My name is Leslie, and after a year in country, things are getting better vahkani vahkani (that means “little by little” in Makhuwa the local language) (which I don’t speak but I can greet people and I’m calling that good enough for now)
My students know me as Senhora Formadora (“Mrs. Trainer”) since I am supposedly training them to be teachers, while oftentimes struggling through the experience of being a teacher for the first time. Most students are shocked to hear that I am so young (23) have already graduated from college, and yet am single and have no kids.
My oddly specific volunteer Portuguese skills shock me everyday – I can name of each and every part of the reproductive system and explain how hormonal birth control works, yet I just learned the word for “sky” last week.
After a year, I no longer have to call my mom crying every other day, and I sometimes have sassy comebacks when people try to rip me off in the market.
My only regret is that I didn’t change my name to a Portuguese name before I arrived.
My name is Lesh.