Somehow I forgot these other anecdotes last time…maybe they’ll be somewhat amusing.
Nelta’s first empregada, Rita, didn’t work out and left after a month, so we finished the second trimester just us three. After the holidays, a ninth-grade student of mine, Maria, moved in. She’s experienced and lively and she and Luisa get along, so it’s a good fit for everybody.
The World Cup took place in South Africa, and was of course a really big deal. The mission has a television, but the normal hours of power weren’t sufficient enough to watch all the games, so a group of teachers, students and local people pooled our money to buy extra fuel for a little generator. I only watched two games, including the final. Both were later at night and I found myself crammed in the corner with mainly a lot of men. As nine pm approached, we switched the TV to our own generator and continued to watch in dark after the power switched off.
You may have heard that there were riots in some of the major cities here, due to increased food prices. You could probably learn more about it from the Times or the BBC than I know, so I’d encourage you to check out those sources if you are interested. Nothing happened anywhere near Estaquinha, but Peace Corps is pretty vigilant about these things, so volunteers weren’t allowed to travel for about a week while the demonstrations were going on. Because I’m not accessible by phone, they contacted me with this information via the mission’s two-way radio. They made me to go stay with some friends in Búzi, our district capital, because they wanted me to be at a site where there was cell phone service. So I was there with another volunteer for about four days. Our hosts went to work during the day, and we had nothing to do besides cook, drink beer, play cards, read and watch pirated American TV. It wasn’t bad, but it was a little strange, and it was really good to get back to work at the end and be a real person again.