Aparna in Mozambique

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back to the basics

Yeah, so I'm back to Beira. Remember my mosquito problems last week? Well, they caused me to get very very little sleep. Consequently, I sprayed like crazy. They perished. I overslept on Sunday morning. I meant to get up at 5AM so that I could have my coffee, news, walk around and be totally sure that I didn't leave anything time. Instead I woke up at 6:30AM for my 7:30AM flight. I was shaking as I simultaneously brushed teeth, went to the bathroom, and called the taxi driver. He, of course, being in bed, sent his friend. Who was, of course, up and working. Which, of course, made me feel terrible, that he could get up to work, but I somehow fell asleep on top of my full volume alarm. It was very strange. Of course I had packed all but my PJs, a few loose items, and my toiletries, so it wasn't a big problem once I got out of the shock of moi being late. I did forget my little prayer card from the Hindu temple of greater Chicago that my dad gave me. Luckily I have a double (the one my mom gave me) in my wallet. So, really I didn't forget anything. I know, I am a total nut.

Got to Beira and jumped right back into the swing of things. The "girls" filled me in over lunch and at night I went to prep with the Prof. that I'm working with for our Monday plan. We had all the materials done and all meetings set by yesterday and today we did our first two focus groups with students. We talked about HIV/AIDS knowledge, services at the university, and what the university's role should be in providing for its students but also in the dissemination of information. The most important thing that came out was that the students know a lot. Not surprising. But they also confirmed that hey, there is a ton of info, and everyone in Mozambique has access to it, albeit at different levels. But, because there isn't dialogue, people don't do anything differently. And they don't ask questions. And they still don't know the answers to everything. In lots of ways, just having a chance to interact with others, talk things out, makes a big difference. One of the most rewarding things anyways that I felt about group youth work. And it was nice to be with students. My favorite part was at the end of our group when one of the girls said, wow, I never thought I'd be sitting in a room with teachers from Germany and the US talking about HIV/AIDS in Mozambique. Go figure. That silly globalization. At it again.

Speaking of which, tonight I am going for Chinese food with my Beira girls minus one. I am so excited. Actually my mouth is watering. Yes, Chinese food in Central Mozambique. Amazing. And behind my house is a mosque. Actually in front. The call to prayer is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. Every time I hear it, I stop what I'm doing. And basically wish I knew what they were saying. But, still enjoy it. A nice little break out of whatever I'm doing that is probably less important. I am wondering right now if it is the same person that leads the call to prayer every single time....not entirely sure. I'll try and figure that one out at some point this week.


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