Thursday, November 12, 2009
As a Peace Corps volunteer every day brings new challenges and some days you are trying to save the world, and other days you’re just trying to get by. Today my big accomplishment was that I didn’t poop my pants. We left for our site visits at 4am this morning. We took chapas (the mode of transportation in Mozambique. They are vans into which 18 passengers (no fewer, chapas won’t leave unless they are full), the driver, and the conductor are crammed) to Maputo where we were swarmed by drivers eager to transport all the white people. As we were loading our bus a ~18 month boy was wandering the aisles crying. At one point a man held him up and asked whose he was, but nobody claimed him. His mom eventually found him. Then about 5 hours into the 6 hour ride I got very sick and I would have to say that not knowing whether or not I was going to poop my pants on a bus full of people is one of the worst feelings I have ever felt in my life (and no, of course the buses here don’t have bathrooms—the houses don’t even have bathrooms). Meagan, another trainee who will be a biology teacher, and I visited Stephanie and Becky, who are chemistry and biology teachers, respectively, and live together in Inhambane province. Their site is pretty amazing. They are a ten minute walk from the ocean, a 15 minute walk from the market, a 20 minute walk from school, and near large cities which is good for buying essentials that can’t be found in small towns. Also, they have running water! They have a shower, flushing toilet, and sink with running water in their outdoor bathroom. They also have a faucet in their yard. I can live without the shower or flushing toilet, but the convenience of having a faucet in their yard, of never having to go get water in many large buckets, is just amazing.