Estaquinha is short on housing for teachers, so I agreed to let another first-year teacher live in my house. Nelta is twenty-one-years-old, from Beira, and teaching fifth grade. Even though it’s been an adjustment to have another person, I like her and we’ve been getting along well. She is friends with some of the other female teachers whom I don’t yet know as well, so I feel like it’s helped my social life, and certainly with Portuguese. Luisa now sleeps in the front room and after our holidays in a week or two, another girl will come to help Nelta, so we will be four. It sounds like a lot and it is, but it’s a normal living situation for our bairro. The situation is temporary, according to the headmaster, but I wouldn’t mind if it continued for my time here. I feel like I’ve come along way from wanting to live completely alone, as I did when I arrived. I love how living with people makes me feel a part of my community and offers me insight into how others are living their lives. This is also Nelta’s first year as a teacher, and her first time in such a rural community, so she too is still figuring things out and we can relate about that.


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