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.