I don't know how this is all happening so fast. We are on to the second half of the second trimester, meaning that the school year is halfway over. I have been in Messica just about 6 months and in Mozambique over 8 months. My family will be coming to visit in less than 6 months and then I will be home for Christmas. It is seriously insane to think about. My Peace Corps service is just about a third of the way over. What?
Things have been pretty busy here as last week was testing week (and grading week) and this week starts a new section of material. In 5 more weeks the dreaded provincial exams will be upon us again (God, help me) and then we will have a two week break from school in which I will be attending a Peace Corps conference and visiting some Peace Corps friends. Other events that are coming up include a Mozambican wedding next Saturday in Messica (blog to come about that, I'm sure), a trip to Malawi in a few weeks, and ultimately the JUNTOS workshop that we're hosting in Messica at the end of June.
Although my JUNTOS group has kind of been a failure, the group that already exists at the school as a culture group is eager to participate in the initiative, which ends up working out quite well. The goal of JUNTOS is to have these groups independent of volunteers, and conveniently enough this group in Messica is already functioning quite well without me. So my focus right now is planning the workshop for the end of the month which is a quite a lot of work (especially when you're trying to organize things in a country you've been in for 8 months and in Portuguese). Students will be coming from 5 different schools in the province of Manica to spend the whole weekend here in Messica and discuss different issues regarding health, gender equality, self esteem, and other relevant topics. I have arranged some ladies from the Catholic church to come to the school and do all of our cooking for the weekend. I will be going into Chimoio with them to buy most of the supplies in a couple of weeks. Overall the planning is going pretty well, and hopefully the weekend will go off without a hitch.
Besides planning the JUNTOS workshop, I have been busy with school and church. Last month was the month of Mary, so I was at the church at least 4 days a week in the evenings after school to teach the ladies how to make rosaries. We have almost finished all of the 6 rolls of rosary twine sent from the states, and am trying to find a supplier of something from here we can use which is proving to be pretty difficult. As I already mentioned last week was testing week, which was pretty stressful because there was no power at the school to make copies, so I ended up having to go to Manica to print the tests. I accidently told the guy printing the wrong number of copies so I was about 20 copies short. It was quite an adventure, and I honestly hope to never be that stressed out again on a testing day. All of my students told me that my test was really hard, and their scores confirmed that, although one student in my letras turma only missed one question out of 25, so I'll count that as a win. Also a colleague told me she heard my students talking about me. She said they said, “Professora Ana is a good teacher, but she's really strict when it comes to tests.” Can't even tell you how happy that makes me.
Oh! Also I would like to welcome the 20th group of volunteers to Moz! They arrived last week and are now in Namaacha for their ten weeks of training. It feels like yesterday I was in their shoes. Insane! Anyway, it's super weird not to be the newbies in country. So excited to meet them all!
Life's just been rollin' along and it doesn't seem like it'll be slowing down anytime soon.