3 Smiles and a Struggle: Our First Moz Wedding, Permagardening, A Rainy Day, and Motivation

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Mae's cooking for wedding reception number one.

Mae’s cooking for wedding reception number one.

“Vamos ir o casimento, sabado ate domingo.”

We will go to a wedding, Saturday until Sunday, Mae told us earlier this week. I asked if it lasted all night Saturday. No. We were told there would be a small party Saturday and a big party Sunday. We arrived at a house on Saturday at about 1 and were led into a kind of car port to sit with the other white people. There were three other volunteers attending this wedding reception as well and we were sitting under the cover of a roof, out of the rain. After a couple minutes I wandered around to the back of the house to talk to the mae’s while they cooked. Our mae had been cooking and preparing for this wedding all week, along with many others.

A couple of hours later, the bride and groom arrived in a procession of honking vehicles full of shouting people. They were led into the ‘car port’ with lots of singing and dancing. Here they sat for many hours while various wedding parties performed dances for them, singing all the while in the local langauge, Chengana. We were fed a lot of food: chicken, rice, potatoes, french fries, green beans, regular beans, and something that looked like a rubbery organ..which I opted not to eat and instead hid it under some chicken skin when I was finished with my plate. Five hours later, we were soaked from the rain and wrapping up Casimento Part 1.

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Sunday, we went to a different house for Casimento Part 2. There were more people than the day before, and there was lots more singing and dancing. Today was the day that gifts were presented to the couple. Various groups of people would dance the gifts up to the bride and groom, while singing in Chengana. We were fed a lot again, and had wedding cake this time around. Smiles for our first Moz wedding!

Friday and Saturday morning we attended probably the most interesting classes yet in training. These classes were all about permagardening, and we worked in teams to create small gardens at different sites in Namaacha. These gardens are designed to be high yield gardens that work within the Mozambican climate and use local resources to create compost and improve the health of the garden.

I plan to write more about the steps of permagardening when we get to site and attempt to start our own garden.

Making compost using dried leaves, old cabbage, dried manure, and water.

Making compost using dried leaves, old cabbage, dried manure, and water.

We planted corn, kove (like kale), tomatoes and beans in the garden I worked on.

We planted corn, kove (like kale), tomatoes and beans in the garden I worked on.

Lastly, we are pretty happy to be listening to loud, rolling thunder right now, enjoying cooler temperatures and the coziness of rainy weather. 🙂

A fog settled over Namaacha on Saturday evening, reminding me all at once of fall in the mountains and of Pucara, Ecuador.

A fog settled over Namaacha on Saturday evening, reminding me all at once of fall in the mountains and of Pucara, Ecuador.

The struggle this week has been with attitude and motivation. As we near the end of training, it seems that all of us and our teachers have lost a lot of motivation. For those that passed the Portuguese test already, our language teachers have gotten more lax and we are finding it hard to stay motivated. Other sessions have been cancelled or cut short. In a group of 61, attitude is contagious, whether negative or positive. Along with many others, I have struggled to stay motivated and positive this week.

Afternoon thunder clouds over Namaacha.

Afternoon thunder clouds over Namaacha.

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