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Kebra The Zebra

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[08 Jan 2008|10:55pm]
i know i've been saying for eons that lindsey lohan is going to be the tragic early death of this decade.
but i think britney spears is gonna beat her to the punch.
america is amazing.
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Open your arms, I'm coming. [26 Nov 2007|08:23am]
[ mood | bouncy ]

I wanted to email this to everyone that I value as important in my life. But some person said it would, perhaps, be an inappropriate email. In that it highlights my crazy, and I apparently want to be down playing (lowlighting?) my crazy. So copy, paste, post it is:

Hello people that I will want nearly immediate contact with when I return.

I left Malehice on Saturday and officially began closing my service today (I don't have The HIV!), and am accordingly freaked out. So I'm gonna start the re-entry process for you folks also. So we can all be prepared for my freaking out together. Some of this might sound defensive, sorry, but I got a really good glimpse of what reverse culture shock is gonna be like during our close of service conference in September and have been obsessing about it ever since. And seeing as I want everyone to be ultra aware of my awkwardness when I get back, I will share with you what our director said, and we can all be aware together:
"You will be returning to a culture you think you know" which means I will think it'll be easier to slip back into the lifestyle I had there than it was to adjust to the life style I have here. Which is apparently wrong. Here are some things to look out for:

I want to spend time with you, as much as possible actually. But at times it might be stressful for me. And you. I'm missing 2 years of culture (current events movies music tv, although not as much as i could have thanks to the uber efficient mozambican mail system), I'm missing 2 years of experiences you've all shared but I've missed (inside jokes, massive events like weddings, elopings and births, changes in careers) and I'll have this wealth of things I have absolutely no talent in being able to express, explain or relate to others. In the beginning my total ignorance of your last 2 years and yours of mine will seem charming and something to talk about, but after the 5th time you have to explain that your quoting movie x or I have to explain what xima is, it can get old. So be patient with me, I'll be patient with you.

I'm making a conscious (CONSCIOUS) effort to keep portuguese words out of this email. I won't be as efficient when I'm actually speaking in real time. I am sorry. They promise that will go away after a few months.

I might be really REALLY depressed after being unemployed (unemployable) for a few weeks/months/decades. I might be mopey. Try to be supportive until the point that I'm being obnoxious. Then tell me I'm being obnoxious. Oh, and if you have any jobs leads, help a girl out.

I might go crazy if people keep saying that the problems they have are insignificant relative to what I've been through/seen and apologize for bringing them up. Cause that's bull shit, a problem is a problem. So if my people have problems, I want to hear about them and try to help as best I can. I want to avoid martyr status as much as possible. I did not save the world. I participated in a 2 year cultural exchange program.

Bright lights hurt my eyes. As does this computer screen.

I'm even more socially awkward than when I left. So, there's that to look forward to. Long silences with me staring somewhere to the left of the top of your head.

Okay, those are the big things that I have anxiety attacks about. There are more. You'll see.

love,
kebra

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[13 Nov 2007|01:27pm]
[ mood | ponto de interagação ]

wow, i'm at an internet cafe on the board of moz and swaziland. this guy just walked in and he's speaking swazi. and it is so clEARly different from changana, it's weird.

i really had no intention of writing something, i don't have much time and i'm all f-ed up in the head right now- caught somewhere between excited out of my mind to go home and see everyone and crying my eyes out because i'm gonna leave here and never seen anyone- so i won't be very articulate. but i signed in, so there you have it.

actually, i can't do this. i love you all. the computer is hurting my eyes.

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[13 Oct 2007|11:38am]
[ mood | hungry hungry hippos ]

Yesterday was Teacher's Day (and my 2 month marker, but shhh). The day part was not so much fun. As part of the cooking committee (ie being one of the 5 teachers at the school with a vagina) I had to wake up at 5am so we could kill a pig, then sit next to a fire all day watching pig, chicken and beef bits cook. I did make a Prato Americano though. Well, american via italy. I made sauce and pasta. Not a lot because anytime I cook for Mozambicans they tentaively try it, say, "oh very good teacher" then clear away. They have an aversion to things that have a taste i believe. So yes as we ladys were doing all that, the male teachers played football, basketball, volley ball and proceeded to get very drunk. Before I even had one beer.
But the night party, that was entertaining. The energy in The Hice went out at about 5pm. Which put a bit of a damper on the evening, since the physics teacher had brought all his sound equipment from home and set it up in the classroom we were gonna eat in. And all the beers and sodas and juice that we had put in a fridge in the market early in the morning were all warm by the time we drank them. And of course the speeches, serving and eating all happening by candle light was less than optimal, but it was such a quinisential symbol for our time here. And my collegues are hilarious, so it was still a good time.
Kris and I had made predictions about which of the teachers would be t-totalers, which would drink, and which would be wasted. there were some obvious previous experiance predictions that we had right, but there was some outta-left-field dark horse type wastedness going on last night. like, for example, above mentioned physics teacher. he's you're standard awkward physics nerd. horrible in social situations and all other sterotypes associated with my kind. we had him in the not drinking list. but he took wasted to a new level. he turned it up to 11. and he was HILARIOUS. seriously the funniest drunk i've probably ever seen in my life. and i've seen a lot of drunks. he was really upset about there not being music, so he would go around asking people to play and of the polyphonic ring tones they had on their phones. he kept making speeches, and one was a plee for anyone that had the same songs on their phone to play them all at the same time. and he daaaanced. he was a dancing fool. he would sing so he had something to dance to. there's a song that's popular now that has the line "take off your clothes, take 'em off" in it. one teacher started singing it to him, then we were all singing it for him. alas, his clothes stayed on his skinny skinny body. oh. one of the speeches he made, he was accussing people of hiding beers. he was very upset about it, and well all just went "yeah yeah yeah". but an hour later, fercilío found 7 beers stashed behind a desk. which we all found histerical. more or less. so yes, we were totally lucky the avelino show came to town last night.
all the food was being stored in the room that we are keeping the building material in, since it's got the bars. so during the week whenever food showed up we had to go let them in. when the beers showed up most of them were 2M, but there were 6 Manicas. i said to fercilío, the beer master, that i claimed at least one of those. well, he had my back last night. when he was bringing out the first batch of warmish beers, he pulled me aside and told me to go grab the manica he put out and put it at my seat. then throughout the night he would come by to check the status of my drink and supply me with new ones. i never had to get up to get a beer.
the energy came back at around midnight, lucky us. so the music got set up and dancing started. as soon as the lights came back on there was, of course, much screaming and rejoicing. and a few shaken beer bottles that were then let loose among the desks, chairs, floors and clothes of people in the room.
the most terrifying part of the night was when i ended up with the director's new born daughter (seriously, 6 weeks old) in my arms. gerlindo was carrying her around, introducing her to people as his wife (haha) and decided to hand her off to me. it was moving. wiggling around and such. not emotionally. and as soon as it got in my arms it started screaming. just crying and crying. which made kris laugh because i'm really good at making babies cry on chapas, too.
the music played on until, lets see. 5am when i woke up. 6am when i got water. 7am when i took a bath. yes, 8am when i left home for the city. that's a lot of continuous noise.
oh, and people actually enjoyed and ate my pasta. so all in all, a good tixa day.

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[15 Sep 2007|11:27am]
The woman infront of use on the chapa today had a chicken in her leather purse. But it didn't get the privelage of main pocket. It was shoved in the side pocket. Moçambique foto.

Wednesday, when I went to go bring my water to the bathing side of our latrine, and i stepped in a puddle of my student's urine. That was the moment when I realized that I'm ready to go home.

Construction has fully commenced. The foundation is laided. I am getting very good at swallowing my anger at miscommunication problems and general cultural differances in work ethic.

It was a rough week. I'm exhausted. But Our trip to Zambia is more or less planned out, now we just need to buy all the tickets and make the hostel reservations. So actually it's not really planned out at all. The general idea is mapped out in our heads. It will be a vacation mesma. And I greatly anticipate it.

I dictate all my notes. And which means i read all of my notes 7 times. Suprisingly, I have gotten tired of dictating about erections and menstration. It seems so unpersonable. But the wooden model penis I have that another volunteer lent me helps make it more cozy. And makes the kids squiiiirm. As does the giant uterus I draw on the board during the menstration lesson.

Okay, lunch and the limpopo market. Tchau.
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Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. [01 Sep 2007|12:37pm]
I really meant to make this a longish post summing up the massive amount of stuff that has happened in the last 2 months. But true to form for the last 2 months, no time. So i'm going to literally just write the one sentance reminders that I have on this list infront of me. If something strikes your fancy, ask me about it in 4 months when I'll have to time to tell you.

It's maçala season. Rock.

Mountain bike safari in Swaziland. Do it. Impala steak. Don't. Wildebeest sausage. If you're presented with the opportunity eat it, but don't bother searching it out.

Science fair. Amazing. I'll ramble on and on about it when you see me in 4D.

The Jovens Para Mudança e Acção group at our school painted 2 murals on the walls of the bathroom. HIV prevention and discrimination against women awareness. They came out really well, I have tons of pictures.

"FLYING MAN!" "Keep it down" "flying man."

Class has started up again. We have 6 weeks before finals. I'll be missing 2 of them, one for the training of trainers for the next group of volunteers to come. The other for our Close of Service (COS) conferance. But I have used the time I have in the classroom well so far. "Digam comigo. A urina sai da uretra, não sai da vagina."

Bricks. Check. Land marked off. Check. Foundation digging. Check. I'll give (sporadic at best) updates here as the building of our community rooms goes along. What will probably be more likely, though, is we'll update the webpage we have. So check that out. www.helpmalehice.com
Side note, Senhor Cossa, a school secretary and part of the town council said in a town council meeting, I quote: "This is a rare thing in the world. People giving money that they won't ever use. This isn't the teachers' (Kris and I) house. This isn't their families' house. This isn't the school director's house. This is our house. Our children's house." Feel the love.

COS conferance coming up. We'll talk about our feelings and how F-ed up we're gonna be when we return. (I'll give you a glimpse of my future. The last time I was in a city, I had to pull my legs up to my chest to take a dump, effectively putting my feet on the seat and "standing" on the toilet.)

Apparently our energy was paided for (to get it back) over 40 days ago. But the company is saying it's a problem of "transport" to get the poles to Malehice. So we will never have lights on in our house.

Wednesday our neighbor's daughter, Rosie, didn't want to take a bath at night. She cried and cried. Just like a child anywhere. Although I doubt in America the mother's response would be to say, "Stop crying and go get your water." On Rosie's behalf, it was pretty cold that night.

Plane ticket reservations made. I purchase the tickets on Tuesday. See you losers 12 December.
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[18 Jul 2007|09:25am]
[ mood | have to urinate ]

i'm really living up to my journal title. i think i'm very bad at ever actually saying something of substance in these entries.

with that in mind.

i heart my science fair kids. they're hilarious. eye gougingly slow at actually getting tasks done. but hilarious. yesterday we spent 6 hours making a HIV awereness poster. actually, it's quit amazing they finished it yesterday. we had meet 2 times before to plan it, and yesterday they passed their final ideas onto the poster board. it's all the singing, dancing, joking and general standing around that makes it go so slowly. but they finished and it's a good poster. promotes delaying having sex, "sexo mais tarde". it's comic book style, with 4 scenes. maida and milton getting real about their realtionship.

i'm having a shirt made, but it won't be done till 2pm, hence the time to sit and write this entry on a wednesday.

i'm starting to get ridiculously excited about karen and greg visiting. oh, did i mention that kris has a friend coming at the same time. they're flying on the same flight. he went to SC, graduated in '04. anyways, i'm starting to plan all the meals i want to eat and i want karen to eat (bring you're pepto!). i've decided to deviate from my normal fish market fair and only get half a kilo of shrimp and replace the other half a kilo with some crabs. one of the houses down there makes them up nice, with a tangy mayonaisse sauce. oh, actually they make the lulas (squid) really good too. appertizers, for the table. yes. that will be nice. matapa com arroz at tofo. in the hice, luisa's house for "mozambican soup", maybe couve with tomato and onions, or beans. who knows! then back to maputo, to feira popular and onion soup and rocfurt salad from the frenchie. yes. that sounds very good to me.

census training started this week at the school (or as narino calls it, aquele confusão-that confusion). the posters they've put up around town informing people about the census and how important it is are funny. comic book style (marvel would do so well here) of a family talking about all the common misconceptions and worries people have. the daughter is the sage and eases everyones nerves. no they won't take a percentage of your goats. all the while with a baby on her back, a panela on her head and a pilão in her hand.

i tried planting more seeds. and so begins the never ending battle against the chickens. i've spiked the areas they are the fondest of and that seems to be working. so hopefully, before i leave this country, i'll be able to pick a zuchinni in my back yard and eat it with the radishes from my front yard.

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[14 Jul 2007|10:02am]
[ mood | hungry hungry hippos ]

karen (shout out!) gets here in exactly one week. i am slightly more than stoked. rocked off my rocker, jumpier than a mexican jumping bean. yes, very excited.

school preemptivaly ended yesterday. technically there is one more week of classes on the calender. but most schools ended a week early so that teachers that want to can get trained to do the census. which takes place in August and is the reason i now have lots of time on my hands to clean the yard, read books, write letters (keep an eye on your box), research jobs (eek squared), and do other assorted things. lots of my students failed this trimestre. big f-ing suprise. there is just nothing i can do to convince them that the lungs are infact NOT part of the circulatroy system. short of killing one of them and cutting them up to demonstrate. which i've been told is a bad idea, not to mention horrible classroom managment.

we finally got approval from the school to build a rec room. which means- let the fund raising commence. in the next few days, expect many not quite obnoxious emails, livejournal posts and myspace bulletins asking for you to go to our website (still under construction) to read about all the great things we are doing and then donate money to the cause.

5 months folks. keep your schedules cleared. massive partying to be done.
peace.

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[24 Jun 2007|10:37am]
[ mood | 2 necklaces for 100Mtn ]

the governor's appearance was moved to the primary school (an extra half hour into the bush) because our school couldn't pull it together. smile. but it still managed to screw up our finals schedule.

the science fair went well enough. we'll be sending a bio (saude dos asmaticas), physics (massa e velocidade) and chem (evaparacao de agua) project to the national fair. so balanced. cake was eatten (aten, ate?) by all. it was good. perhaps the highlight of the event.

i ate pizza last night. it was good.

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the governer is coming! the governer is coming! [17 Jun 2007|01:21pm]
[ mood | lost my voice ]

the governer of gaza is coming to our school on 26 june. 25 june is independance day, so it's a school holiday, and 26 is national anti-drug day. so this is, naturally, a big to do. everyone has been busy prettying up the school. every single student had to bring in a plant and plant is somewhere on the school campus. unfortunately the to do starts very early in the morning. i have to be at the school by 6:30. which means taking a freezing cold bath in the freezing cold dark. kris won't be there that day, so i'll be the only whitey representin'. it screws with our finals schedule, though. but that's the cool thing to be doing right now, f-ing with the school scehdule, so the governer clearly wanted in on it. so with this, and the census, and the elections at the end of the year, i did the math and i only have 26 more actually lessons of new information to give. not NEARLY enough (i have to squeeze os sistemas respiratório, urinário, nervoso, e reproductores in there. oh, and skin), but it's some what exciting to be almost done with teaching.

science fair is next saturday. the kids are almost done. they've (almost) all completed their tests and just have to write up their conclusions. it's been exciting to see what they're doing. i'm going to commit a mortal sin and say i'm proud of them.

i think i am officially in "freak out about coming home and readjusting and not knowing what i'm doing with my life" mode. last night we had a birthday/going away party for volunteers that just finished their service. and even with those people, i was socially awkward and would say utterly inappropriate things. i used to be so good about keep that stuff in my head before i came here. no long. i have no mind filter. and i touch people a lot now. that's a totally mozambican thing i've picked up. when i get home, if i'm walking somewhere with you and i grab your hand and just walk with you holding your hand, i'm so sorry. please tell me to stop.

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i love my gay dead son (or, long post about teaching) [09 Jun 2007|09:30am]
i think i know why people become teachers. before i give a test i always have a review session. for various reasons, the majority of the students rarely study for tests, so this way i know they atleast looked at their notes for 45 minutes. the session is usually a game, the brain competition (it sounds better in portuguese, aliteration), bar trivia style. they make teams of 4, i read a question, they have 1 minute to write down the answer and hand it in, i talk about the concept and then if they have the right answer they get a point. they seem to like it. mostly cause i give the winning team stickers. so this upcoming test is about the diegestive system, and i wanted to make sure they get the differance between the digestive tube and the auxilary (?) organs. so one of my questions was "what do you call the form of the food stuffs when they are in the liver?" almost every class got it wrong. i had answers ranging from bile (close), blood (less close) to feces (nope). which was, of course, fustrating because the very last lesson we had wrapped up the difference between the two parts of the system. but in one class i know that at least one student could get it right, because he did the wrapping up for me in that class. so after i read the question i watched in anticipation as the kids ripped through their notebooks looking for anything that was close to the liver in the notes. i was paying close attention to the one kid (sits in the front, definition of guileless, really anxious to learn) and i litturally saw the light bulb go off in his head. the second he realized what was wrong with the question his whole face changed. he looked up from his notebook at me, saw that i was staring at him, which confirmed for him what he was thinking, punch the kid sitting next to him on the shoulder and whispered to the people in his group what the scene was. that, right there, the face change when a kid figures something out, that's why people teach. i dig. if it happened more often, or if i was better at making it happen more often, i could see myself having a very difficult time leaving this gig. but no worries. i'll be home in december.

oh my GOD! the man sitting at the other computer's phone just rang. his ring was a woman singing "hey, your phone is ringing. HEY, your phone is ringiiing".

in other news, planning for our replacement group is well underway. i have many more trips to the capital to do before the new volunteers get here, but that really just translates to hot showers. there are a lot of changes again this year. the neatest one is that we'll probably get to meet the people that will replace us. the new group will get to visit their site before actually moving up there. so we'll show them around...um...the school and the water pump, and get to sell them all our crap. woot.

924 minutes of one tree hill we watched in about 2.5 weeks. it is perhaps the worst show i have ever been that excited to watch. every minutes was bitter sweet. after the final episode we had to watch 2 episodes of arrested development just to purge ourselves.

science fair update. started with about 12 kids. then it was 6. then it was 5. a final, 3 students will complete projects (teacher, it's just to hard. yes, welcome to life). but that's convinient for me, cause i get to take 3 students to the national one, so everybody wins! but the 3 projects are all really good ones, and i think that they will actually have a shot when we go to nationals. it makes me think of science olympiad. except now i'm fatty patty! ha!
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[30 May 2007|02:59pm]
[ mood | gonna take a hot shower ]

i always feel a little frazzled in maputo. i think it's because the women with children carry them in baby carries and not capulanas.

news from my end:
there was a meeting of the grandes curandeiros on monday. the big wig witch doctors in all of gazaland congregated in our tiny town, just outside my classroom window (conveniently) to chant and sing and convulse and other such things. it was really interesting to watch when i had a free period in the day. it was not, how ever, fun to teach over the sound of the drums when i didn't have a free period. it made dictation very hard. but all in all a very neat thing to witness. our curandeiro (not 'our' our, but the town's) was wearing a suit and sitting in the front and gave a speech. our friend felipe was taking pictures. it was most intriguing to see which of our students new all the verses and said them along with the group (like marta, did you notice that kris, she had the clap down and everything). we also might potentially have seen former president chissano. but there are so many chissanos in town i assume at least one of them has to look just liek him. i personally think it was just a relative, he was too fat and people didn't acquiesce to him.

i've been helping out these last 2 weeks with the health classes, cause they're doing the reproductive system and i'm the bio teacher. 1+1=2, yes? so they're interesting to sit in on. a little frustrating because a large portion of my students from last year don't remember shit. but still a generally good experiance, i love watching them be uncomfortable. on tuesday we were talking about other ways of expressing love for each other, more than just you penis to vag sex, and were finish up explaining oral sex when one of my students from last year- a real smart little bugger, probably one of the smartest i had last year- stand up and says "teachers, we know there exists oral sex. but is there written sex?" it was hilarious. i mean seriously, i was crying. it was probably the first funny, laugh outloud joke i've heard in this country. what made it even funnier is that kris didn't get it, so i walked over and explained it to her (dig), and that made the students laugh even more.

science fair preperations have been really fustrating. it's impossible to actually sit down with the director and have a conversation with her. so i think i'm just gonna have the kids show up and we'll go into one of the class rooms and that will be that, no fanfare, no invitations stamped in triplicate, just some kids with some science projects.

it's finally gotten cold again, that double edged sword of general comfort. we're not sweating our asses off, we can wear pants to school ("teacher, you are chic bem today"), and we get to drink hot chocolate with amarula in it. BUT the bathing gets reduced to once every 2 or 3 days. cause who wants to stand outside naked in 60 degree windy weather and make themself all wet with freezing cold water. not i. so the hair is all greasy. but at least it's not frizzy.

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the consequence of sound [12 May 2007|10:22am]
eles robaram nossas bidoes. tentaram a robar nosso timbor tambem. mas tinha agua dentro. nao conseguiram. agora temos de carregar agua em bacias. BACIAS. com aquela grande boca aberta. e dificil. fiquei zangada. ainda estou um pouco zangada. nao devia dizer estava tao contenta com a nova bidao. nao ha palavras.
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[05 May 2007|10:28am]
i have a few vegetables and herbs growing in cut up juice boxes on our veranda. nothing special, just something to pass the time. i came home from school one day and a box was missing. someone stole my basil. the bastards! it had just sprouted too. i made one of the students i was walking with come and stare at the gaping hole in the box line up. she was not as outraged as i was.

coming home from the big city last weekend, kris and i got a ride in to town from the road with the parents of jatália, a girl that was in 10th grade last year (now she's in 11th grade in the big city). there names are jorge and atália. "are you seeing how we got here name?" yes, of all people, i am seeing how you got her name. so that was nice. but when we got to the school they kept driving. when we mentioned that we could get out here just fine, they said, "oh no no no, you're coming to have dinner with us." finally, we're intergrated :) anyway, it was a really fun night. they just completed 30 years of marriage (which is crazy impressive) and had gotten remarried in january. they taped the whole affair so we watched some of that. he's a miner in south africa, so they're pretty well off (there house is huge and filled with big comfy couches from china, running water in the house, 2 HUGE tv's, dvd players, etc etc.) and it was a really big party. you could see how happy there were, and it kept reminding me of when my parents renewed their wedding vows. so i was feeling a bit emotional. we meet all the siblings and grandchildren. one of them is named after jorge, but the call him "king" instead. get it. king george. so that was a riot. then we ate chicken and xima and watched WWE dubbed over in spanish, which was bizarre and hilarious. then after dinner jatália came into the living room with her history homework and sat next to her dad and had him read over it. he only completed standard 3, but likes to look at their homework anyway, to learn what they're learning and to help when he can. it was just your standard sunday night and it felt so good to be a part of that.

A Feira de Ciências is underway. i think 12 kids are going to be participate. i know for sure atleast 2 girls will see it through to the end, so that's exciting. i have a meeting with the school director next week to finalize time and location and talk about inviting big wigs from the district capital to come to the event. i'm sure i'll talk more and more about this as the date approaches (16 june) and i get more and more stressed :)

we got an extra bidog for carrying water. and it has changed our lives. it's amazing what that extra 25 litres does. now we can get water every other morning instead of every morning. last night out of curiousity we figured out how many gallons that would be (since the metric system is wasted on us). it's about 6. so next time you're in the grocery store, pick up six gallons of milk. put that shit on your head. walk to the other end of the grocery store. put it down. then do that a couple more times. your neck and upper arm muscles will appreciate it.

we've also figured out that we spend more money on candles in one month than we did on electricity. ha!
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[20 Apr 2007|12:17pm]
i can't wait to have a mop again.
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[14 Apr 2007|09:28am]
i wanted to write a lot, but i got a lot of actual people writing to me emails and i want to respond to them, so i'm gonna give you the highlights of what i would have spend an hour dronning on about.

last saturday was moçambican woman's day. kris's youth group had an echange with a youth group from just outside xai-xai. soccer was played, our theatre was preformed and songs sung. feijão and chicken were eatten. it was good. our girls won the soccer game in over time on the last penalty shot. we sang vistory songs the whole ride home. NB: one of the boys in our group was wearing very nice sneakers. nice sneakers indeed. first i told kris and then mike to notice the nice sneakers. then i told carlos that i wanted to try on his sneakers. they were, infact, my grey new balances. from the good old days. it was mostly just funny. he said his uncle got them for him in chicago. cute little kid.

we still don't have energy or water. and we probbaly won't for the rest of the time we're here. we found out that to replace the wires and box it's over $2,000. the school says the elec comp should pay, they say the school should pay. so no one will pay. and we will continue to buy candle from the rosa vela company. because the fiesta candles suck.

kris left this morning with 2 girls and the other bio teacher to participate in the 3rd annual girl's conferance. kris is basically running it this year, so she's up there shining right now. go kris. the girls slept over at our house last night so they could leave early early early. so i spent last night and this morning being mom. i made dinner and breakfast and we coloured and it was all very strange. i woke up at 2am this morning cause a bird or soemthing must have landed on the roof, but it sounded like someone trying to get in the house. a volunteer up north was just robbed at knife point when guys broke into her house, so i was bit on endge, see. so i freaked out cause the girls were in the living room and all unprotected. i preteneded to get a cup of water and everything was fine, but i couldn't get back to sleep. i did not enjoy that.

and that's my story.
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this si more for me than for you folks. suck it. [31 Mar 2007|11:10am]
[ mood | accomplished ]

tomorrow is april. meaning that we have successfully made it through one fourth of 2007. to commemorate this momentous occasion, i will give you may favorite communications (via text messaging) from the frist fiscal quarter of the year. in reverse chronological order:

mike d. - where are you? let's drink.
read - dude, bridget is coming home from afghanistan...because she is pregnant. mr kilker just told my mom.
kris - ...pc load letter? what the fuck does that mean ?!...
katie stitzer - someone dropped swedish fish all over the sidewalk! don't they know there are hoemsick kebra's in africa? miss you.
unknown number - posso sumir.
alexis - i'm using water as a mixer for gin. i feel close to u. ha!
alfredo - abraçe a vida com paixão, venca com ousadia, pense com classe, ria, chore, ame, viva cada segundo sem medo o que importa mesmo é viver. abraço.
mike d. - would you buy xima flavored gum? if no, what if it was xima flavoured big league chew? popsicles?
aaron - k, remember me? we were in teh peace corps together. those were the best days. oh wait. they're not over yet. damn ;) really, how's it going?
alexis - want to take a survey abotu casual sex?
andrew - oh kebra, you just gauranteed 3 or so more such questions. i just want to know if you wer still gonna be the samoan lawyer to my drug addled hunter s.
kris - haha. you may win herpes argument here, but i'll win in 11 months. there are bagias here 4 u baby.
katie stizer - when you get back we should find some high ground in the artic. the warmiong is happenin and fast. terrifying!jessica - townies aint so bad. i don't even know if i can call myself that anymore, i might be in redneck territory now. actually, i def am
marcelo:
,**,*; __
*Y/**___(__)__
-//" -=_--=_=-
,//-,,,_--,,__.
que belo nascer do sol... kero ser primeiro a cumprimentar-te nest 2007. bom dia!

okay. well that was fun.

in other news...
the school is actively trying to prevent learning from happening, and i'm just along for the ride. my schedule just changed again. they're basically just throwing away one week of school do to consensus confusion. and other assorted things, but none of you really care so that'll do for now.
i'm gonna be doing a science fair at my school this year. i got about 20 kids tosign up for it at the first meeting. i htink abotu 8 of them will actually do it. which is still cool. the 3 best ones get to fly (FLY!) to manica and particpate in the national one that goes on every year. so this should be fun and exciting and incredibly headache inducing.
we still don't have energia at our house. so no movies to watch at night. no iPod charging while i'm at school bringing hoem the bacon. no refrigorator to hold our weeks worth of food. so we mostly eat bread and rice. bagias sometimes. my clothes, they are a dirty because i'm to lazy to do all that walking and carting just to use the water to wash clothes. in theory the school is deciding between to different types of wire to replace the currently burnt one. which means sometime in august we'll get energy back. woot.
i'm gonna eat pizza today. and that will be good.
okay bye.

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perhaps you've heard [25 Mar 2007|03:59pm]
[ mood | blank ]

there was a massive explosion in maputo a few days ago. the entire souhtern half of the country was without energy for a while (we, in teacher row, did not notice any difference though, since we haven't had energy in 2 weeks). other than that i was not directly affected by the explosion, but a lot of people did die or get seriously injured. it's unfortunate that it followed so closely the massive disastor that was cyclone favio. especially all the flooding of the fishing bays in maputo. read more about the explosion in this article:

http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=70909

i don't really have much else to say about it. nothing profound. or inspirational. just wanted you to know.

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onde não há comida, há barulho [03 Mar 2007|09:54am]
[ mood | malaria again? ]

our neighbors have lots of chickens. 2 of them (tweedle dee and tweedle dumb) never leave each others side. they also never leave our yard. wedensday they ate tweedle dee. which i was very excited about. later that day as i was washing dishes i was throwing left over onion bits at tweedle dumb. kris told me to knock it off, she'd had a tramatic enough day. and then i looked at her. and i felt like shit. it was true. seeing tweedle dumb without tweedle dee was just utterly depressing. now she's all despondent and just sits infront of our compost heap. she doesn't even run after left over food scraps.

i can't believe i've been here for 17 months and i still miss all of you like crazy. i know the next 9 months will go by fast enough, but november emotionally feels like it will never come.

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[10 Feb 2007|11:12am]
[ mood | heart flash disks & REDES comp ]

School started of new. We were dicked around a bit with the schedule, but I will not let the man get me down. Before I left for holidays they said I could teach physics, but then when we got back, the new pedagogical director said that I was already scheduled for 8 bio classes. Maybe later. We have 5 biology teachers. We have 2 physics teachers. Half the 8th grade doesn’t have physics. But it’s cool. Instead of writing new lesson plans during my free time I can read Harry Potter e O Ordem do Fenix or spend hours listening to Seu Jorge cover David Bowie songs and write down all the lyrics. So this year will be just fine.

Teaching’s been going relatively well. I think actually being able to speak and have them understand me has played a big role in that game. And also, since I already taught this stuff, it’s not like I’m sitting on the edge of a biology cliff just waiting to fall over it. I can respond to questions they have. Although I did not know what to say to one of my kids Thursday when he asked if grass sweats (to list as a difference between 2 types of living beings). Cause technically doesn’t water leave via the stoma? Could that be considered sweat? Well I told him I’d get back to him on that. Homework is already a problem again. They just don’t do it. I think when I check homework on Monday if the kid hasn’t done it I’m gonna make him/her take the rest of the class sitting on the floor. Discomfort sometime gets the point across.
I’m doing this new thing where if they wanna talk they raise their hand and I throw this nerf ball at them. The one I won at the movie theatre. They like catching the ball so I have a lot more participation so far this year. Hope that keeps going for the rest of the year.
Most teachery moment of the year: Wednesday I had to stop a lesson 3 times in the first 5 minutes to tell them to be quite. I was pissed. And I had just finished reading the part in Harry Potter where Umbridge makes Harry do lines with his own blood. So I made the whole class spend the next 40 minutes writing “I will not speak at the same time as the teacher” over and over again. I was bored; walking around occasionally telling them how disrespectful they were, not much else. But they were well behaved on Friday. Not necessarily connected to the castigation, but in my head it is.

It’s weird that there are only 10 months left. Doing my trimester planning has made that seem so short. Very soon indeed. I can’t really explain what that makes me feel right now. Trust me, it’s got a lot to do with “what the hell am I doing when I get back”, “what the hell am I doing while I’m here”, “what the hell are people gonna think when they see me just sitting in a chair staring off into space”, “is that brick building they are building next to our house gonna be a mall” etc. Most definitely the oddest moment was when i was using our xi-xi bucket and was thinking to myself, "yah know, kebra, in your next house, you can have a nice place for this, it doesn't have to be in the kitchen. Maybe closer to your bedroom for when you need to pee at night" Then I thought to myself, "Wait, the next house I live in will a have a toilet, and a special room just for the toilet. An water will rain from above in that room." Now that was werid.

It hasn’t been debilitating hot yet this year like it was last year. But it’s still pretty fucking hot. Which means the cockroaches have returned for another season of “fly around Kebra’s head while she’s taking a bath at night.” I love the episode where the mosquitoes get in on the action and bite her ass. That’s hilarious.

Other hilarious things:
One of the schools maids coming to our house and asking if we had anything to take that would “make the poop leave”. Oddly enough, laxatives are not something the Peace Corps thinks we need in our medical kits. Maybe it’s all the diarrhea we get.
One of the bio teachers from the new group texting ME and asking ME advice on teaching.
The small child in 8a3 that wears a Clash t-shirt to school everyday. There is no couth way to ask him for his shirt. But it’s olive green. And awesome.
The opening credits to the first season of The Venture Brothers. Give it a looksie. Pay particular attention to the background after the plane flies out of the skull.
The Office. American style.
I made $2,700 last year.

A Mozambican film just came out about the difficulties woman seeking education in Mozambique face. It’s about a young girl that wants to study medicine. It was made by a man from Beira, 100% moçambicano. It’s called “O Jardim do Outro Homem.” Another Man’s Garden. It comes from a saying here, “Sending a girl to school is like watering another man’s garden.” Which I wish I could say I’ve never heard before, but I have (the women in education initiative’s slogan is “to educate a woman is to educate a nation”, just so you know). Anyway, it goes into the corruption of the school system here, trading sex for grades, etc. There’s no movie theatre in Gaza, so we haven’t been able to see it. But if it for some reason comes out near you and you have a chance to see it, do. It sounds like it’s really good. Hoping to get a completely legal copy of it next time I’m in Maputo.

Oh. I suggest being in or around the Stroudsburg area for New Year’s Eve 2007/2008. I hear there is going to be heck of a shindig at the old Ward place.

Okay, rock out don’t dork out.

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