Well, it has been a while yet again. Time really seems to fly here… something I was not expecting at all. Here I am, over one year in Mozambique and less than one month from going home for a much needed Christmas break with family and friends in the States!
Last you hear from me I was traveling a lot and celebrating completing one year in country. Since then, my life has been packed with visitors, friends and of course… work.
The first of our PEDRA program visitors was a big one: the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique. I got an amazing opportunity to work with her office in planning her trip to my site, going out to dinner with her and then hosting her at my center to get to know my girls program. I was stressed out in the weeks leading up to the big visit, but it went off without a hitch. I think the Ambassador enjoyed herself and I know my girls had a great time talking to her. I was so proud of them. Some of the parents were even able to come speak on behalf of the PEDRA program, which made the visit that much more special. Besides the program itself, the U.S. Ambassador was interested in our financial situation. And so, she put me in contact with someone from PEPFAR for potential funding next year. Though I was a bit stressed during the whole ordeal, it was a great reminder of the life I led back home in politics… for a few weeks it felt like just another day at the campaign/ legislative office!
October was full of visitors at work. After the Ambassador, came our Canadian donors and shortly to follow them were our Kenyan donors working for an American organization. Along with these visits comes a lot of prep time and my second official job… translator. Because the word “hate” does not directly translate, I told me counterpart and co-worker that I detest translating and would die a happy woman if I never did it again. Fat chance! Written translation is mind-numbingly dull for me, but verbal, straight on conversation translating is simply a killer. By the end of one day I was left with a migraine, curled over wanting to throw up. I never had time to think and I felt like I had 10 people in my head at once! Though it is pretty cool to function with two languages at one time, I still think translating is the worse job ever!
In this past month I’ve also gotten to spend time with two of my closest friends from the group that got here a year before me. I’ve since said goodbye as now is their time to finish their service. I’m sad to see them go, but I’ve had some amazing times with them. It just makes me realize how special this whole experience really is and how such a great, but stressful and at times scary situation can bring people together from all over the U.S.
Now, I’m just in cruise control until I go home in a month. I’m planning on spending Thanksgiving at my site with other Peace Corps Volunteers and expat Americans.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving themselves and I’ll see you at Christmas time!