Feb. 27, 2012 - Hello to all of my MOZAMBIQUE team mates. I am so excited that the time is getting near for us to be flying to such an exciting and interesting place. I never in my life thought I would ever be going so far away from home. I am neither an educator nor a student. But, someone who has loved to learn either by doing or reading. I am so open to learning how someone so far away from my home lives day to day. I know it will be a real eye opening experience and I hope to bring a lot of information home with me to share with who ever I may come in contact with. I have finished getting my shots and/or oral medications, except for starting the malarone. I believe I have finished buying all the items I think I will need (maybe some I don’t need)! But, the most important item was my mosquito net! See you see!!!!
Well, here I am. The last one bringing up the rear again. Where do I begin. I have had quite an eye opening experience that I never thought I would have. I couldn't even imagine what I would be seeing, even after reading as much as I did. The poverty level is so unbelievable, but there were a lot of wonderful smiling faces. We met Amado, an SU graduate. Quite an impressive young man. The day of our arrival, in the evening, we went to hear a group of young people sing.
We stayed at the United Methodist guest house in Maputo for 2 nights. It was a great experience. We could not have been welcomed any more than we were. We also met Naftar, a gentleman with United Methodist Church.
The first school we visited, Tsalala, was so overwhelming to me. The children were so well behaved and were just as interested in us as we were of them. There are 470 students during three sessions per day with just 7 teachers and 2 aides. We donated monies to the school, hopefully to purchase blackboards and chalk. In one of the classrooms, there were mothers of some of the students learning along with their children. Diane brought some school supplies an the biggest hit was the map of the USA.
Children were not turned away even if they could not pay.
That night back in Maputo, we learned how to play "spoons" a card game. A lot laughs were had by all!!
Left for Xia-Xia. Stayed in a great guest house right on the beach. All enjoyed the beach and the water. Went to dinner and had a good time. Lost power for a while, but it made it interesting. Visited Tinga school. This school had more rooms, but was still need great need of supplies, desks, etc. Had a tour of the facilities and met with some of the young girls that live there. Was able to purchase some items that the girls made. Learned how to wrap material to make a skirt. The students learned chemistry, biology, math, PE and other subjects.
Left for Chicoque guest house to visit the Chicoque Rural Hospital. This was quite distressing to me. But was quite impressed with the way things were taken care of with what they had the staff available. We did see a fairly recent baby. The mothers at risk that live far away, come and stay until the baby is born. There is a high rate of cesarean births and they are trying to cut that number down. As we were walking around the facility, unfortunately we saw someone that had passed away being wheeled to the morgue. As the director of the facility, the "circle of life". They have equipment, but no one to monitor them. HIV/AIDS is on the rise along with TB and malaria. Next to the hospital, there is an open area that is used as a "waiting room" for patients and/or family members of someone that are waiting for an appointment, but lives a far distance. Thee are some buildings, but mainly under the trees. Some stay days and some stay for months. Visited the Center for Hope, but due to no funds, no programs were available. Went back to the guest house and then down to the beach which was more of working beach (fishing) than a swimming beach.
Our final visit was at Cambine. This is a compound that is comprised of a guest house, school with classrooms, some with desks and some without. There is also a vocational school where there is agriculture and carpentry is learned. Was given a tour of the grounds where pigs and chickens were raised. We were shown the maternity building, library, church and the seminary. We met the students of the seminary and were treated to singing and questions and answers. The students showed us how to use a sickle to cut the lawn. It was quite a sight, some of us ( not me) attempting to use one. Our next facility was the orphanage where there are 60 residents, 0 - 25 years in age.
Several of my teammates were so in touch with the little ones that they did not want to leave them. There were 5 that were at the university. The children were there due to their parents either dying from diseases, the civil war or they just could not take care of them. The older ones helped to take care of the younger ones. Very sad to see all of these little people. We then returned to the guest house which was newly renovated. I believe my favorite stop was to Cambine.
We did take a ferry ride where we were able to go to an the indoor market, quite a place. We then started on our trip back to the guest house in Maputo. We stopped at a market on the way that was pretty impressive. Those in the group that wanted masks were able to get them at that time. All the masks were pretty interesting. We then went home for an evening at the guest house. Most played another new card game. This was a great way to end our last night in Maputo.
Sunday morning came and it was time to leave. John and Diane attended church at the church next. We then went to see where Amado works and then off to the airport.
For me, this has been an adventure far beyond any dream I could ever have. I thank everyone for allowing me to be a part of it.