Friday, May 18, 2007

I'm back! I promise!

Hey all! I know...I''m horrible! I haven't updated in AGES and I promise I'll work on that ASAP. I have a long break coming up in July and I plan on spending ooodles of time fixing this one or creating a new one, on myspace. I had soooo many problems last year uploading pictures that yes, I gave up :( Ok, so here goes the short details of my life. Sorry, but I don't have much time now. Upcoming break in July: either I am planning to go back to Swaziland or go to Capetown in South Africa. There is a Korean boy visiting the Pastor. He is from Capetown, so now I have a free place to stay if I want to visit! ANd he has a car, which makes a world of difference when you're visiting a new country! I also have a break in August, when I'm planning to travel with my friend Ian (maybe) north through Moz and into Malawi. These are not at all finalized plans, but I have too much time off to sit at home! Besides, for some odd reason I have an extra 7 million in my account, which amounts to about $300...lucky me! Sorry, sorry gotta go, but I will be back soon.

Love you all!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

hello friends

Hello all! Sorry it's been so long..time flies as you get older. Speaking of, i'm going to be 29 on June 28th! Epah. So old. Life is good here. Good people, good friends. Met some cool chics in Maputo. Nina is Mozambican and Erica is Candian. Now i have places to stay when i come to maputo, which i have to say is alot! They are super nice girls and i look forward to hanging out with them more. Erica is vegan and is going to take me to the natural food stores in S. Africa. I am excited. I've wanted to go down to S. Africa, but haven't wanted to go alone.

Right now is winter break...and i have 1 month off!!! I am leaving next week to visit my friends in Gaza and Inhambane province. We have a holiday at the end of the month so about 20 volunteers are getting together for camping, bbq fun. Should be a blast...if we don't freeze our asses off. It's winter here now..and damn cold!! I wear long johns, long sleeve shirt and socks to bed and am usually still cold. Just bought a blanket. The problem is insulation. The houses are not insulated and because it's only cold 4 months of the year people don't have heat...and most of the time large cracks under the door. Some houses don't even have doors.

Let's see...other than that teaching is better. I have to remember sometimes to give myself a break. I am always too hard on myself. Living in Mozambiwue i've realized that Americans take things too seriously. I know this is a generalization...but it seems true. I worry about things too much. It's such a different mentality here. If i take a breath, don't worry too much about teaching perfectly and don't let "teaching" consume all my time..i really enjoy living in Africa. are you all? Anything new in life? I still like getting emails..? Pictures?

Take care,

Love malia

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Teaching is tough...

Hi all! Sorry I haven't uploaded any pictures lately...the site is not letting me and I don't know why yet. Anyhow, I've been busy with classes...finally. Teaching is tough though. I'm stressed with my 3 classes and I just found out I will be teaching the other 2 classes of 8th grade. Ahhhh! Maybe I'll manage my time better..always seem to when I am super super busy. I just gave the first test. The students did well, although if they studied they should have done perfectly because I told them EXACTLY what would be on test. I'm still having a problem with the noise..may use a whistle as Niabi has suggested. The only thing is I don't want it to be disruptive for other professors. Also still having major problems with all my classes are in afternoon now and the students leave early. The main reason is they are hungry. They don't have money for snacks and only the students who live at the school get lunch. Pastor Lee is collecting a list of students who can't bring food to school. It is sad, but what do I do??? They constantly ask me to teach early but it's so inconsistent and confusing for me to have it different every day. The other teachers do it..and say it's more important to teach as many students as possible..than to stick to the schedule. But, doesn't that set a bad example? Still trying to figure that out.

Other than that..we have mid service training coming up next month. Need to compile answers to a huge list of questions for the Peace Corps..about community, teachers, teacher training, classes etc etc. I am in Maputo today visiting Steph and Rita. They came down for the weekend. It's really windy and rainy right now...such a nice break to the heat. Huluka is getting am I. Too many cookies, too much bread, potatoes etc. It's just so hard keeping tons of vegetables good without a fridge. I always have tomatoes, onions, garlic..but no greens to speak of. Plus I live so far from the market where I can get the greens. To go every day by chapa takes a huge chunk of the day, because as I've said before, the transportation is difficult here. Anhow, need to go meet my friends. I hope you all are well. I miss you!

Monday, January 02, 2006

On Vacation in Maputo

Hey all! How was your New Year's? I went to Maputo with my friends Rita and Stephanie...still am here. We had a blast! Stayed at a hotel for 2 nights, $10 each...discounted because of PC. Went to a dance club called Coconuts, super fun with many types of people: Mozambicans, Portuguese, South Africans, Brazilians, etc etc. Saw beautiful fireworks set off from the spendy hotels along the Costa da Sol. (drive along the beach) Being in Maputo is expensive though, have spent a ton of money on room, ice cream, food, movies. Of course things i really need! Trying to get back to Catembe, but wanted to do mail and email first...but of course because of the holidays everthing has been closed so I had to wait.

Anyways, here's some more pics of Catembe: school, house, cat etc. Isn't my school gorgeous! The pic of me and others was my language group and our instructors. The nice hotel with pool is where Rita, Steph and I walked in and went swimming....even though we werenÂșt guests! We did eat lunch though! The pics of my cat are of course my cat, Huluka. Isn't he adorable!? He purrs constantly and is a meower.(is that a word?) BR-notice the handkercheif he is laying on! Pay attention to the picture of the reed huts with Maputo skyline in background. Such a crazy combination! I notice it all the time.

Here is a ofoto account one of the pcv's set up. I haven't checked it out yet, but i think people are uploading their pictures. It's a chance for you all to see other pcv's different parts of Mozambique.
Password: Peacecorps1

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Hello CATEMBE!!!!

Ok. Just want to do a little explaining of my photos. The ones with the gorgeous beach..that's Tofu Beach and the ones with the murals..that's the house I stayed at. Boane DOES NOT look like that. The top picture is my mom and sister. I'll send more pics soon.

I'm doing great! Just found out my site placement for my two years. I'll be in a place called Catembe.It's about a 20 minute ferry ride from the capital in Mozambique, Maputo City. Right now I am in Boane which is about 1 hr away from Catembe is very close. I was disappointed at first because all my friends are heading up to the northern provinces..but I hear Catembe is beautiful. It is a small town, about 28,000, and is right on the beach. Yes, the beach!!!! I am soooo excited to be near water!!!!!!!!!! I will be teaching at a technical school so I will have older kids who are really focused, plus the classrooms are small- only about 30 kids. (instead of 60-80 or more!) Other volunteers went to Catembe for our "site visits" and said the school is gorgeously landscaped and well maintained; more like a botanical garden than a school. It was built by Korean missionaries 3 years ago and supposedly has a water fountain and monkeys. I am excited to see it. I will be living alone in a house right up the hill from the school, but a 45 min. walk or 15 min. chapa ride from the town. At first I was bummed to be near Maputo..a pretty large city, but now I think it will be very convenient. I will have easy internet, bank, postal access and access to a bunch of cultural events, concerts, etc when I want it....but at the same time I will be living in a village.
(PS. going to see UB40 Jan. 18 in Maputo.) I can't wait to have my own place..make it my own..decorate... etc. I will share all the details when I get there! We are officially "sworn in" as Peace Corps volunteers Dec. 9 then leave for our sites Dec. 12. On swearing in night we are staying at a "resort" with normal beds, bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms wiht TV and two swimming pools. Should be tons of fun.

So my friend Steph is going to Inhambane Province, about 4 hrs away. I am sad. We hang out all the time here so I will miss her alot. We have had some crazy adventures and are constantly discovering new restaurants, walkways, places to get the cheapest stuff, etc. Last weekend we worked with my father as cobradors, which are basically the guys that collect your money on the chapas. Anyone can use their car to pick up people and charge them money. The cars they drive here are CRAZY!. We drove around in my dad's rickety, rusty toyota truck picking up people between Moumbu and Mozambanine, only about a 30 min. distance. We stopped along the way and yelled "Moumba! Moumba!" or "Mozambanine! Mozambanine!" It's hard to yell it fast. On the insistence of an uncle we ran into along the way, we stopped to drink beer. I can't remember when I've been drunk at 10am! if ever! AND we had an older woman with us who needed to go to Maputo. I couldn't believe we stopped to drink beer with a client in the car! But, the trip was fun never the less. We saw different parts of the Boane countryside which was very refreshing.

Today we discoverd a great Lebanese restaurant. Sooooo good and soooo cheap! The owner just moved from Lebanon 4 months ago and speaks really good English. The only thing is that he really wanted to talk politics..which we aren't supposed to do. Maybe later :) I'm excited to meet new people. Steph and I have hitchhiked a couple times into Maputo and have met some wonderful people: 2 geologists and a world food program worker from the embassy. I need to make some contacts in Maputo, especially if I want to go to any events at night, because the last ferry is at 11:30pm.

Well I'm tired of writing so I'll go. Talk to you all again soon.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I'm finally writing!!

Hello All!
Can you believe I'm finally writing on this site? I am 6 weeks into my pre-service training and having a great time! So much different here...lots to get used to, but woke up the other day and it seemed normal. Go figure. The people here are what makes: waking up at 4am by the mosque & the roosters (who crow at all times of day), sitting through long 9 hr days, sleeping with the cockroaches, feeling dirty 24/7 even after taking 3 baths a day...... it all worth it. I actually have a yoga patner, Steph. We do yoga at least 3 days a week at 5am in the field near our houses. It's quite beautiful watching the sunrise. I am so used to waking up that the beginning it was crazy! I love the culture here. I love living in a place where everyone greets eachother and smiles constantly. I love having the children call my name. I love waking up to techno, african or hip hop music every day. Music and dancing here is VERY IMPORTANT. Everyone does it constantly; it's like breathing.

The people here definitely make this training possible. It's stressful. We started our teaching this last week, called micro-school. We each taught 1 or 2 ,20 min. lesson plans. I only had 1. I taught colors. We are teaching 8th, 9th, 10th graders from the community in Boane. They volunteer to come to our "practice sessions" EVERYONE wants to learn English here. My host brother and his friends are constantly showing off their english skills. So anyways, the kids come to our sessions because they want to. I went first on Tues. which was difficult. We are supposed to have 30-40 students but only 3 showed up at the beginning of my lesson. And then...more started trickling in. The Mozambican sense of time is definitely different than Americas. You have to be really strict here right away so they respect you. Next week we start our "model school" I am teaching 4 times. We are broken up into groups of 5-7 trainees. Each group evaluates eachother, constructively of course. Then at the end of the week we have to give the students a comprehensive test of all the material covered during the week. Review, test, grade. AHHHH! I am a nervous wreck. I hope I don't break down crying! All the current volunteers say this is when the shit hits the fan.

Las t week we went on our site visits. I went to Inhambane City...absolutely gorgeous and CLEAN unlike Maputo or Boane. It's very lush and green, approximately 8 hr bus ride on the oldest piece of crap bus I have ever seen. But, worth it! I stayed in a 5 bedroom house with running water, kitchen, INSIDE bathroom, painted murals....etc. etc. Definitely not the typical Peace Corps housing, but oh so fun! We went to the beach..Tofu Beach..for 3 days with other trainees and volunteers. Tofu Beach is beautiful! I definitely was on vacation. Pizza, tropical drinks, crepes...Tough to come back to the dustpit of Boane. AND I've heard that Boane is lush compared to other sites. All I can do is cross my fingers.

I hope you all are doing well. If anyone wants to write or send me a package (PLEASE! YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW EXCITING IT IS TO GET!) here is the address:

Malia Wetcher, PCT
Peace Corps
C.P. 4398
Maputo, Mozambique
Make sure to number the letters and write "Airmail" and "Par Avion". Also, wrap all stuff in plastic so thieves (ninjas!) don't steal. And write HIV/AIDS SUPPLIES or BIBLE SUPPLIES , PRAISE THE LORD! so the packages is unappealing.

I miss you all!

Love Malia