), grabbed one to open it up and also managed to grab a hold of a scorpion, resulting in my being stung on the thumb. Arm hurt for the next couple of days, had a fever, but wasn’t as horrible as I thought it was going to be. I now know that there are scorpions in Inhassoro. And some of the teachers think I am very “strong” because according to them how bad a scorpion hurts depends on the person. Not true, but I’ll take it.
3.     While I don’t blush as easily as my sister, I turn red fairly easily. My students think this phenomenon is hilarious because they, obviously, don’t blush. For a while, every little mistake in Portuguese would cause me to turn bright red. Luckily this no longer happens, but my students continue to ensure that I have cause to blush on a fairly regular basis. Last week one of my students stood up in the middle of class and declared his love for me. It was hilarious, awkward, and oh so uncomfortable as it was one of my classes composed of 40 boys (ages 11 to 23) all of whom started laughing and cheering (kissing noises may have also been involved). Anyways, while kicking the kid out of class (as well as a few others who were being especially obnoxious) I, of course, was bright red – a situation that only enhanced the laughter. Anyways, three classes after the incident, I think we’ve finally gotten over the incident . . . maybe.
4.     I’ve started taking Xitswa (the local language) lessons with the school’s director a couple times a week. It’s unclear how that’s going, but I can at least say a couple of Xitswa phrases if need be. I’m hoping to be able to understand enough at some point to actually enjoy going to mass on Sundays (which is said in both Xitswa and Portuguese, but the responses are all in Xitswa). Maybe in another year . . .
5.     On that note, I’ve been in Mozambique for almost exactly 11 months. Crazy.
6.     Eggplant season has started again and mangoes are right around the corner. Which makes me happy, but also sad because it has started to get more humid/warmer again. I’m hoping that this summer will be better because I’ll have the chance to slowly adjust from September to February, but due to the fact that I quite literally looked like I was about to keel over every time I stepped outside from December to February, I’m doubting my level of acclimation has changed that much. Also, it appears as though Inhassoro will be hosting Thanksgiving this year, so all care packages filled with pumpkin pie filling, cranberry sauce, and dried cranberries are welcome. J
7.     Another random fact, this semester I have one of my turmas (47 boys) immediately after their PE class. It is not pleasant and it’s just going to get worse throughout September and October. Ew.  

Miss you all and sorry I fail to update on a regular basis. Once school’s out I’m hoping to get a ton of photos uploaded.