A big goal of Phase II of pre-service training is getting to know your school. Although Kathryn and I have been to the school at least 5 times now, we’ve had a bit of difficulty getting a handle on our school, because it is basically 100% the opposite of what we were told it would be like in training. We had countless training sessions on how to deal with class sizes of 60+ students, lack of resources, students who don’t speak Portuguese, etc. But from what we have seen this week, it doesn’t aopear that these will be the same type of difficulties that we will experience at our school.
Our school is brand new, and is preparing to graduate its first class on December 5th. The students we have met are all extremely polite and have been very excited to speak with us. The school facilities are absolutely incredible. The typical school that volunteers go to are oftentimes plain rooms that sometimes have chalkboards sometimes have enough desks for all the students. In each classroom we have chalkboard, and more than enough desks for our 20-30 person classes. Our school has a natural sciences laboratory with tons of brand new, unused equipment, a computer lab with 30+ brand new computers, a music room, and a front office with computers and copiers for all the of the professors to use. We even have AC in some rooms!!
We were just as impressed by our future house as we were the rest of the school. Although it is pretty much completely unfurnished, we have three bedrooms, 5 beds, and huge screened and barred windows in every room. The best part about our house is that we actually have running water, including a flushing toilet and a hot water tank for the shower!!! Although I’ve grown accustomed to bucket baths and really do not mind them, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was pretty excited about the shower. We have a beautiful shaded back porch veranda with built in laundry station and a spigot for water.
Considering our site is pretty matu (bush, rural) I don’t really have a lot to complain about. We sure don’t have a lot going on in town, but we are right off the main road in our province. Two hours from Nampula City which is also our nearest Peace Corps office and two hours from Ilha de Mozambique and the coast. I’m super excited to continue to get to know our site, and all the cool places around it as well! This weekend we plan on going to Monapo, our district capital, with the nearest volunteers who live about a 15 miute drive away. This town has our nearest bank and also a much larger selection of food available, so we will probably be spending a lot of time there! According to the other volunteers the grilled chicken and squid in Monapo is amazing, and I’m super excited to eat anything but the dried fish, tomato paste and xima that has been my sustenance since arriving here.