Monday, January 18, 2010


All of the girls who live at the orphanage (about 45) have begun to return from holidays. We have a few one new girls, one of whom is only 3 years old. She doesn’t speak Portuguese, but only speaks Shitzwa (a Bantu language spoken in northern Inhambane province) and seems completely overwhelmed by all of the other very loud girls, the young women who take care of the children, and the couple white women. Yesterday morning during mass (quite possibly her first mass ever) she got up during the sermon, wandered around a little, and then burst into tears. Our once-serene mission compound has now been filled with the loud sounds of 5-12 year old girls singing, yelling, playing, fighting, and occasionally crying. Since school doesn’t start until Wednesday, they are left to their own devices during the day which I think is just wonderful. As is customary in Mozambique, the older girls are expected to help take care of the younger ones.
This morning the teachers were to be at school at 7am. At 7:20am there were three teachers (including me) there. We began at 8am by being told officially what we will be teaching, as there were a few changes since Friday. My plan didn’t change, I am still teaching 5 homeroom classes of 8th grade math, which meets 5 times per week (certain subjects meet 3, 4, or 5 times per week, depending on the grade level). The advantage of this is that I only have to lesson-plan for one class, but the disadvantage is that I have to give the same lesson 5 times. One of my colleagues had received training to be a biology teacher, but when he arrived here two years ago the school was short on math teachers, so he has taught math for the past two years. This morning he found out that he will be teaching biology as well this year.

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