Monthly Archives: October 2010

Happy Jello

Okay, so I think we can all agree that there are few things more frustrating than when modern technology malfunctions. Most of the time I’m a rather calm person, but I swell with anxiety and cuss words when things that are supposed to make life run smoother go haywire. On top of that, when computers or the internet stop working here it’s often hard to figure out what exactly is the root of the issue. Is it something I did? Is it the computer? or is it just the sh**y African network?

Anyway, I’m having some technical blog issues here. So while I struggle to get my pictures to load, I figure I should offer something positive and good to make up for all my grumbling and malcontent. What makes people more happy than… Jello molds!?

Thank you to Lexi for contributing a little more wisdom to the world and Jello-joy to this blog. 

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Camera Lens

As much as I enjoy imagining how each boat ended up abandoned and quietly falling apart in the bay, I knew that it would be a photographer’s visual smorgasbord of decay and haunting beauty (see boats. posts for more about the topic). For this reason, it was also one of the spots I was most excited to take my visitors to.  

Christopher developed his film (yes, real film!) and posted some beautiful photos he took while he was here at the end of May.  There are some really great shots of the graveyard and a few other moments from the weekend in Vilankulo, so I thought I’d go ahead and share a few of my favorites here.

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Christopher also has a talent for portraiture.  His cousin Charlie once said, “I actually like the photos that Chris take’s of me. That’s saying a lot because no one likes photos of themselves.”  I think that Charlie had it right.

You can see more of Christopher’s photography on his website here.  

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Blog Love

Okay? Okay. was featured on Ariana’s beautiful design blog Inspire Me Like That. You can check out more of her pictures and posts, as well as  praise about this blog right here and here.

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365 Days and Counting

I have officially been in Mozambique for 1 full year. 365 days abroad. 

I don’t quite know how to express what this mark in time means. Part of me feels as if I just got here and I’m still trying to figure out how basic things work. Where do I catch the bus? How much is that supposed to cost? How do I say “embarrassed” in Portuguese?  Simultaneously I feel like this is my home and I have been here for years. I am faltering as to how to describe this duality. Maybe someone out there can help me better describe this feeling? 

I’m also in the midst of transition, not so much for myself but as a voyeur for the comings and goings of the people around me. Eve and David have left for Canada for six months on maternity leave. My Peace Corps girls officially have a month before they start their journeys home to America. Of course, a new boss will be filling in temporarily and other volunteers will move in next door. Strangely I will now be the go-to girl for bills and decisions for our neighborhood compound. How exactly did I end up being the one who has been here the longest after just one year?

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Anyway, the big one-year anniversary offers a good opportunity to reflect on some of the things I have seen and learned in the last 12 months. 

OVER THE LAST YEAR I HAVE…

Received twelve packages filled with letters, food, chocolate, journals, music, coffee, an entire 4th of July picnic among other treats

Observed eleven full moons since I arrived

Been proposed to by ten total strangers (none motivated by true love)

Spent nine days snorkeling out at the islands 

Made at least eight friends here. Not just acquaintances but people with whom I enjoy their company, conversation and would feel comfortable asking for help and advise if ever I’m in a pickle 

Found seven new vendors for our baskets

Had six friends and family members visit

Gained a new family member; my nephew is now five months old

 Traveled in four countries; Mozambique, Swaziland, Botswana & South Africa

Become the shared owner of three pets; two dogs and 1 cat

Swum with whale sharks two times

Learned to speak (more or less) one new language

Of course there are other things that ought to go on the list, such as learning the value of clear communication and leadership or the feeling of entering an empty house after friends and family have left, but those are complicated and make for much harder situations to watercolor.  I am still enjoying my job with CARE International and look forward to days spent in the field with our weavers. Even with logistical frustrations and communication failures, I continue to feel positive and optimistic about the potential and sustainability of the project. 

I didn’t get a chance to discuss whole chunks of life, from witnessing faulty presidential elections to watching World Cup madness in neighboring South Africa. It’s never easy to sum up a whole year, and I’m sure I will never fully be able to explain the nuances of my everyday existence abroad but I guess this blog has been (and will continue to be) my little forum for sharing just a glimpse into this life over here.

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Ze Holga

I’m off on a roadtrip adventure this weekend. Courntey, Sarah and I are venturing north to Gorongoza National Park for the long  weekend. The park is in process of revitalization – trying to bring back animals and set up some infrastructure for tourism. I hear that it’s quite overgrown and most animals haven’t ever seen people! Should be exciting to see how wild it actually is.

Until I get back, I thought I’d offer some photos from my Holga. Christopher was amazingly generous and lugged my film back to the US and even developed it for me. Here are a few of the digital copies: 

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