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Unexpected Success

One of the most difficult challenges for me in the Peace Corps is learning to live with discomfort and do it anyway. Every day, I am faced with the urge to just hide out in my house and avoid people. At least in my home, I don't have to worry about not being able to communicate, or risking people staring or laughing at me. 

I have worked myself into low-level anxiety over taking a chapa to town. I have mentally stubbornly refused to stand up in front of people for a palestra (health demonstration). I have mentally rebelled 100 times from a task, simply because I know it is new for me, and I will be stretching my abilities to try it.

The thing always works out. It is never as bad as I feared, and I feel a great sense of accomplishment afterward.

Case in point, yesterday, I was sitting in my room and sewing. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the day, and wondering when and how I would meet children and start a youth group. I have been very concerned about this.

As I am sitting there, I realize I am being watched through my window. I look up, and there are 3 girls about 14 years old trying to peer into my room. They were speaking to me in broken Portuguese and Changana, and I was trying to figure out what they wanted. Finally, I motioned for them to come in. I brought them into my living room, and for the next couple of hours, they read the Portuguese children's books I had, while I continued my sewing.

After a while, they expressed interest in some of my English books. I went and found two Yoga books I had, and they read English aloud, while I helped with their pronunciation. Eventually, they decided to try the various poses in the Yoga books, and they dissolved into giggles when they discovered I could do the splits.

Like every day in Mozambique, there is rarely an agenda. Things just unfold as they are meant to, and it always works out. Without even trying to, I was able to accomplish several of the Peace Corps objectives, simply by inviting some curious girls into my home. I'll call that a win.       

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  • To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  • To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  • To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
More on My Peace Corps Adventures

Sewing Classes at SAAJ

Routines and Chores

But We're Safe, Right?

Unexpected Success


  1. Anonymous23.9.19

    Congratulations on your Peace Corps journey. I taught biology with the Peace Corps in Manjacaze, Gaza for two years from 2001-2003. Despite all the hardships, it was a life changing experience. I lost all contact with the outside world for over three months. Mom called the Peace Corps in a panic. It took me a long time to figure out how to catch the chapa to town to use the internet. I later befriended a priest who let me and my roommate use the church's computer. I also befriended someone from Xai-xai who had a phone, but then I had to befriend someone who had electricity so we could charge the phone. Contacting my family entailed sending an email with a date and a time, visiting my friend with the phone, and taking the phone to my other friend to get it charged. I currently live in Hong Kong and moved here two and a half years ago before all the craziness started. Have fun! I haven't been back to Mozambique since 2003 so I enjoy reading about your adventures.

    1. Thank you so much! I always appreciate hearing from others about my blog. I was just talking to my friend today about how much respect I have for anyone who served in the days before mobile phones and internet. Mozambique is a special place, and I feel honored to serve here.


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