on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Why are Celine Dion and Brian Adams so popular here?

In Mozambique on March 19, 2008 at 7:47 am

I locked myself out of my room first thing this morning. It was crazy! I’m usually so together and never lose things or lock myself out of places, but not this morning. As soon as the door slammed behind me, my heart sank. I was on my way to the shower at 5:30am, wearing only and I emphasize ONLY my capolana (thin sarong-like patterned piece of fabric).

Tracy left last night for her two week investigation period. Tina was out jogging. I panicked. I tried to pick the lock with a bobby pin, I tried to pick the lock with a match stick (don’t ask), I tried to pick the lock with a knife from the kitchen table – nothing. I slammed my weight against the door, it didn’t budge. Nothing worked, it was secure and I have no breaking and entering skills. I was forced to do what I didn’t want to do. I went next door, knocked on my neighbors window to ask if they had a spare key. Only, I didn’t know the word for key in Portuguese, nor did I have my speech prepared and I stood there sputtering and muttering like a nervous idiot. I was miming and the man looked at me like I was completely out of my mind. I convinced him to follow me into my house so I could show him my problem and he said something rapidly in Portuguese and left. I was so afraid that I would have to go to work in my capolana. Then one of the little servant children came over with a key, a key that fit perfectly into my key hole and just like that, my life was back on track.

As of tomorrow I will be alone :0(
I’m already alone at work. Tracy has gone on a two week investigation period. Tina leaves tomorrow morning for Maputo. I don’t want to be all alone in my house. It’s so difficult because we hitchhike everywhere which is fine if you are two or three, very safe and common, but very stupid if you are one. The chapas don’t run after six so I can’t really go anywhere. Walking late at night I love and it’s fine if you are two or three, but completely stupid once again if you are one. I am one! And I have no idea what I will do if a bug enters our house. Lately all has been well. The weather has been so cool and breezy compliments of the cyclone. I’m wearing a sweatshirt right now because it’s around 65 degrees. So I haven’t seen as many bugs which I’m thankful for. It’s just lonely being in the teacher’s room alone. I did have conversations with the teachers this morning in Portuguese so on the up side maybe my Portuguese will improve.

My work load has picked up. I am actually working. It’s not bad. On Tuesday and Thursday mornings I work on the machamba (farm). I spend my mornings planning lessons and correcting papers or to be perfectly honest reading. I just finished “The Omnivores Dilemma” by: Michael Pollen, very good. Now I’m reading “Notes from a Small Island” by: Bill Bryson. It’s so funny, I can’t stop laughing aloud. On Monday evenings I lead an English club. My students are learning and analyzing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds,” It’s really fun. I run around directing them like a conductor with a pencil.

On Thursday mornings I hold a formal English class. The students are very attentive in the mornings, I just wish they’d ask more questions and have stronger personalities. But this really isn’t about me, so I’ll let it go. In the afternoons Monday through Thursday, I follow the students into the rural villages to watch them student teach and I give them pedagogical notes. I also got my Drama Club, we meet sporadically in the evenings. The students are putting on an educational drama about child abuse which demonstrates how to effectively deal with the problem. It’s good. It is of course in Portuguese and I can’t give them their notes until the next day because I have to go home and translate my acting critiques but it’s good. I am actually reminded of how much I love directing and I miss my old students (the ambitious actor wanna-be ones). It was such a pleasure to direct them and help them to realize their potential. A lot of what I say here gets lost in translation, I don’t feel the same connection. I don’t feel as though I’m a part of organic creation. I feel more like an observer than a participant. Hopefully things will change. We have entered a competition which will take place in two weeks that may qualify us for a national theatre festival. Cross your fingers for us. We’re trying to get there.

Otherwise all is well. No illness, no injuries, well except for the puncture wound I took to the toe yesterday while working on the agriculture project. I had to perform minor surgery on myself to remove a large thorn from my toe with my eyebrow tweezers. It broke in half so half is still impaled in my big toe. I’m hoping it will work itself out like a splinter. Luckily I came prepared with a large first aid kit, so I’m keeping it clean and covered.

I’m just going a little crazy here because everywhere I go for some bizarre reason people are blasting the worst Western music ever. Celine Dion, Brian Adams, The Backstreet Boys, they are all so popular here. I have no idea why. It’s like they imported all of the crappy music nobody in the West will listen to anymore and decided that it should be idolized. Everywhere I go, one of these ill fated musicians follows me. I’m in the teachers office right now and they are playing some awful Celine Dion ballad. The worst is when people decide to sing along really loudly but they don’t really know the words so they are muttering and grunting to the already awful song. Time to take a deep breath, channel my inner ohm and try my best to tune everything and everyone out.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: