3 Smiles and a Struggle: Site Placement, A Waterfall Hike, Reading with the Neighbors, and Feeling Worn Out

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The first smile this week was on Wednesday, when we got our site placement. Alex and I are so excited to know that we are going to be living in Mapinhane, Inhambane for the next two years. The tension and stress in the group leading up to site placement day was palpable, but it’s so nice to know where we are all going. I visited Mapinhane last week for site visits, and am looking forward to moving there and introducing Alex to our new home. December 4th is moving day!

More or less, we are the blue star!

More or less, we are the blue star!

After the buzz of site placement this week, we got to relax yesterday on a hike to Namaacha’s waterfalls. Because there has been no rain, there was not waterfalls. But the rock walls surrounding the small lake that the waterfalls usually flow into was quite pretty in its own right and it was nice to get out of the house and out of town a bit. We spent a couple of hours here with a big group of friends, sweating in the shade, exploring, chatting, and watching local kids jump off the rocks.

The Namaacha cascata. It is rumored by locals that if you get too close to the water you will hear voices calling you and be compelled to go in, only to be swallowed up and never seen again. We all made it back alive.

The Namaacha cascata. It is rumored by locals that if you get too close to the water you will hear voices calling you and be compelled to go in, only to be swallowed up and never seen again. We all made it back alive. Photo cred to Alex Romanyshyn

The third smile this week started with children’s voices outside our window at 7:30 this morning requesting a banana. It was irritating. It is our only day off and I wanted to sleep in. We ignored it for awhile, until they started peering through the curtains and giggling. Alex was the first to get up and greet Winnie and Lulu, our favorite neighborhood friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. But I was sleeping. Anywho, once I was able to pull myself out of  bed and make a joke about it, things were on the up and up. I gave them a copy of Crysanthemum in Portguese, which they spent a while reading on the porch steps. I cooked breakfast while they took pictures of each other and the book. They colored while we ate. Then they played with my hair for about an hour, painted my nails and toenails, and we went to drink sodas at the community center. All in all..lots of smiles.

Photo credit to Winnie.

Photo credit to Winnie.

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The struggle this week was just a general feeling of being worn out physically and mentally. We are in the homestretch of training and everyone is a little drained. It’s getting harder and harder to get rested and rejuvinated (see above: 7:30a.m. banana requests) after being in class all week and half of Saturday every week. After site visits we all got a taste of what we are going to be doing and after site placements, I think I am not alone in saying that we are excited and antsy to get started.

Coming home from the cascatas.

Coming home from the cascatas.

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