Hello my lovely readers!!! Hope your holiday season has been FANTASTIC!! I know I promised you a blog update with pictures of REDES bags available for purchase, but forgive me for I have been having the TIME OF MY LIFE! Of course I will give you all the deats in this pre-home coming edition of Ponderings. But first, a small topic to discuss….is it really hannukah?? Cuz this jew forgot….the most non jew of my friends (ashley), acutally had to remind me today via a skype convo that yesterday was the first night. Oy vey…what has Mozambique done to me?!
Even if you don’t want to read this whole post, please at least scroll to the end and see what your donations/bag purchases can do for my village in Mozambique!!! And look through the pictures…guarenteed they are worth it.
Not sure where we left off with the last post, but I believe it may have been the last days of school, post school exams, pre national exams. I mentioned that we would be hosting two Peace Corps Trainees for a site visit and that went AWESOME. Matt and Pam both got site placements in the North and recently swore in as PCVs so they are now officially official volunteers. I look forward to many a fun hangouts with them and all the other newbies!
Alright…so where to begin. Shortly after site visitors, Leah and I were left with little to do besides hang out all day, watch TV, read, and eat. And we did exactly that. Though two hours after it started, we were bored. Thankfully, after less then a week of this boredom nonsense, Benny came to the rescue! She was planning to spend a week fixing up her house at Chocas-Mar, one of the most beautiuful beaches up north. She invited Leah and I to tag along, so naturally, we did! Leah went for the whole week though I chose to go for only 3 days due to the impending arrival of Mac! Thats right, Mano Macky finally made it to the north. And it was Epic. His arrival in Nampula meant the beginning of our journey southward which would eventually end with our arrival in the states. So rather than dates and long descriptions, lets go via time line and picture format.
The travel group started off as Me and Mac, then grew to include Leah, Dylan, and Mike. We have come to call ourselves the “Big Five” with animal pairings as follows: Ariel – water buffalo, Leah – Rhino, Dylan - Elephant, Mike – Cheetah, Mac – Lion. What an epic journey we had.
Macky got to Monapo Friday Nov 16 and this is where the adventure starts.
Cards and beeeers in Ilha
Pizza, criancas, and Mac’s childhood friend in Pemba. (From here begins our trip south…Pemba was the northern most point we hit before beginning the treck home)
Thanksgiving in Chiure (at Dereky and Ericy’s humble mud and brick abode) – nearly 30 volunteers camping in the yards
The pilgramige to Alto Moloque (where Ariel and Leah both crumble from illness)
The boleia from hell and monsoon to Gorogoza
Homecoming and recovery in Mapinhane (with the ever wonderful Chris and Laurie Williams – or as we call them, Lion and LV)
Sunsets and travelers in Inhambane City
Scuba diving, white people, tipo tinto, and matapa in Tofo (what a magical place)
Lagoons and new friends in Quissico
A high ride to Maputo (plus swearing in, RPCV homestay, shopping, the fish market, and CHEESE). At this point, 55 hours of travel time was clocked from Pemba to Maputo. This does not include travel to and in Swazi.
A first time crossing the boarder – backpackers, game drives, and white water rafting in Swaziland. Plus official naming of the “Big Five”
Parting way in Swazi – the end of an epic trip and the true beginning of the home coming.
I am now in Maputo with Leah. We are crashing at an RPCV’s house who was a PCV in Morocco in the ’90′s. She now works for USAID and has the life that I hope to have someday. Tomorrow is a free day where I will probably spend all my remaining moneys on crafts and jewelry and other fun items. The following day, we have an 8 hour bus ride to Johannesburg where Leah and I will be staying with a friend of her family. And finally, on DEC 12 at 8 PM will be the big flight home! A/c, movies, food, my own seat. Its gunna be AWESOME.
Alright…now on to some REDES business! Here are some pictures of the bags I will be selling to make money for my upcoming year of REDES! We plan to use this money to buy more materials to make more bags, buy paint to paint the local pre school/make a mural, make group t-shirts, and go on educational trips around nampula province, among other things!
Each bag is $15, though I am willing to lower the prices if you don’t want to pay that much (I am a volunteer…I get it). Let me know which bag you like and I can reserve it for you. Other patterns also avaiable. If you don’t want a bag but would like to donate, that would also be awesome.
**IN LIEU OF CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THIS YEAR, PLEASE DONATE MONEY TO HELP PAY FOR MATERIAL TO PAINT A PRE-SCHOOL/TO PAINT A MURAL ABOUT GENDER EQUALITY IN MONAPO! ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO DIRECTLY TO MONAPO AND THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST! LET ME KNOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED!!!!**
So ends one journey but so begins another! Gunna miss my Big five but there are more countries to explore, more boleias to be had, more dances to do, and more challenges to conquer! Excited to come home and share my experiences of the past year with the people I love. Even more excited to come back to Mozambique and continue to build upon the foundation I have laid this past year.
Much Love to all my people, in Mozambique and the states and everywhere in between! Right now, I am one of the luckiest girls in the world and I am so thankful for the opportunities, experiences,and support received over this past year. Words obviously do not do justice to how life changing Mozambique has been for me so far. All I can say is be gentle with me when I come home ;) A washing machine may be overwhelming.