I'm finally DONE packing! T-7 hours and 57 minutes until we are off to the airport! I can't wait to start this journey with my fellow GCPers. I'm so excited, it is going to be so different and eye-opening. This may seem trivial but I'm most worried about showering ( buckets? :o ) However, I'm thrilled to have been chosen to be part of this amazing program and experience such a life changing trip!
Our trip to Mozambique was very different than what I was expecting. At our first meeting, Jay mentioned that we would be going into the "bush" which was both exciting and concerning because I had no clue what that would include. However, Mozambique proved to be beautiful and the people were generally very pleasant and excited to meet us.
My favorite experience of the trip was our visit to Xia-Xia. The guest house we stayed in was amazing and right on the beach. We had a whole private beach to enjoy. This was the time that our group bonded the most. Being able to unwind from the bus travel and have fun together in the ocean was one of my most memorable experiences. After spending the evening on the beach, we went out to dinner at a hotel that was close by. Spending two hours at dinner talking was one of the best ways for our group to come together and really get to know each other and form friendships. Jolene was even hit on by a guy who ordered her passionfruit mousse. (haha) Calling her a "flower for a flower" The time in Xia-Xia was so nice, everyone was able to relax and be themselves and take in the beautiful scenery. The unplanned ferry trip to Inhambane, proved to be a great experice as well, with our first trip to a large market. Barganing is the hardest part of shopping and although I wasn't quite sure how to make my way around the market when we first arrived, I was a bartering expert by the time we left!
The aspect that made the most impact on me was the state of many of their establishments, such as schools and hospitals. The hospital that we visited shared with us that their doctors, nurses, and even physical therapists sometimes work 24 hour shifts and are often responsible for large amounts of patients that don't allow sufficient care. Many of the schools were lacking in supplies as well. One of the schools taught over 700 students and had only three classrooms, one of which did not have desks. The remaining students sat outside under a tree with a portable blackboard. Details as simple as desks and adequate staffing in hospitals make me realize how lucky we are at home to take things like this for granted. Although it is tough, I admire the teachers and doctors who selflessly work to better their country despite lack of wages or supplies.
On a happier note, there are many small details that are memorable, including teaching the group how to play spoons, learning how to tie capillanas (traditional skirts) from girls at a school, or connecting with the orphans we visited, our Mozambique trip has taught not only how to be global citizens but how to apprectiate how much we take for granted in America. Last, but not least, our trip taught us to be FLEXIBLE, which turned out to be our trip theme, considering not everything may go as planned but you never know where your trip will take you.