“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.” –Bob Marley
It’s been quite a busy few weeks that I haven’t gotten to my blog post about flooding in Mozambique until now.
Near the end of my holiday, heavy rains in Mozambique and Malawi caused great havoc and destruction in both countries. My own town, Cuamba, was entirely cut off, as all roads going into the city were impassable. Many bridges in Zambezia, the provence below us, collapsed under the water, and the entire north of the country was left without power for a month. Over 100 people were killed and 157,000 affected or displaced with the heavy flooding, many still not in their own homes. A few of my JUNTOS kids lost their homes completely, which were just swept away by the river, leaving nothing behind. Many homes have fallen. It has led to an outbreak of cholera, which has unfortunately already affected many people here due to lack of water sanitation, and will most likely hurt the crop production, which is the main source of income for many people here. It is definitely going to be a tough year for the people in the north of Mozambique.
I was able to return to site in late January, and have since been preparing for the start of the new school year. School finally started at both the IFP and the secondary school this past week. I’ll be teaching English grammar, Technology (in Portuguese! Yikes!) and 10th grade French at the secondary school again. I’m very excited to work with my new classes, which are 40 students this year at the IFP instead of 33 like last year. The students have already shown themselves to be motivated and interested in learning English. At our first Saturday conversation club we had 14 show up! We’ll be doing a lot more individual and hands-on teaching work with them this year. At the secondary school, I’ll be taking my French class on a tour of the Francophone world, passports and everything! I’m hoping things will work out well with no resources, especially as I don’t even have a classroom, desks, or even a blackboard yet!
I’m also excited to continue with my secondary projects. My JUNTOS group is getting more involved this year. We’re on a mission to educate our community about malaria, and we hope to paint a mural in town, record a song to play on the radio, and perform some skits to educate about HIV. We did a malaria photo scavenger hunt last week, which was a lot of fun! We also started English lessons this week as well, something my group specifically asked for. I made them treat it like a class and everything! Our library program has yet to start yet for the year due to school meetings and rain, but we plan on opening up a second community library at the elementary school at the IFP, so I’ll be running a training for that in the coming weeks.
I’m planning on using this year to focus on myself and on my work here. For myself, I want to try to be healthier, expand my range of useless skills, travel, and have fun. I want to use this year to really reflect on who I am and who I want to be, where I want my life to go from here (at least at the moment). As for my work, I want to really focus on learning new teaching styles, observing other Mozambican teachers, developing curriculums, and working to improve the systems in place here. Of course, my students and their needs are the most important, and I look forward to encouraging a new group of learners. It’s going to be a busy year!
Portuguese word of the day: Pintar (to paint or color. The children are always coloring on our front porch)
French word of the day: Inondé (flooded)
Macua word of the day: Mahi (water. I may have used this one before, but at the moment it’s particularly relevant…)