Monday, June 6, 2011
Yes, we adopted a puppy. And he is awesome.
Our friend’s dog had puppies two months ago, and we promptly reserved the cutest male of the litter (we don’t want to have to deal with pregnant dogs or puppies…) and he was finally handed off to us about a week ago.
His name is Bowzer and he is currently learning how not to pee in the house and the standard dog commands. We are planning on teaching him the dog commands in Portuguese so that ostensibly the neighborhood kids can also tell him to sit and stay, meaning they will hopefully not throw rocks at him as is the fate of most Mozambican dogs. I have also recently become truly obsessed with my cement floors, since they make cleaning up after a non-house-trained dog quite easy.
In other news, the unit we are doing in class is “Made in Mozambique,” aka buying local products. In order to introduce the unit, I brought in a grab bag of items from our house and we played a guessing game about which items were made in Mozambique and which items were not while simultaneously learning new vocab. It was easy to find food items that were grown here, as most produce is, but finding packaged items not imported from South Africa proved more difficult. The three items I found in our house that were actually manufactured in Mozambique were beer, cigarettes, and condoms. Telling? I think so.
The Catholic secondary school near where I live had some big festa last weekend that I went to mostly for the free food and Mozambican church music (so pretty). I got to meet one of the two bishops that oversee my province of Zambezia. And get served pig. No, not pork. I say pig because a platter was brought to me with a roasted pig’s head on it. To not offend, I asked for a little, and was promptly given a humongous piece that was 99% pure fat. Lovely. We also went early to help set up for the “banquet” luncheon, and were put in charge of making the potato salad. Apparently, according to the nuns, I did not lather on a sufficient helping of oil or mayonnaise. Sorry I’m not sorry.
We fired our empregada, cleaning lady, because she a) does a terrible job cleaning the house and b) steals from us. So out she goes. But now we will be doing all the chores ourselves (except we will outsource clothes-washing because I am terrible at it and really have no desire to improve). The only chore I am really not looking forward to is sweeping the dirt in front of my house with a reed broom. One of the girls in my girls group asked me the other day during our meeting if I had a broom. I said yes, and she told me I needed to do a better job sweeping. Apparently you are not allowed to have leaves fall from your trees in front of your house. But maybe I will learn how to make cool patterns in the dirt like all the Mozambican women. Definitely a useful and applicable life skill.
And finally, I have an abscess on my left bicep. Did I know what an abscess was before coming to Mozambique? No, I did not. It is quite unattractive and prompts the majority of Mozambicans to make a comment. But hey, at least they have stopped commenting on my infected-mosquito-bite-ridden legs. But no, random Mozambican stranger, I do not know why I got an abscess and nor do I want to go to the local hospital to get it drained (I know, gross). I am just hoping it doesn’t get worse so I don’t have to go to the Peace Corps doctor to get it taken care of. Just add it to the list of weird skin infections that are the plight of Mozambique.
My girls group had an exchange with another girls group this weekend. True to form, 8 girls showed up at my house at 7:00am on Saturday, when we had found out at about 6:58 that the guy we had asked to drive us has malaria and thus cannot take us anymore. So, we went to the road to wait for a truck to drive by with enough space to take us to our destination. We were very lucky and got a ride after only a few minutes. As my friend always says about Mozambique, “Things do not go well. They just go better than expected.” But, we had a good day of playing games, cooking lunch (tacos and pizza with homemade cheese!), and doing some activities about gender and HIV/AIDS. Overall, it was a great day. And I will never fail to be impressed by the work ethic of Mozambican women. We said, hey, let’s wash the dishes and 4 girls jumped up and completed the task. I said, hey, we have to walk to the road and wait for a ride, and the girls took it amongst themselves to carry all the food, pots, and pans, and even a crate of sodas on their heads.
Showing off their tortilla making skills
The new Man of the House, Bowzer