"You don't have very long left here." The four of us were hanging out on a Friday night, leaning against the hatch of his borrowed sedan under the orange monochrome of the streetlights, passing around shots of cachaça cane liquor. The soundsystem's bass pulsed so strong we could "feel it in our souls", clashing…Read more Imminent Departure
"Novedades?"—What news? A common greeting in Mozambique, and one to which I rarely have a good answer. I hesitate to share news of my own life, if only because on a day to day basis nothing really happens. It's only looking back over weeks or months that I notice how much has changed. I've been…Read more News
The month of December is slow here, what with the coincidence of the summer an Christmas holidays, and the long hot days before the rains commence. So what better time to travel?
I've been planning what I would say today for weeks, considering how to describe the joy of electing a woman for president while I am representing my country in the oppressively patriarchal society of Mozambique. I meant to write about the example it sets, here, where much of my work focuses around women's empowerment. About…Read more The Day After
It's getting hot. It's the kind of heat that sucks the energy from your bones, that dries the river, dropping the water table. The kind of heat that draws any touch of moisture from the dry dirt road, leaving prone its pulverized surfacing to drift in puffs of dust with every step, and roil in…Read more It’s heating up.
Juntos. "Together", in Portuguese. Estamos. "We are", from the same. In Mozambican Portuguese, "Estamos juntos" - we are together - is a catchall phrase that crops up everywhere. As an expression of solidarity: "Estamos juntos." To check understanding: "Estamos juntos?" To validate a partnership: "Estamos juntos." When you imagine a Peace Corps volunteer, the…Read more Estamos Juntos
I recently came across a collection of half-finished blog posts and short stories, mostly from my first six months of service. I assume I intended to publish them, but never got around to it. At my mother's insistence, and possibly against my better judgment, I've decided to share them over the next few weeks. * …Read more A Mouse Tale
Well it's official. I am no longer a mere Peace Corps trainee, but a fully fledged Peace Corps Volunteer. And like a fledgling, I now face the painfully awkward growth of learning how to fly on my own. I sit writing this in the luxury of my own house, where I will be living alone…Read more Officialdom
Integration. The process of becoming a part of a new community through introductions, interactions, and involvement in new things. A buzzword in the Peace Corps, usually said with a capital I.These last three weeks I have spent in my home-to-be for the next two years, taking the first baby steps in this process of integration. I've been…Read more A Taste of Things to Come
Yesterday, June 25, was Mozambique's Independence Day, marking the 41st anniversary of Mozambique's liberation after nearly 500 years of Portuguese colonial rule. Many of us Peace Corps trainees marked the day by attending the town's ceremony. Gathered in the Praça dos Heróis, the Heroes' Plaza, we listened as local officials gave speeches and watched as…Read more Independence Day