on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Archive for the ‘IICD Massachusetts’ Category

Farewell Mountain!

In IICD Massachusetts on February 1, 2008 at 11:57 pm

And the August Team is off!

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The Official Assignment

In IICD Massachusetts on February 1, 2008 at 11:48 pm

I’ve finally received my exact placement. I’m off to Inhambane, Mozambique.
I’m excited.
It’s the area in Mozambique I wanted to go to. I’ll be right on the beach, the South Eastern coast overlooking the Indian Ocean.  I’ll be able to work on theatre projects with the kiddies.
Yay!

Tonight is our going away party. Tamika and I are also leaving the mountain tonight afterward. I can’t believe this chapter is closing. Our training is over and we will soon be leaving. It’s been a long seven months of training, studying, meeting new friends, fund-raising, and walking Berkshire hiking trails with black bears.

The Un-official August Team Send-off

In IICD Massachusetts on January 31, 2008 at 11:28 pm

Pictures from our pre-going away party yesterday. One of our team members, Rodrigo is leaving for Brazil today so we said goodbye last night.
We will meet him again at the airport in Joburg.

Wrapping Up

In IICD Massachusetts on January 29, 2008 at 11:25 pm
We had a big meeting today. Sunday will be the August Teams last day on the mountain. We leave for Mozambique on the 17th of February.
We’re flying South African airlines with a layover in Senegal and then onto our destination in Johannesburg.From Johannesburg, South Africa we’ll take a bus to Maputo, Mozambique (12 hours- the scenic route).

We’re literally wrapping up by finishing courses and having lots and lots of meetings.
On Thursday, I have a Portuguese language test that I must pass in order to go.
MERDE!!!!!! (At least I know all of the curse words!)
Saturday night we have our going away party!
Then, ate logo mountain!
ciao, ciao, ciao…

Getting Ready

In IICD Massachusetts on January 25, 2008 at 11:01 pm

I’ve been in the library studying Portuguese for the past two hours, and I just can’t shake the image of tarantulas feasting on my sleeping body.
I will explain.
Last night, after watching Hostel (which is another story altogether), a group of us (girls only) headed up to the lodge for a candid discussion of what it would be like to be a female in Angola or Mozambique. Three volunteers just returned from their posts in Mozambique and we sat around the fireplace snacking and listening to their cautionary tales. I have made a list of things to watch out for in Mozambique.

SOJOURNER’S FEAR LIST:
1) Poisonous snakes (referred to in Portuguese as cobras- not helpful)
2) Tarantulas (yes- Mozambique is literally home to giant hairy tarantulas that enter our huts through the cracks between the mud walls and the thatched roof).
3) Poisonous spiders (Not only do I apparently have to fear tarantulas, there are a host of poisonous and deadly spiders just waiting to feast on my sleeping body).
4) Scorpions (If a scorpion bites you, you’ve got a few hours to get to the hospital or else…)
5) Centipedes (Apparently centipedes like to hide out in peoples socks)
6) Flying cockroaches (Not only do they fly, but they are enormous, the size of birds)
7) Getting into a chappa accident (Chappas are large vans aka. public buses, that are overcrowded and in terrible condition. Chappa accidents are very common as the drivers apparently soar at astronomical speeds. A few Development Instructors have been injured. We just got news this morning that one of the Project Leaders in Angola was killed when she flew through the windshield of one of these lovely vehicles.)

That is my fear list. Those of you that know me, know how crazy I get when I see a regular sized roach/spider/centipede.
For the next six months, I will be facing my fears head on, literally.
eeeeehhhhhhhhhh…

Almost Finished

In IICD Massachusetts on January 23, 2008 at 10:58 pm

I just held my first morning course and it went very well.
;0)

I talked about pedagogy and learning styles and how to effectively teach teachers to be better educators. I was able to draw directly from my teaching experience in New York and of course good ole’ grad school notes.

Yesterday I went to the Salvation Army and held an art workshop with troubled youth. My specialization tasks are flying by (In order to go to our placement we have a series of 37 assignments to complete).

I am so ready to go…go….go……to (and i’m still adjusting to this notion) Mozambique!

Mozambique

In IICD Massachusetts on January 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm

Mozambique!

I am now going to be re-routed to Mozambique. I don’t know which city which is crucial, but I will have the same project so all is not lost.

Tamika will be going to Mozambique too. Hopefully we’ll be placed together?

Malawi or Mozambique?

In IICD Massachusetts on January 21, 2008 at 10:54 pm

Oi!
I’m back on the mountain after my fifth fundraising trip.
AND WE’RE FINISHED!
NO MORE FUNDRAISING!!!!!!

Thanks so much to my good friend Liza who held a benefit concert in Rochester on behalf of the August Team.

As excited as I am to be finished with my fundraising, I’m having a series of small heart attacks. I will not be able to go to Benguela. No Angola for me!
We are having too many worries when it comes to our VISA situation.
Now I must chose between Malawi and Mozambique. I know nothing about the placements in these countries yet I’ve got to make a decision by tomorrow.
Aaaaaggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Development Instructors

In IICD Massachusetts on January 10, 2008 at 10:52 pm

It’s still warm and pleasant outside. The snow has almost completely melted. Let’s hear it for global warming!
We got our vaccinations today. I actually was already up to date on all of my shots thanks to Ghana so I got my malaria pills and dysentary pills from the Travel Clinic and laughed at my teammates who had sore arms.
Tonight we will sign our contracts with Humana People to People and it will be official. We will be Development Instructors. We have survived the training! (almost…)

Decisions

In IICD Massachusetts on January 8, 2008 at 10:47 pm

The weather is warm!
It’s finally warm, really warm (60 degrees more or less). Very odd considering it is January, but I’ll take it.
The sun is out, the snow is melting, we’re about to re-apply for our VISA’s to Angola. Hopefully everything will work out. I’ve decided to give myself until March. If I don’t have my VISA by March I will opt to go to Mozambique.
I have also decided to do my camp future (follow-up period) in New Delhi India as opposed to my original idea of Brazil and then my secondary idea of South Africa.
Things are slowly coming together.
I will go to Maryland next week to finish my fundraising. I’ve got about $700.00 dollars left to fundraise and it’s completely possible.We’ve all been told to divide and scatter and do what we must to make goal. I’m going to go home to my mother and grandfather in Maryland where I can fund-raise in front of a few local Safeway grocery stores and return to DC.