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February 27, 2005

Why I am Going Back

I returned from Mozambique nearly 2 years ago. And She has never been far from my mind since then. She has become an intimate part of my spirit and colors how I see the world and how I interact with my world. And I miss her. I miss the sight of a million sliver butterflies all flitting above the grasses. I miss the sound of goats outside of my moon-lit bedroom. I miss the smell of matapa being stewed over an open fire. I miss the overzealousness of bus-drivers and their assistants. I miss seeing babies find comfort being swaddled on their mother's backs. I miss sweet Luis and his grand tours of the important spots of Lamego and his offers of freshly cut (by him) sugar cane. I miss holding hands with people I talk to. I miss the sounds of physical exertion that women make as they pound corn into flower. I miss the easy laughter. I miss the "take each day as it comes" and be happy that it came attitude in Mozambique. I want to go back to remember all that is so difficult to remember from my clean, well heated apartment, from my expensive (overpriced??) university, from my fairly easy life (in comparison, of course)...

My thought/plan upon my departure from Mozambique was to go back to school and eventually return to Mozambique when I was done with my undergrad degree. That was the 5 year plan, at least.

However, the untimely death of Amy, the director of the teacher training college in Mozambique, has re-emphasized that life really IS too short. We simply do not know how long we have here on earth. My original goal was to finish school to be able to be more effective in Mozambique. However, I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on students in rural Mozambique right now; it seems almost selfish to not take advantage of it. What is the point in waiting 4-5 years to do what makes me really happy when I have the opportunity to do it now?

And, so, I am going to return to Lamego and to teaching at EAO for the summer.

Once I made the definite decision, things have moved fairly rapidly. Of course the first thing to do was to get permission from the school in Lamego. Check. I then contacted IICD to arrange to fundraise with one of the teams. Check.

It seems like things are falling perfectly into place because this is how I was meant to spend my summer. I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to return. I feel rejuvenated and much more focused on what I want for my life.

I have also found a few moments to think about what I want to accomplish in Lamego for the summer. I wish that when I was there before that I did a better job with the "Girls Clubs" at EAO. The young women at EAO need so much guidance and education. I do hope that I can use the many resources available to me here and plan useful, educational meetings with them about the issues that matter to them the most (health, info about the reproductive system and pregnancy prevention, sexism, the role of an educated woman, their role at the school, etc, etc, etc...).

From now until my departure in mid-May, I am going to be trying to gather materials and raise funds for the school (more info can be found on the "How to Help" page). If there is anything at all that you can do to help, please do let me know ().