You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.


written June 7, 2010
I wouldn’t call the current temperature here in Mopeia cold per se, but it’s not hot so that’s definitely a huge improvement! I’ve even worn a sweatshirt a few times and brought out the bright orange blanket with zebras on it (courtesy of Peace Corps) which I used last night. I think my body has gone into shock now that it’s not sweating so much, and it just doesn’t know what to do with itself. Which may be why I got ill in May and had a minor breakdown filled with nightmares of having to be transferred to some hospital where they were going to perform some scary procedure on me. What started out as a supposed spider bite, turned into a bacterial infection that made my foot and leg swell up so I couldn’t get out of bed for a few days, caused a fever that only added to my delusions of the thousands of scary things that we’re going on inside my body and the even scarier manner in which it was going to be cured, and made me just a little unhappy to be away from home and alone. But just as quickly as my mystery illness appeared, it started to get better (after spreading of course to both of my legs and arms and leaving some beautiful marks which can only be referred to as my “battle wounds”). So I was scared and uncomfortable, but I made it through my first real bout of illness here (knock on wood that it doesn’t suddenly spring up again while I’m sleeping just to spite me). And my English students, journalism club, girls’ after school group, and colleagues from work all came to check up on me- and they all thoroughly enjoyed my 4th of July pajamas, and all unanimously agreed that my legs are looking very feia (ugly) and I should keep them covered until fully healed. I started taking antibiotics but they made me feel even worse than I was already feeling so I was already heading into town for our monthly meeting and after one piece of chocolate cake I was magically cured. So I ate a second piece just for good measure and am now a true believer in the healing power of chocolate.
I did get some exciting news last month that I may be getting a bathroom built inside my house. Yes, inside! Which would mean no more bucket showers in the dark, windowless brick thing that is thirty feet away from my house and which rats have recently decided to inhabit. I will still be taking bucket showers, but at least they’ll be more comfortable bucket showers and hopefully they’ll be free of the likes of the black widow and her thousands of unborn spider babies I found in my “bathroom” last week. So keep your fingers crossed that this may actually happen! I’ve already been waiting a month and construction hasn’t started yet, but they did drop off a lovely pile of sand in front of my house for something so I’m still hopeful!
The first day of June was “International Children’s Day” so we had a lot of activities in the community. I got to judge the banner and pottery making contests, and I got to sit front row for the dance competition. It was a great day and everyone had a lot of fun (although many were disappointed that not everyone could get a t-shirt. I was one of the lucky ones who did so I felt guilty about it all day). The theme was “We guarantee the protection of children against trafficking,” although the day was less about the theme and more about kids winning backpacks and pencils and just having a good time. One of the communities even invited me to a little party in the afternoon where they had killed a pig, but I very politely refused and instead ate the only vegetarian option- a big plate of white rice.
Last week I participated in an art therapy training with some of my Save The Children colleagues. It was three days of making clay animals, using local resources to make jungle scenery for my clay orangutan to live in, and getting to do art activities that hopefully we’re going to start using in our communities. It was nice to get some new ideas for fun things that we can do with the kids and I really think they’re going to like having the opportunity to do something different and creative. It also gave me a lot of ideas for things I can do with my neighbors in case they ever get bored of using my markers (which doesn’t seem likely considering the 30+ drawings taped up inside my house). But I’ve also been inspired to use my newfound skills to make my house a little more creative. I definitely have enough time on my hands so now I’m going to start making my house feel a little more like my own. I started yesterday by making a “princess” bed out of bamboo sticks and sewing my mosquito net so I now don’t have to sleep with it touching me.
So after an interesting May, I’m ready for June and my trip to visit some friends up north! Hope you’re all having barbeques and pool parties and enjoying all those wonderful summery things at home!

– And also a HUGE thank you to my wonderful friend Christine for sending me such an amazing package! You’re the best!!!
** And to my amazing mother and family for sending a giant bag complete with a pressure cooker and my favorite foods! I Love You all so much and can’t thank you enough!!!


Jordan Rief, PCV
Corpo da Paz/U. S. Peace Corps
Av. Do Zimbabwe 345
CP 4398


The contents of this blog are my personal thoughts and opinions. They do not represent the views or official policies of the Peace Corps or of the U.S. government.

Peace Corps Moçambique