"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
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.
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
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
Local news recently reported that a woman gave birth to a live hen. Curious about the apparently widespread acceptance of such a biological impossibility, a number of us questioned our language instructor. We chose him partly because he is a highly educated man, with master's degree and teaching certification from one of the best schools…Read more These things happen…
Four weeks in Mozambique and I've not actually said what I'm doing. A general update seems to be in order. So without ado... Who I mean when I say "we": We are the more than forty members of the 26th Peace Corps cohort in Mozambique. In Peace Corps lingo, Moz-26. We are volunteers in public…Read more A Crash Course in Peace Corps Training
We tell stories. It is part of who we are as humans. Narrative is a powerful tool for understanding the world around us, something we use to understand others, and to define ourselves. As I write this, I am starting week four of Peace Corps pre-service training. My attempts to tell any sort of story…Read more The Danger of a Single Story
a.k.a. Careers and other boring stuff* a.k.a. Why I'm effing Terrified *No offense intended to any who, like me, are set on a career path-of-sorts. In case you have not guessed, dear readers, I am long since returned to the shores of my home country. An extended stay abroad is bound to make me wax…Read more Plans, Physics, and Parenthetical Phrases