Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Nine Down, Nine To Go August 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 9:52 pm

Exactly nine months and a day ago I arrived in Beira. I’m now halfway through my contract. This is causing some anxiety since I feel like I just arrived which means the next nine months will likely fly by. And what have I accomplished in nine months?

I have not been mugged.

I speak a somewhat understandable form of Portuguese.

I can sing about a quarter of the songs at church.

I can navigate my way around the city by chapa.

I have not had malaria.

I’ve learned to not only eat but love avocadoes.

I now cook with onions.

I make yogurt. (I think really my greatest accomplishments are all culinary.)

I’ve visited a few places outside Beira.

I’ve traveled by helicopter.

I’ve written a community survey, trained interviewers, analyzed data, and written a report.

I’ve played and enjoyed golf.

I’ve started running again.

I’ve renewed/refreshed my diving certification.

I’ve killed and disposed of a rat stuck to a glue trap.

And what do I hope to accomplish in the next nine months?

To still not be mugged.

To understand and speak Portuguese more fluently.

To sing half the songs at church.

To meet with some school directors and teachers to talk about ending corruption in their schools.

To train tutors well for a new after-school learning club.

To set up a computer lab for university students.

To visit Zimbabwe.

To visit South Africa.

To dive at least one more time.

To learn to drive on the left side of the road.

To keep up with running.

To swim regularly once it gets warm enough (which will probably be next week at the rate the temps are rising).

To learn how to cook matapa (a local dish of greens cooked in a sauce of coconut milk and crushed peanuts).

A note about malaria: To avoid it would be an accomplishment on one hand, but on another, it’s sort of a rite of passage.

To leave here feeling like I’ve made some genuine Mozambican friends.

Aside from accomplishments, I hope God will surprise me in these coming months. That I will not become too set in personal expectations but be open to His.

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