Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This morning all the teachers from my school and the other secondary school in town had a meeting at 8am at the other secondary school in town (where Emma teaches). The other school is a good half hour walk out of town in the other direction, so a full hour trip from my house if I am not able to get a ride. Yesterday, against my better judgment, I agreed to meet one of my colleagues who lives near me to walk with him. We made plans to meet in front of the bakery at 7:30am. At 8:10am I was still waiting and the pedagogical director came by and simply said hello, not why aren’t you at the meeting? He had my colleague’s phone number so he called him and my colleague was still at home. I waited until 8:20am when some of my other colleagues offered me a ride to the school so I decided to just leave. We finally arrived at 8:40am which is about when everything started. The colleague I had planned to walk with showed up at 9:45am.
Because our mission school is a private school, we have the option of closing our doors once we have reached (or let’s be honest, passed) capacity. And since our school and Emma’s schools are the only two secondary schools in the district of Inharrime, all the kids who didn’t fit into our school end up at the other school, which is crazy over-full this year. For the eighth grade at Emma’s school there are 30 homeroom classes of ~80 students. And the school has 5 English (a mandatory subject) teachers. Do the math. And my school is the only school in our district offering 11th grade for the first time this year, and there is nowhere in our district for kids to attend 12th grade, they have to go to Maxixe or Inhambane. During training an official from the ministry of education told us that Mozambique would have to build three times as many schools as currently exist to meet the needs of all the kids here.
One of the English teachers gave me a ride back to town after I was finished with my planning. I asked if he had finished all of his work and he said “no but I think I have malaria so I asked if I could leave early to go to the hospital,” very matter-of-factly.
Today Ann and I were in the market looking at adorable baby outfits for her counterpart who just had a girl on Sunday. The vendor came up and began to try to speak English to us, per usual. I said “não entendo ingles, só falo português” (I don’t understand English, I only speak Portuguese), so he apologized and switched to Portuguese, despite the fact that Ann and I continued to speak in English to discuss which outfit to choose.
We are experiencing a mini-drought here. In the market, on chapas, everywhere you hear people talking about how we need it to rain. Water is incredibly expensive and hard to come by here and farmers don’t have sprinkler systems like in the states, so when it doesn’t rain people’s entire incomes just die. Hopefully it will rain soon.
Tomorrow is inauguration day and everyone is really excited because the president will be giving a televised speech and it’s a holiday for everyone. I have asked a number of people, however, and nobody actually knows what time the president’s speech is at. Emma said that’s probably because either they don’t care, they are just happy they have a holiday, or because it’s scheduled for 12pm but won’t actually happen until 4pm.

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