Yesterday afternoon after I got home I went down to the Salesian sisters’ mission because I had heard that some of the Sisters from Inharrime were there. It was so wonderful to see them again and I was greeted by big smiles and hugs. Irmã Ana (Irmã means Sister in Portuguese) got moved down there, so she will be here this entire year while I am ecstatic about. She is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met. They must have had a meeting for the order within Mozambique because there were tons of Sisters there. I saw Irmãs Agnes, Dolorinda, Lucilia, and Claudina, and also Candida, the current Portuguese volunteer from the mission in Inharrime. Also there was Irmã Elizabete, my colleague from the secondary school who is a Sister of a different order in Inharrime. I was so happy to see everyone again, it was a momentary rescue from the pervading feeling of loneliness I have felt since I returned—Anna (my roommate) isn’t back yet, I don’t live on an orphanage with 65+ girls anymore, nobody knows my name here, and the Volunteers from my Peace Corps training group (Moz 14) are gone. I also got to see Irmã Rosaria who was in Inharrime for the first two months I was there and taught Portuguese in the secondary school, but then got moved up north to Pemba and I haven’t seen her since.
I then walked by my homestay house to visit the family there, I hadn’t seen my grandmother, brothers, or cousins yet, and I had been told by my host mom’s neighbors earlier that Baby Anata was there for the afternoon. As I was walking into the yard I ran into Anna’s host mom—Anna and I were technically “host cousins” because our moms are sisters and I lived with their mom (our grandmother). Sitting out in the yard behind the house were my mom with Baby Anata, my grandmother, two of my mom’s sisters I had met briefly before and another sister I had never met, a sister-in-law who had been at the lunch in Maputo the day before (she was host mom to a Moz 17er), my cousins and brothers, and two of my mom’s cousins. Turns out that the two cousins had been in my chapa that morning and they recognized me immediately and launched into the story of the chapa guy trying to make me move, me stating that I had the right to sit in that seat too and refusing to leave, and the teenage girl eventually moving up to the front the resolve the problem. One of my aunts shook her head in frustration, “I wish they hadn’t done that” she said, referring to the compromise of moving the girl up to the middle seat. “Women need to stand up for their rights and can’t give in to jerks like him who say we don’t have rights.”