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I was planning on writing this blog update about general updates and what’s been happening these past couple of months (including the construction of my new bathroom- outside), but when I was in the car coming into the city on Thursday afternoon something happened that really changed my perspective. There was a man riding his bike on the side of the road leading into Quelimane (the capital of the province I live in, Zambezia). The cars were getting really close to him but this isn’t uncommon so I didn’t think twice about it. He must have hit a bump in the road and swerved suddenly into traffic. I saw him get run over by the car in front of us and die. To be honest I’m making the assumption that he died because of what I saw, but the consensus among my colleagues is that there was no way he could have survived such a terrible accident. So inadvertently watching this man’s life end has really shaken me and made me think about how quickly things can change.
In Mopeia, I’ve seen a lot of people who are in poor health and I’ve met with people to hear only a few days later that they’ve passed away. It’s always sad to hear about someone dying and to think about the family they’re leaving behind, but actually seeing someone die is something so inexplicably frightening and distressing. I’ve taken many moments this weekend to reflect on how quickly life can be taken from any of us, and how important it is to appreciate all that we have now.
So between that event, seeing a young man attempt to commit suicide by drinking battery acid (but he lived!), and visiting a very young mother only to hear of her death 3 days later, August has been a very intense month. But not all of it was bad. I went on a beautiful bike ride to the Zambezi River and had a colleague from work stay with me for 3 weeks (which meant lots of conversations in English and we even made a chocolate cake in my Dutch oven). The activistas (community volunteers that I do home visits with) had a big party to celebrate the Home Based Care program completing two years in Mopeia. They spent all day cooking 5 chickens, 2 goats, a lot of rice, and some greens especially for me. It was unlike any party that I’m used to at home because there was a lot of eating and very little talking, but the food was delicious and it was really nice to see the activistas get recognition for all of the hard work that they do!
Although August wasn’t my favorite month, it made me think about how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for. And in only one month we’ll be getting a new group of volunteers heading to Moçambique to start their own Peace Corps journeys! We’re all so excited to meet you! So good luck to Moz 15 as you back your bags and begin this new chapter, you’re going to love it!


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