The Big Cheese
October 28, 2012
Yesterday Carl Swartz, director for Peace Corps Mozambique, visited my site. He sat in on my photography group meeting and then took me to lunch afterwards. He was traveling around Niassa province since he had never been before; he started off in Lichinga and made his way down, my site being the last to visit before he went to Nampula province. It was really great having the head honcho of Peace Corps Mozambique visit, and not only because he brought me chocolate and cheese and bought me lunch! He was really interested to hear how I’ve been adjusting, how it is being the only volunteer in a new site, how work with my three (or more) orgs is coming along, and so on. I stopped to introduce him to a lot of the locals, and he was impressed at how many Mozambicans I know and am on good terms with. He said that one of the biggest differences between southern volunteers and northern volunteers is that the northerners tend to be more integrated. It makes sense since there are fewer volunteers up here, and fewer ex-pats from the States or European countries as well. I don’t really have a choice- if I want to socialize at site, it has to be with Mozambicans!
The photography group meeting went really well. My kids were excited to meet my boss and another American. They actually met two new “mecunias”, because Anthony, the volunteer in Cuamba, also came to visit. Carl had a lot of great questions for the group about our past and present projects, and the kids enjoyed showing him recent photos they’ve taken.
Carl left after only about three hours, but Anthony stayed the night and I had a good time continuing to show him around. We gorged ourselves on the cheese, managing to demolish about 98% of the block that night. Cheese is pretty much non-existent here in Mecanhelas, so I had to take advantage of having it while at the same time having no fridge! Then we lounged around watching Arrested Development, Community, and listening to Katy Perry.
Anthony left this morning, and now my only plans for today are to read and jot down some notes on the JUNTOS curriculum. I’m on the curriculum committee with two other volunteers, and we need to decide what changes we want to make on the education topics for next year’s workshops.