Friday, May 28, 2010

Presidents and Monkeys

I don’t think I remember how to blog. I journal every single day, and yet I’m at a loss when it comes to blogging. Maybe it is because when I journal I don’t have to censor anything, whereas with blogging, I feel the need to censor…everything! =) Then I find myself wondering, who IS reading this anyways? I know that Michael is, hey Michael how goes it? For everyone else, I suggest that you don’t go to Michael’s page after being on mine, because mine will look so sad in comparison. I haven’t written anything on here since when? Definitely before my birthday, but really there is no way I can try to catch you up on everything that has been going on since the last time I blogged….so I’ll just tell you about most recent events, how’s about it? Let’s start with today, May 24, 2010….

I met the President of Mozambique, Mr. Guebuza himself. That is one way to start off the work week! Mr. Guebuza has been going all over the country, visiting different Provinces and Districts. Some of his visits are longer than others. I didn’t even know I was going to get to meet him until this morning. I got to the office and saw the boss of my office here at Save The Children, Morrumbala, looking very dressed up in his suit. I inquired why he looked so “chique” (good-looking basically) and he said he was going to welcome the President who would be arriving in an hour or so by helicopter. “O” I say, “Can I come?” Baslucas’ replies, “Sure.” =) I quickly remember I didn’t bring my camera to the office, and I know that I’m going to want to snatch some photos up, so I ask if we can stop at my house on the way to where Mr. President would be landing. Within 20 minutes, my camera is in hand and we are driving to the open field where thousands of people are flooding to get a glimpse of Guebuza. When we get there it is packed! People have come in from all over, and there are groups singing and dancing, holding huge banners, and cameras are filming everything for the news program that will come on later today.

Basilicas asks where we should stand, and we are led through the crowd, and we are directed to a certain location near the front of the line. The “line” is made up of people who hold different positions in the District, and I was surprised that we, Basilicas and I got to stand so near the local community leaders. Now that we are that close I KNOW without a doubt that I would be shaking hands with Guebuza himself. Chants grow louder and louder as the helicopters begin to stream in. 5 huge helicopters land near us, and there is a 6th one coming in, Mr. President’s helicopter. I was so excited to get to be a part of this day, and I felt a rush of excitement as the last helicopter landed and the doors opened. After greeting the Administrator of Morrumbala (yes the one who came to my 23rd birthday party!! Haha) and other government leaders here, Guebuza began to make his way down the line. He shook hands with everyone, as the person proudly said their name and what/whom they represent….he’s getting closer…ah the President of Mozambique is two people away from me…Basilicas reminds me to say my name, first and last, and to say that I’m with Corpo de Paz, Peace Corps. He shakes hand with Basilicas, who is on my right, first, Basilicas introduces himself and says he is from Save the Children. Now Guebuza is in front of me, haha, and I was able to say, Amanda James; Corpo De Paz, even WITH the cameras in my face! I hope I can see the news later on because I’m so sure that my face is going to be on the National News! =) haha too bad TV’s are hard to come by here in the village.

The morning came and went. He made his way down the line, and toured the village with the Administrator and the other high ups. And then after his tour, he was driven by the crowds once more as he was waving goodbye. As quickly as he came, he was gone. The helicopters left one by one, and they were off to the next District. It was a really great experience. Mozambican flags flying everywhere. Songs about uniting the country. Chants about freedom from the Portuguese. People were lit up with joy. It was a really cool thing to witness and I felt honored to be able to be in that line, and get to greet the President of Mozambique. I have my political opinions, but I’m not going to share them here, this is me censoring! =) I can put my personal opinions aside, and say that is was another amazing thing that has happened in my experience in the Peace Corps Mozambique, something I will never forget! I met the President Guebuza of Mozambique…and I’d say….that is pretty awesome!

Ok, that all happened just this morning! So now you understand half of the title of this entry, but what about the second part, “Monkeys”? =) Well, maybe you have recently seen my status on facebook? It says, “Someone offered me a monkey today. I went & saw it & it’s awesome! It grew up w/people. Opinions on Amanda accepting the offer of the monkey?” and this post of mine has received more comments than anything I’ve ever posted (I think!) haha I guess lots of people had opinions on the subject! Well, let me start off by saying, that in the Peace Corps we aren’t supposed to have a monkey. So…it would live at my neighbor’s house, but then I’d be the one feeding it and I’d get to see it every day. I could babysit it….right?!

Is it right to take a monkey? I mean isn’t that mean? Well, if someone doesn’t take this monkey it’s going to die. See, the woman who now has it took it from the mato because she said she found the monkey alone, and it was so little that she didn’t want to just leave it there because she thought it’d die there. But, as you know, poverty is a big problem here in Mozambique. This woman who took the monkey barely has enough money to feed HER family, let alone a monkey! So this cute little thing goes days sometimes without eating, which is why the woman wants to give it away to a home that can provide better for it. I went to see the little guy, and it is SO cute! It is so human like it is crazy. It’s little hands and the way it guarder (keeps) food in its’ lower cheecks….o so cute! But, Amanda, you can’t have a monkey! You can barely care for your dog Bobo. I remember reading that if you ever wonder if you’re ready for kids or not, you first must get a plant and keep it for..a while..keep it alive and well. I now have a rather successful garden. Ok, great. Then, after you can keep a plant, you are supposed to be able to care for a dog…well I got the dog =/ but Bobo has helped me learn (what I already knew) I’m nowhere NEAR ready for kids! Haha I don’t have the patience to train Bobo, so he is a bit unruly. Have you seen the movie “Marley and Me”? Bobo reminds me of Marley! Haha so we now know

1. Amanda is NOT ready for children!

2. Amanda having another pet, let alone a MONKEY…might be not the smartest idea. I hear that they throw poop, and I definitely wouldn’t have patience for that kinda shit (literally! =)

But I also don’t want the monkey to starve to death….so I’m open to your suggestions on what I should do. It is habituated to living with persons and eating people food at this point. So if we put it BACK where it was found, in the mato, it would die….not to mention…what if the thing BIT me!? Do vaccines for monkeys exist? Here in Mozambique? No, probably not, which is probably why the Peace Corps forbids us to have a monkey….

Presidents and Monkeys. That is the news on my end! =) Bobo is fine; he likes to make a bed out of the trash pit in the back of my house. I continue to find ways to decorate my house even though I keep saying “I’m done!” I can’t help it. I never knew how much I enjoy it! English class this afternoon, people keep wanting to PAY me for the classes! But I say no, I tell them to give me fruit instead! =)

O in case you didn’t know…I’m going to Tanzania in July!!!! Yup, its Peace Corps approved so it’s official. I’m going with another Peace Corps Volunteer, Michael (the guy with the really good blog that makes mine look sad!) and we are meeting up with his mom, Laurie. I’m SO excited! We are gonna be there for 2 WEEKS! We are going to fly from Nampula, as opposed to taking a bug mostly to save time. We are going all over Tanzania, including Zanzabar and a 6 day safari in the Serengeti! =) Ah that is what I’m MOST looking forward to! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go on a safari! And my first one is going to be in the Serengeti, I couldn’t have planned it on my own better! Instead, everything has fallen into being, so terrific!

Well, my reader, my time of writing for now is over. Hope you enjoyed reading this; I’d hate to think I write all this and NO ONE reads it! =/ I would probably cry and never blog again! This might be the longest blog I’ve written yet, so hopefully it didn’t bore.

Goodbye Mr. President, Ate Logo Mr. Monkey, Ciao todos!


Laurie Anne said...

Hey Mandy! I'm thrilled for you and the awesome accomplishments you have made in adjusting to your life in Moz. Meeting the president! That's incredible! I'm so so so so excited for you to go to Tanzania! That's where I've been, and Zanzibar is breathtaking! You're really going to love it! Thanks for sharing some of the experiences you've had with me! I look forward to seeing more and more over the next year and some! Have a blessed journey!


Rochelle Larice said...

i thoroughly enjoyed reading up on your life dear soul mate. crazy about meeting the president! there's #2 for ya! tried calling you this eve, but said the phone was having probs...maybe next weekend. sorting out some travel...need your opinion :-) love you and have a blast in tanz!!

Leah said...

you are so silly... you make me laugh a ton :-) oh monkey dilemmas.... but really, you could get weird monkey diseases if he bites you and it would be a dirty mess, bummer.
Love you! so proud of you! So glad you are getting a vacation in Tanzania!

Katie Koz said...

I read your blog!! It's not in vain! haha. As for the monkey, I know I was in full support of it at first, but now that I know that it is against peace corps policy and especially that you could get terrible diseases from that thing, I think I retract that.... I want you to be safe! You can be fine saving the world ONE animal at a time, dear!

Amber said...

haha I love Leah's practical advice! I was going to say TAKE THE MONKEY lol!! No, but really, Leah's probably right :) We can be a bit irrational. :) Anyways, I LOVE reading your blogs. They make me feel a little more connected to you. I'm glad you are going to Zanzibar!! I've heard so many good things. Enjoy your trip! Let's talk soon?? LOVE YOU!!!!!

Melissa Dorman said...

Hey, I am still reading these! And now I have one too. I vote no on the monkey. I babysat one for 2 weeks in Uganda (same situation). I now hate monkey's. And yes, they can even give you AIDS, that's the rumor of how that crazy disease actually all started.

Anyways Here is the link to my blog. I don't think many people read it either, so let's make a deal. I will read yours if you read mine, ha!

Jeanie said...

I would've loved to have seen you take care of a monkey.