Thursday, October 17, 2013

10/14/2013: Chega??

At first, I thought this weekend was potentially a weekend from hell (excuse my French). A cold has decided to take up residence in my chest and it makes life fairly miserable when I’m busy all day everyday. I didn’t want to do anything that was required of me. My language barrier with my mãe ruined all of my hopes and plans for the weekend and chores as simple as washing clothes here are actually secretly daylong workouts. I just took a step back and realized this is Africa, I’m in Africa and things are weird and sometimes I just sort of wander around having no clue what’s going on but I need to embrace it all.
Saturday was Dia do Profesor. We went to the Secondary School in Namaacha (at 6:30 am because they said there would maybe be a parade after…it’s Africa…things are random here and sometimes happen but sometimes don’t…it didn’t) to help clean the school with some students. It was pretty cool to be able to spend some time around a school and help with some beautification. I wish we had been able to do more.

Upon returning home, with my nose dripping all over the place and my head pounding, I was ready to crawl into bed. But my mãe was awaiting my arrival. It was time to learn how to do laundry. My God laundry here is a CHORE, legitimately, though I’m fairly sure my clothes have never been cleaner, they got quite the scrubbing and soaking thanks to my strong arms.
Sunday, I woke up feeling the worst I have felt since arriving here in Africa. Now, when I’m sick, I am 1. A big baby 2. Really grumpy and dislike people. But here, alone time is considered very strange. One doesn’t just sit in their room all day, sick or not. So my friend and I decided to follow through with our plan to make gumbo…cue language barrier frustration aka the straw that broke the camel’s back. We told my mãe many times that this was MY recipe and WE were going to make it. Naturally, I needed her assistance killing the chicken, and of course my other Bio teacher friends were more than willing to help me dissect said chicken. But after that, Salome and I felt we had the gumbo under control…but instead our food got cooked Moçambiquian style. I was fed up. I literally ran with my backpack and all of my books to the Science House (Biology Hub) to hide. And then I realized, my mãe didn’t know I knew how to cook. I don’t have the language skills yet to quite fully convey to her that I cook in America, it’s just very different so I need help with little tasks…like how the hell do I clean the intestine of a chicken and prepare the head for cooking?? But that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to cook food. So really, I’m not frustrated with my mãe, I’m frustrated with myself and the slow pace of learning a new language.

…I’m still craving some actual alone time. But I’m about to have 2 years of plenty of alone time so I’ll enjoy having a family while I can.
It’s amazing how here, the simple things…like walking to the little gas station that’s super far away and buying a bar of chocolate with my friends and laughing hysterically the whole way, can make things seem a whole lot better. We’re all in the same boat, but at least we have each other.

I have some lesson plans that will just simply not write themselves and speaking too much English makes me forget the little Portuguese I do have in my head. So até já!

1 comment:

  1. Moving to a new country and adapting to a new culture can be very difficult. When we move to Germany...AKA little America, my friends told me that it would take about 6 months to get adjusted. I didn't believe, since there is a large American community here and almost everyone speaks English. My friends were 100 true. It took me about 6 months to get used to life and the culture. Don't worry. You will have good days and bad but you will eventually get the hang of things and will eventually not even notice the bad. Hope you feel better and hope you have a better day!