Monthly Archives: November 2010

Last Minute Adventures with Courtney & Sarah

It’s funny how eminent departures can act as catalysts, moving things forward with a sudden immediacy that often prompts the question, Why did we not do this more often!?

October was a whirlwind of activity and the 31 day countdown for Sarah and Coutney before they left Mozambique. I am (or I guess I should say was) neighbors with Sarah and Courtney,  two Peace Corps volunteers who just finish their 2 year placement, and  even though it was not me preparing to leave the country,  my weekends were spent participating in their big pre-departure adventures and events.

With a limited amount of days the desire for free-time was tossed out the window, and instead dates were scheduled, big parties were planned and opportunities to travel were taken. Not that these options hadn’t always  been available beforehand, but suddenly  it was time to fit it in all those last minute experiences.

So as the girls wrapped up their service, it offered a good opportunity for me to evaluate all the should-have, could-have and would-haves one year into my time abroad.

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This is how I spent my October…

At the beginning of the month we took a road trip to Gorongosa National Park. There we happened to meet and hang out with Gregg Carr, the American entrepreneur who has taken on the task of revitalizing the park and bring it back to it’s former pre-civil war glory. He and Vasco, the head of tourism for the park, inspired us with their passion and vision for the project.  We went on a game drive the first day then climbed Gorongosa Mountain and swam under the waterfall the next.  You can read more about Gorongosa’s interesting history and our trip on Sarah’s blog here and Coutney’s blog here.

We invited several colleagues over for a big cross-cultural taco meal and they shared their stories about Mozambican Sex Ed – a lecture that we had been curious about for some time.

Apparently,  when Mozambican females are teenagers their mothers will sit them down and give them advice on “how to keep your man” and other notes on life.  It was a hilarious and enlightening dinner conversation.

We had drinks and another bon-voyage dinner at the local backpackers hostel, Zombie Cucumber

The house next to our compound often has late night parties that keep me up at all hours of the night. Finally, I decided that if I was gonna be up, I might as well be at the party. So Sarah and I made good on their invitation to stop by. Of course, Sarah subsequently flirted, offended and then got thrown out by the host. It was pretty funny!

Also, with all the packing-jitters in the air I needed to stay busy myself,  so I finally took the opportunity to go diving at the local 2 Mile Reef and…

When the stress was just too overwhelming, I decided we all needed to take a break and a deep breath. Moreover we really needed coffee and chocolate, so we hopped in the car and wentThen early on a Saturday morning, bags packed, car loaded, pets kissed – I drove them 16 km out to Pambara and they caught the bus heading south out of town. 

Now the end of November is drawing very close and I have drug my feet in posting this blog entry. Courtney and Sarah have since moved out of their house, closed their service in Mozambique, and have headed off on their separate travel plans. Life in Vilankulos got suddenly very quiet with their departure but the pause is only momentary.  Soon a new volunteer will arrive and I will be responsible for showing her the ropes as they did for me. I will certainly miss them– their company and friendship has been invaluable since my arrival in this distant little African town.

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Blog Love: Top 50 Volunteer Blogs

Apologies for not posting anything in the last two weeks – but I’ve been busy preparing for a big craft fair down in Maputo. We loaded a big Care car full of baskets, two of our weavers, my counterpart, a driver then drove 10 + hours south down to the capital. I was in charge of  setting up, organizing and making sure the first week went smoothly.  All was going well, so yesterday I hopped on a 3 AM bus and returned to Vilankulo.

It’s been hectic and honestly I’ve been distracted. But in honor of Thanksgiving tomorrow, I thought I’d announce some good news that I am grateful for:

Okay? Okay. was posted in on Connect 123’s list of The Best 50 Volunteer Blogs from Around the World. How exciting is that!

A  few of my friends I did training with are also featured as well, including Gosia’s blog Eye on the Equator in Uganda and Caroline and Greg Spiras’ Beneath the Mosquito Net in Cameroon.  Both their  blogs offer different insights in life around the continent, so you should check them out.

Happy Thanksgiving from Mozambique!

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Wounded

 

I accidently cut my thumb a while back. I won’t even tell you what I was doing, it was that stupid, but I ended up with a rather deep, inch long stab wound along the lower part of my finger. 

One thing to know about me: I don’t do blood very well. This little weakness is the bane of my existence, since it makes a striking contrast to my macabre interest in the inner workings of the human body and my curiosity about potential diseases that grow in it. Thus making my interest in doctoring rather moot.

Anyway, there I was in my kitchen (I admit it – I was trying to pop the top off a salt jar with a kitchen knife), when all the sudden I see my flesh open and blood everywhere. I experienced a brief Oh Shit! moment then realized that I was gonna pass out alone in my cabana pretty soon.

So I calmed down (and looked anywhere but at my hands) and made my way next door to my closest Peace Corps neighbors. Luckily there were several health volunteers available to clean my wound and bandage it up for me.

I was saved.

I did have to keep my head between my knees while it was being mended, but I held it together pretty well.  Over the following days and weeks, I even got good at cleaning it all by myself and it healed  safely.  All that lingers is a puffy scar and an eternal fear of salt shakers. Once again – I’m in awe of how the human body fluctuates between extreme fragility and durability.

I don’t have any feeling on the tissue north of the wound up to the nail – but really, who needs to feel EVERYTHING?

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Note to future self:

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