Thursday, April 14, 2011

Follow-up 01.04.2011

Life here is quite normal. Day by day I still discover new parts oft he culture or get to know new stories. Sometimes it’s too much for me and I don’t know how to get over this information overload. I got to know our new guard, Manuel, who used to live 5r years in Germany where he studied. There he got to know Jacqueline with whom he has a daughter who is now 19 years old. They even lived together and wanted to marry. Unfortunately her father didn’t allow it. After 5 years he had to go back to Mozambique, since that 20 years passed by without seeing Jacqueline and their daughter. As he was expected to go back he couldn’t finish his studies.

Some when in 2006 he lost the contact to the mother of his daughter. Since then he keeps on writing letters to the company she used to work for the mother of Jaqueline. They used to live together and wanted to marry but her father didn’t allow it. So, one night while I was sitting in front of my flat he told me that very often he asks himself why he was born in Mozambique. That night I only thought about our guard, Manuel. I will never forget the way he looked at me while he explained that basically half of his life he spent here waiting for a better time. His biggest wish is to see his daughter.

I keep on thinking, each of us has to write his own story. Only sometimes, it seems a certain road is given to us and we face hard times escaping, or to put it differently, to search for another road or a shortcut.

Kentucky Fried Chicken is the last place I consider to visit soon again. After my first visit I had to puke during work and ended up with a hospital check, while I hadn’t any problems the second time. Last weekend, after me and Anne went to the hairdresser (what a successful visit) we wanted to eat a delicious wrap. Well, I already bereuen on Sunday morning after I woke up. I couldn’t eat a single bit for breakfast. I was sick for about 3 days because of KFC! Could you imagine that? Well, I was told the specific KFC we were in has some major problems with quality and it seems the area there is quite dangerous too (I had no clue…)

No, no more KFC for Melanie…
Oh and I didn’t tell you guys yet that I received an invitation for a marriage! Without any effort, I reached my ultimate goal to see a Mozambican wedding. Thanks to Anne I got the invitation. She’s going to dance for the couple, what an honor! I believe she’s already dancing since 2 weeks to perform well.

The wedding takes place in Namaacha and lasts 3 days, including a church visit in Maputo.

Work is sometimes quite hard, especially with 34 until almost 40 degrees, kids that sometimes have a lack of respect, being tired and the expectation from the kids to give everything.

The last few shocking experiences at work include that a aunt from our center has beaten a child. I saw her holding her shoe in her hand while the child already cried. I was so pissed and told all the others that I don’t like such a Verhalten. We should act differently, especially in such a center.

Another problem is that all of the aunts keep talking in the dialect Changana. They may talk in Portuguese with the kids but when they serve food they only talk Changana to each other. Well, no wonder that the kids act in the same way.

Well, at least this problem is solved as we had a meeting on Friday where I stated this issue. The responsible sister I work with, talked to the kids and the aunts and it seems that this had a great impact. Their behavior already changed.

Isabel is the mother of Cristina, Eduardo and Stelia. The first time I met her after a Chapa ride. She was on her way home and she told me how much she appreciates my work and how I play with her kids. I was very happy and very satisfied. By that time she didn’t have any work. Last week I saw her in a small shop selling groceries, just around the corner of the center. As we passed by, Tia Julia told me that she is HIV positive, as well as her youngest daughter, Stelia. On Friday, after the internal meeting, the sister had a meeting with some of the HIV positive people of the village. She handed out some food for them. Isabel was there too. I greeted her in Changana and hold her hand. She gave me two kisses on my cheek. I watched the others. Most of them are parents of our kids, presumably. By looking at some of them, I recognized that this was the first time in Mozambique that I saw that many adults infected. Some are already in a quite bad condition and it makes m sad to see their young kids, knowing that time flies by and that there’s not much time left for their parents and them. I had to sit down, while the sister had a meeting with those people and the kids were playing soccer.

Also, on Thursday night the husband of my favorite aunt, Delfina died after suffering 2 or 3 weeks due to an illness, that nobody knows. They argue it was witchcraft but I don’t really believe in it. I think it’s AIDS, but no one knows. In general, people might know it is AIDS in the final stage but nobody would dare to tell.

This is why on Friday we were all quite said. Unfortunately I didn’t make it to the funeral on Saturday. Since the death of Samito’s cousin, the girlfriend of Izequiel passed away, as well as a family member of Leonor and now the husband of Delfina. Typically Mozambican the whole families thinks he died because of some witchcraft and that originally another family member wanted to kill him.

There is still a lot of witchcraft going on. There are some that offer everything, from being healthy to getting rich, until resolving sex problems. Even the signs who offer this with telephone numbers are kinda scary to me.

So, sometimes life ain’t that easy, thanks god there are up and downs.

Stay in touch and remember to enjoy every moment of life, we never know when we’ll haverour last moment together.

Peace, love & lots of magical moments.
Kisses from Maputo!

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