Saturday, May 5, 2012


The World Malaria Day celebration last weekend just happened to be about 40k from Inharrime (my old site), so I got to go spend time with my girls and those wonderful sisters again, which is always fantastic. I spent a morning down at the school visiting English students from last year who are now in 12th grade, planning for their futures, and into things like Facebook. And my math students from my first year who used to be little kiddies and are now in 10th grade. My REDES (Rapariga em Desenvolvimento, Educação e Saúde—Girls in Development, Education, and Health) girls are among these. I was talking to them because they earned a lot of money during the past two years with our earring making/selling income generation project. We had talked about getting something made for every member of the group, but I didn’t have time before I left last year. On this day they were throwing around the idea of getting hats made, since they already had a few t-shirts from other REDES events we had during the past two years. When I asked what they wanted on the hats they enthusiastically replied “a picture of you and then written ‘REDES of Inharrime!’” I laughed because they have said this multiple times before on different occasions. We threw around a few other ideas and I kept running different design ideas by them (the REDES logo, a picture of all of us, another design). They continued to responding that they wanted a picture of me on whatever they got. Eventually I told them to be serious, they couldn’t get my picture put on anything. To which one clever girl responded “but teacher Anata, you always teach us to stand up for ourselves and say what we want and you tell us that you will help us achieve our goals. Well, what we want is for your picture on our shirt and now you tell us we can’t do that.” I couldn’t argue with that one. So shortly there will be a bunch of t-shirts in Mozambique with my face on them…I don’t even want to know who will end up wearing some of them. After World Malaria Day (WMD, as it is known in some circles) I headed up to Vilanculos to spend the weekend at the beach with some other PCVs. We had a great time, but the excitement of the weekend unfortunately coincided with me already getting sick, so I lost my voice Saturday-Tuesday. And losing your voice in Mozambique is WAY less fun than in America. Long story short: everyone thinks you’re super weird. I can see them all thinking “why is this weird white girl whispering at me.” I was actually told to “speak well” by one young girl and asked “why are you talking so strangely?” by another teenager. And on chapas I would have to ask my neighbor to call out my stops for me.

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