I woke up yesterday morning’s febrile, diarrhoeal, and worst of all, homesick. After only 5 days in my new town, it was hard not to feel exhausted and a little lonely. I debated not even going to school in the morning and just laying in bed to rest, there was nothing I wanted to do less than have to stop and greet every single person I encountered on my 30 minute walk to school.
While my host family is awesome, there is a serious lack of privacy which has made everything from calling home to bathing to sleeping just a little more difficult. I’ve also been too scared to drink the muddy brown water that comes out of the well in our backyard, and had been rationing the 6 liters that I brought with me from Nampula, which probably left me dehydrated adding to my unhappiness.
I decided I could no longer support my bottled water habit and decided to suck it up and boil and bleach some water, even if it was still pretty cloudy. It actually didn’t taste as bad as expected, and without feeling so restricted, I ended up drinking 4 liters of water during the course of the day.
After our morning at school, during which I was still feeling pretty miserable I returned home, chugged a ton of cool water, ate a papaya, and ended up taking a 90 minute nap. Kathryn and I trekked back to school in the afternoon sun, and finally were able to watch classes take place at the IFP.
Up until this point, I’ve felt more nervous about teaching than anything else. My Portuguese isn’t great, I don’t know the curriculum, and I have never really taught before. After watching classes this afternoon, and meeting with some of my colleagues who will be teaching natural sciences with me, I began to feel really excited about the subject! Our school is a primary school teacher trainer instute, which means all of our students will go on to teach 1st-7th grade. For my natural science classes, many of the topics are things we may consider “common knowledge” or just general life skills (e.g. why you should cook food throughly, or brush your teeth) but are really important to teach kids, especially kids who may not have parents who attended school who cannot teach them at home. Looking at the curriculum made me feel not only excited, but also like I could potentially handle this. I walked home feeling like an entirely different than I did when I had walked to school that morning. I was excited to hit everyone I passed with a “Hali!” (Everything good? In the local language of Macua) and laugh back when they laughed at my awful pronounciation of the response.