Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Today is World AIDS Day and we participated with the community in all of the activities this morning. I wasn't really sure what to expect because generally here everyone knows HIV/AIDS is a problem, but nobody thinks it's their problem. Turnout was higher than I expected, especially considering it was raining (many of our homestay siblings simply don't go to school when it's raining. Again, this would be easier for me to understand if Mozambique weren't a country with a rainy season). Everyone met at one end of town to march down the main road to the AIDS monument. Everyone was singing the whole time and many had posters and signs. Unfortunately all of the singing and the speeches at the monument were in Changana, the local language. I never thought the day would come when I would wish that people would speak in Portuguese so I could understand. The mayor-ish person placed a wreath of flowers on the monument and then people came forward to place flowers all around while everyone sang. Them we went to the school where a local youth theater group put on two skits about HIV/AIDS, a guy told a story, a guy played some songs on his guitar, and the mayor gave a speech. It was really nice. I killed my third chicken today. It doesn't get any easier or more fun, but I am certainly getting better at it. I have learned to firmly pin down the beheaded body because otherwise the postmortem thrashing will spray blood everywhere. Today my future sitemate Ann, who is from Chicago, and I were reminiscing longingly about Portillo's chocolate cake milk shakes.