Sunday, June 22, 2014

6/22/2014: The Winds of Change Are Blowing

It's been a very hectic few weeks for me.
I'm going to say up front, some of my update news is not great. Some of these winds of change are blowing in some mighty storms and we are batting down the hatches for what's about to come. I won't talk too much about it as it's all still in the beginning process and we don't have many answers and ideas...or unfortunately even knowledge about what's going on.
I'll start with the storm so I can end with the light, fun, sailing winds of change.
Unfortunately for the past few weeks my roommate and I have been having increasing struggles with the people we live with. There have been some cultural clashes with expectations, lifestyles, habits, etc. We had thought we rose above the struggles and were finally finding some common ground and starting to find our place in our housing complex and at school. Sometime last week, we got the news that while on the surface we have found common ground, there is deep negative feelings towards us and we're not really sure what our future is like here right now. That's all I'll say about that because we are seriously lacking in information. But we are meeting with some people from Peace Corps to help us find the best course of action that will work for us as well as our school and our school director. Meanwhile, if you can keep us in your thoughts and prayers. This place has become HOME for both of us, our surrogate families are here, our lives are here, and we love our school. When I came here I said "Yea, I don't know what I'm doing in 2 years" was ok to not have a plan for post Peace Corps, I never thought to have a plan for during my time. So that's what we're getting to face right now. When I have news that we are ready to share, I will.
Onto some bigger and better changes.
I was elected the Maputo/Gaza Provinces Coordinator for REDES. I'm very excited about this opportunity, it's at the root of my real personal reasons for being here. REDES is an organization that works with girls in our villages to teach empowerment, income generation, HIV/SIDA, and independence. To me, yes I am here to teach, but really I wanted to come here to work with these girls and see changes happen even with just one or two girls because they'll be role models for their daughters and so on. I am very excited to be the coordinator and work to increase volunteer involvement, Mozambican counter part involvement, and numbers of REDES groups in our provinces.
I also was SO LUCKY to get to see my best friend in the Peace Corps. Jules lives in the North and because of security travel bans, we can't travel by land between North and South and with school and living on a volunteer income, it is almost impossible to fly without going on official Peace Corps business. BUT. She was brought down to Maputo and I got to spend a long weekend with her! I didn't think I would get to see her until January so it was very exciting!! I was so lucky to get to spend time with her. While we were together we noticed the new trainees (yes, that's a whole different change, hey??) were in Maputo, meaning the training village was empty! (We're not allowed there when trainees are there) and we said hi to our host families. When I left, my host mae and I were still struggling with our conversations, there was still a lot of acting and miscommunication. But when I saw her now we sat and talked for hours catching up about life! She and I were both so proud and excited.
So...that's life here in the village, nice and hectic as usual!
Life is always about the adventure, that's for sure.

Me and Jules, reunited :)

My host mae, irma, and irmao. We were all so happy to see each other
Me and some of my girls from school! They make me so happy, even when they frustrate me

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