Saturday, December 5, 2009


We had our language proficiency tests today and our round robins to test our general knowledge of Peace Corps policies, Mozambican history, culture, and education system, etc. I thought my language test went pretty well (though I did realize later I had confused two verb conjugations) but it’s hard to tell what they will think! So the bread of one baker in town, we will call him “Frank,” is notoriously good. When volunteers come back to help facilitate training that’s one of the reasons they are excited to return to town. The bread is dense like sourdough, so delicious, and if Frank likes you he will go into the back to get you a warm loaf: heaven. Some of the guys have been talking up how much pão (bread) they had been eating, so the decision was made that there was only one thing left to do: have a pão-eating contest. Ten loafs. So after our tests Jon, Brian, and Mike started into their mission, setting a two hour time limit. We had told Frank about the contest and he thought it was the funniest thing ever and was obviously thrilled when they guys showed up and bought 30 loafs of bread. A bunch of us stayed to watch the spectacle and we all played cards and hung out for the two hours. Brian and Mike both were able to eat only 4, Jon put away 7 which is pretty superhuman.
Vonnie’s mom sells biscoitos (literally cookies but they come in many varieties here and hers I would describe as fried donuts) at the market on Saturdays and Wednesdays, so on Tuesday and Friday nights she makes them. They have become a huge hit among the trainees, so last night we stopped by to get them piping hot because it was our last chance!
We were all hanging out playing cards at a restaurant, watching the beautiful lightning storm in the distance. Eventually the power went out, as it does regularly here, but luckily Peace Corps (soon to be) volunteers go nowhere unprepared, so instantly multiple flashlights and headlamps were pulled out so the games could continue. Brian and Jordan, a married couple, were leaving and since they live near me and I didn’t want to walk home alone after dark I walked back with them. The power was out in the whole town so the roads were pitch black, but every ten seconds or so lightning would light everything up and you would realize that there were four other men in the road you didn’t know where there. And then it would be back to pitch black. That was pretty freaky, I would have rather not known anyone was around. During one of these episodes Jordan got freaked out and jumped behind me, stepping on my flip flop, breaking it. I walked for a bit with only one shoe, but we were all pretty scared by how much broken glass we know are in the streets here so Jordan made Brian give me a piggy back ride. Then when we were about 4 minutes from home it started torrentially pouring. We broke into a sprint home and I am still impressed Brian didn’t roll and ankle and send both of us flying into the mud. When I got home I washed my foot immediately and by some stroke of luck had no cuts at all.

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