Thursday, April 30, 2009

Teachers of the Future!

Hello everyone, It is a nice and warm afternoon here in Maputo. We just got back from another full day at the schools at which we will be teaching. Dusty and I are teaching at the "Teachers of the Future" teacher training college, which is the one I really hoped would work out. It looks like we will be able to teach them how to use the economics curriculum we've developed. Then, they can take the materials with them as they return to their villages and rural areas of mozambique. The school is part of a government program to send schoolteachers to these areas. We will see how well things work out with the details. We spent most of today meeting and negociating details. It is kind of difficult working with a three-tiered bureacracy. Last night Kristen and I made dinner for everyone - macarronada! (Pasta with sausage). It was a hit, and we made the tomato sauce from scratch, and it was shockingly good. Maybe that was because everyone was so hungry. At night our professor teaches poetry classes which have been good, but normally someone always falls asleep because it is such a long, fun, hot day. Last night it was me that was trying really hard not to nod off.

Haha the internet just broke here and I fixed it - nothing like restarting the router... fixes just about everything. So yeah... AFRICA!!!! It is pretty fun. My favorite part is riding everywhere in Chapas, which are these old little vans that everyone uses for transportation. It is the size of a regular old vw van, but fits between 20 and 26 people, which is pretty insane. Roads are also crazy, seeing as we drive on the left-hand side of the road and dodge oncoming traffic and pedestrians through the maze of potholes. Other great news was the appearance of the plumber this morning, who made our bathroom sink stop leaking which allowed me to remove the sea that had taken up residence between the door and the toilet. Unfortunately he wasn't able to figure out how to unstop the laundry drain or figure out how to set up our water tank so we have water after 8am in the morning. Oh well, maybe next time. Tomorrow is a holiday, so looks like we are trying to go to the beach.

In other news, I just got my grades from last semester and I did better than i expected. I got an A in my Econ 378 class, which I consider to be one of the grades I am most proud of in my college career. Hope all of you are well.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Made it!

Hey everyone,

Well you can all breathe a sigh of relief, at least Mom can anyways, because I have arrived safely and soundly in Mozambique. The journey was incredible, especially flying on Emirates Airlines. To put it briefly - did I ever think I'd see smoked salmon and shrimp cocktails, widescreen personal tvs and an LED-light ceiling that mimicks the sky outside like hogwarts in an airplane cabin?... in coach??!!!! Nope, but that is all exactly what happened.

I met up with the rest of the students and our professor in Johannesburg. It was nice to see some familiar faces. It was funny because almost everyone went a different route - some through Atlanta, Chicago, London, Paris and even Senegal. We came over to Moambique on the afternoon flight and landed on the runway. We scooted off the runway about twenty yards and then the plane just parked and opened up all the doors, rear and front and everyone jumped out in less than thirty seconds. It was pretty efficient. The airport reminded me of the airport near Tikal in Guatemala, but about half the size. We waited for almost an hour to change our money into meticais because they had run out of money. Yes... they ran out of local currency at the airport!

We then made it to our housing arragements. We are staying in a nice neighborhood for Mozambican standards. Most of the members of the group who served in nicer areas in Brazil or Portugal were a little shell-shocked, but I feel right at home. We live in some apartment buildings, the boys a couple of blocks from the girls. I am teaching my fellow roomates how to live without running water (it comes in the morning for an hour or two - you just have to make sure you get as much as you can and then plan how to use the rest of the day). We have to buy our own food and cook it too, which is fun because I have a bit of experience of living from the food of a three-shelf market.

I am so happy to be here. We weren't able to make it into the school where we will be working today - we spent the day chasing after passport copies at the embassy and facilitating the guy that took six or seven hours to put in hooks for our mosquito netting, but now all is done. We have our first mozambican poetry class tonight. Our professor, Dr. Williams is renowned among Mozambican poets and has done most of their translation into english. (He published the book we are using.) He has many great connections with people of the literary community here, and we'll be meeting some of the prominent poets.

I feel like I am back on my mission, but with much less responsibility and am thrilled that I get to walk around in shorts and my new mozambican sandals and shades. We can chat with whomever we please without feeling guilty for it, and can even watch all the soccer on tv that we can stand! Thanks for your prayers. I feel safe and happy.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

London II

Just another quick update. This morning I woke up super early and went and took pictures of Westminster Abbey and Parliament as the sun came up, then I walked over to the London Eye and the Jubilee Bridge. Then I took the tube to St. Paul's where I attended Communion. There were extremelly few people there because today is also the London Marathon, so I was able to sit in upper court area, where the Archbishops sit when there are important meetings. It was a very nice service and I talked for a while with the Bishop afterwards. That was at 8:00 and got over by 9:00, which left me enough time to walk across the Millennium Bridge and over to the London Bridge where I caught the Tube down to Penton Street where I attended the Penton Ward's sacrament meeting. I sat next to a very nice black lady from Barbados and read the words to the music aloud to her because I perceived she couldn't read them. It turned out it was her first time at church and so I took her up to the missionaries afterwards. They were pretty happy! Now I just came and checked out of the hostel and am headed up for one last look at Hyde Park before I scoot on back to Heathrow. London was AWESOME!
Hope you are all happy and well.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


It had to be Oscar Wilde - but I don't think he's actually buried here!
St. Paul's Cathedral and the Thames

Houses of Parliament, Big Ben

The flight was great - the weather has been perfect. What a day! Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings... like Dubai!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Where is Mozambique?

Some have been asking, others have just been wondering:

They say...

They say that once you see the sun set in africa, your life will never be the same.