Sunday, October 18, 2009


My host brother and cousin have gone from slightly wary of me, to tolerating me, to completely enamored. Now they want me to be the one to help them with their food or hot chocolate or listen to their stories. At lunch my little brother kept asking me to play soccer with him and I told him I couldn’t then but I would after class. When I came home in the afternoon the first thing he said was that now we could play soccer!
I am completely exhausted. It takes so much more mental energy to listen to Portuguese all day because I have to force myself to focus and listen, not to mention trying to understand. On hot days like today I understand why people shower so often here. Not only are you sweaty and gross, but it’s so dusty here and all of that red dust sticks to you.
It seems that either the political climate has changed recently or things were worse than the Peace Corps originally let on. We are on standfast now, so we can’t leave the town and are really only supposed to be either at our classes or at our homestays. We aren’t allowed to go to a waterfall near the town because there is no cell phone service if there were an emergency. Our training director explained that all the people on the various election-related committees are Frelimo party members, the party that is and has always been in power. Apparently when it became clear that MDM, the new third party, actually had the possibility to win some parliament seats, it was decided that MDM would only be permitted to participate in the presidential election which Frelimo is basically guaranteed to win. So things are a little tense.

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