It’s been just over a week since I arrived back in Estaquinha. I was really reluctant to head back, dreading it in some ways, which surprised me because I was so happy for the most part last year. Yet I always feel like I’m descending into some black hole when I go back there, because it feels so isolated, so it always requires some mental preparation.
It was raining really hard in Búzi where I had been staying with a friend as I prepared to head back. Fortunately I caught a lift in a truck so I didn’t need to sit in the back of pickup, and when we finally rolled into the market, it actually felt really good and comfortable. Luisa and Nelta hadn’t returned yet so I had the house to myself, but I was able to meet my new Peace Corps site mate. David is from New Jersey and will teach math and physics here in Estaquinha. The school is still building houses for male teachers, so he is living in the guesthouse at the mission, but he’ll eat with Luisa and me. We’ve been getting along well and it’s been fun to show him around and introduce him to people. I think it will be really nice to have someone to relate to in a different way than I can to my Mozambican colleagues.
Luisa managed to pass tenth grade and I am so proud of her—most of her classmates are repeating the year, especially the girls. Estaquinha is starting eleventh grade for the first time so those who did pass can continue studying here. I’m teaching English for all three turmas, which are divided by those studying Letters, Science with Physics, and Science with Geography. The classes are small, 15-25 students, which is a nice change. I’ll also be teaching all of ninth grade and it already feels reassuring to be with a curriculum, level and some students that I’m familiar with. I don’t mind not teaching tenth grade again, but I’ll miss the students I had who were in ninth grade last year.
Other exciting news: electricity finally arrived! It’s not super different, except that the secretary at school is able to be more productive, I can use my computer at any time of the day and the teacher’s bairro is always humming with music. Beyond that, I’ve been getting a lot less sleep because it’s much easier to stay up late but we still get up at five or six am.