Aparna in Mozambique

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Tossing and Turning....

Hello my dear readers,

Well, no pictures this week I hate to say....yes, more than 2 weeks in Maputo and still no pictures...

It's a hot hot Sunday morning in Maputo and I, am happily sitting in my pajamas in my apartment drinking coffee and trying to come up with interesting things to post on the blog. If only I posted more frequently, there wouldn't be the pressure to write life changing posts....but alas, during the week I've been caught up in a whirlwind of trying to see and do everything there is to do in Maputo.

But, still, I find that I've been unable to sleep, because I feel somehow funny about my place here. I've been thinking back to my time last year in Malawi. Mozambique is certainly not challenging in the same way that I was challenged last year. Mozambique has a relatively higher percentage of middle class persons and so I don't always feel like an oddball out. Still, I am losing sleep on my place in this city.

I have the job of my dreams really. At least its what I always thought that I wanted to do. I am planning a rapid health assessment for a project, I am organizing a study on HIV/AIDS knowledge in May, and in June I am teaching public health. Yes, lecturing in portuguese at the university and looking forward to the patience of the students. Still, I feel unsatisfied. I feel "chic," like a trendy development worker that I don't really think I am. Isn't the point of my fellowship to be an academic, to engage in the pursuit of knowledge?? I keep reminding myself that before you can begin thinking you need to observe, you need to read, you need to learn. I feel like I am not doing enough. I could be volunteering on the weekends for example? I'd be more of a burden than a blessing and I'd leave in 6 months. I could be doing personal research. But I'd again be a burden and don't know enough yet to go on my own. So where does that leave me? I have to be satisfied with my place and appreciate that I really am contributing something, its just not clear to me yet what that is.

Maybe it is also that I am having a mid-20s revelation....wow, I am coming to a point in my life where I actually have to choose something for a while and stick to it. That was of course brought on by my rejection from a PhD program that I applied to....I was pleasantly surprised that I actually felt happy at my rejection. That is when I realized, its not really what I want to do!! What a great and liberating feeling. Also a little scary. But one door closed, another one opens right? I know that I want to be back in the states in the fall and most likely to continue to study, but something more clinical. So although we can't always be 100% sure of what we want to do, we can be sure of the things we don't want to do. Being rejected was a good thing and I'm happy that it happened to me.

Other than that, there is not much going on in my part of the world. I've been reserving my weekends for reading but am very distracted by the blistering heat....wish I could go to the beach but have found that very little can happen without a car....surprise surprise.....

Looking forward to hearing your latest updates!

Cold thoughts,


Blogger The Bear Maiden said...

You know, you don't have to be productive and giving *every second*.... :) sometimes you just need to "chillax". You were in a totally different country last year, working really hard and maybe you're only now processing all that. It's OK to be a slacker sometimes :)

Ah, blistering heat. It's still cold in NYC... no real signs of spring altlhough DST has started. I miss heat... I miss the beach :) I wish I was where you are :)

12:21 AM  
Blogger viarota said...

Good for you, Aparna. At least you won't have this response to why most Americans could not find Iraq on the map:

"I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, uh, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our [children]."
- Caitlin Upton, Miss South Carolina Teen USA

10:55 PM  

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