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It’s Beginning to Feel a lot like Christmas?

From 110 degrees of suffocating heat to booming thunder and a torrential downpour in the span of 5 minutes? Just summer here in Moz! I can’t sleep at night without the fan whizzing right next to me, but when I open my front door in the morning I’m met with what looks like a giant lake where my yard used to be, submerged under at least a foot of water that had been beating down on my tin roof all night. But it makes for the most amazing lightning storms! (And all this rain is just what the mangoes needed to finally ripen!) So it’s back to sunburns and watching my neighborhood kids strip down and shower in the rain (and make an impromptu slip-n-slide by running and diving face first into a long puddle). Although this weather definitely makes me miss the mild climate of Southern California, the universe makes up for it by delivering the sweetest pineapples and days with friends at Zalala Beach.
Besides having to explain why my skin is continuously changing colors (from a nice bronzed glow to a really quite attractive bright red which my coworkers think makes me look like I’ve been roasted over the fire a little too long…), the downside to December here is that it doesn’t feel like Christmas in the least! I miss the houses lit up with decorations and sitting next to the fire sipping on some hot chocolate. Last year on Christmas I had just moved into my new house here in Mopeia with nothing but a bed, 1 plastic table, 4 plastic lawn chairs, an electric stove and 2 pans, so I spent Christmas morning 1) locking myself out of my house and trying to look for a carpenter to come break my door so that I could get back in and 2) being pitied by my neighbor who cooked me some delicious beans and let me have a Coke in his yard so I would stop pouting about spending my first Christmas away from my family. So that fateful day a year ago my wonderful, generous, kind, and loving mother agreed to let me come home for the holidays this year! And so after being away for 14 months, I will finally get to see my siblings, my parents, my family, and my friends for 2 weeks back in the States! And trading in this heat for some cooler temperatures will really be a Christmas miracle!
So as 2010 comes to an end, I’m reminded of what an amazing journey I’ve had so far in my Peace Corps service! Working with incredible local volunteers every day, going on an unbelievable safari vacation with my mom, making so many memories with my amazing friends here, putting on my first workshop and hearing that clips of it (and of me!) made it on the local news, floating in a dugout canoe next to giant crocodiles, making a plain cement house into my home, meeting the next group of volunteers starting their time here in Moz, and all the little day-to-day things that make me so grateful for everything I have here! Happy Holidays to everyone and have a Wonderful New Year!



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