November 2, 2012

Quick Update

There are some exciting things going on over here, so I thought I'd write a quick blog to keep everyone informed.  First, we have site visits this week!  I leave tomorrow morning at 4:30 am to travel to Gaza province to a place called Chongoene to stay with a current volunteer and two other trainees for 5 days.  The idea is to get a feel for the site that the current volunteer lives and be able to have a better idea of what we might want/prefer at our own site.  This is super exciting for many reasons, but the biggest ones are the fact that we get to eat whatever we want for 5 days, hang out and see what being a PCV is really like, and get to see what other parts of Mozambique actually look like.
Also, today we had our LPI, which is a language proficiency test, and we also had our round robin test of the technical/safety/medical/cultural information we have been learning since we got here.  I have to say that my LPI went surprisingly well, and my round robin left a little to be desired.  Overall, I don't think I'll have any problems.  This was a practice round, and we take the tests again at the end of training.  From the results of this test, they will probably change around language groups to make sure everyone is still  matched up with people at compatible learning levels. 
This week we also had our practical activities test, making sure we know how to do things like shred coconut, grind peanuts by hand, light a charcoal stove, etc.  I am the only girl in my current language group, so all the guys thought it was super amusing to tease me about the fact that it is most important for me to know how to do all of these things because it's "women's work".  The worst offender was my actual language instructor, because he actually lives in Mozambique and those are his personal beliefs.  He doesn't know how to do the things that we had to do, and he doesn't see anything wrong with that.  I am lucky because in my house, my host nephew Nando does these things with no problem, and in no way thinks that he is losing his masculinity because of it.  That day was certainly a learning experience.
Also, yesterday I got my first letter from the US, which is super exciting.  I was starting to get super frustrated with the mail system, but know I know that it IS possible to receive mail.  So that's exciting.  I just have to learn to have patience with it, which is difficult.  Mozambican time is all out of whack though, so the mail system shouldn't surprise me at all.
That's about all I have to say for now.  I'll be sure to update when I get home from site visits and tell you all about Chongoene. :)