Lots of smiles this week had to do with our many festas, or parties. First was Thanksgiving at our Country Director’s house in Maputo. Alex and I had matching clothes made, as is the trend for married couples in Mozambiqe. We enjoyed all the traditional American food we could have asked for: turkey, potatoes, green beans, cran sauce, pie…you name it.
The second festa this week was our big group despedida, or going away party. There was a chicken killed for every host family…that’s 61 chickens. In addition to this, we were fed all of the traditional Mozambican food we could have asked for: rice and beans, matapa (leafy green sauce), xima (like thick porridge..), potato salad (which they just call ‘mayonnaise’..if that gives you a hint of what it’s like), french fries, plus wine, beer and soda.
After this we headed out to the Namaacha bar, where the owner had promised us a pig roast for dinner. This did not happen and everyone was hangry. After a few hours Alex and I left with two other volunteers and had a very pleasant turn of events that involved chicken, rice and beans, chilled champagne, beer on tap, Jack Daniels, and real coffee. We passed a few more hours at this magical house of a host family relative, feeling confused and utterly elated.
That’s at least three smiles. But one more smile this week was due to the fact that I was finally able to switch malaria medication. I had been feeling very emotional on my first medication and am looking forward to starting to feel like myself again on this new, more mellow med!
I honestly feel like this was the easiest week that has passed since arriving…there weren’t many struggles. Today is our very last day of training and tomorrow we lose our Peace Corps trainee status and swear-in as official Peace Corps Volunteers. We are looking so forward to getting to site, but the small struggle with this is that most of the people I have gotten close to during training are headed to the far northern provinces of Mozambique, while we are staying in the south. While I know I may not see these wonderful people for a while, having friends all over the country is a beautiful thing, and being placed near people I haven’t had the chance to get to know is a great opportunity to get to know them.