Friday, May 16, 2008

Unplanned post

Hey guys, whatºs up? This will be free blog entry since i donºt have anything particularly planned. biggest new news is that i was introduced to new friends at site who bring me right back to college days hanging out with internationals, except difference is they are talking about their work in Mozambique and i learn heaps by listening tothem. in short, working here is a constant battle against the most ridiculous of obstacles and working conditions. Africa dares you to try and get something done, go ahead, make itºs day. The one friend is Dr. Nilton, who turned 25 yesterday (a real doogie howser) and he is the only doctor in the district. we hang out a fair amount now, probably more than iºd like to because when iºm hanging out at his house i feel like iºm back inthe U.S., what with normal spacious interior and English spoken on tv and by us. he even gets MTV and reads Menºs Health. I think he might be more American than me. The other firend is Geraldine, she is fromthe Basque country between Spain and France, way exotic. She has a cute French accent and lots of experience working as a short to long term consultant in Africa and all over the place. her stories are great.
School is tough, iºm too much of a disciplinarian but i'm teaching 8th grade and i guess thatºs about half of what it means to teach that grade. problem is a canºt loosen up around them because as soon as i do they think its ok to start acting like little punks again. iºm having anger issues. my favorite is the night school, a lot like the sitcom 'Night Court' which you might remember fondly as i do, though i was 3 when i saw it and understood nothing. the teachers hang out in the teachers lounge and bullshit to avoid going home, i guess, and the lessons themselves go SO MUCH BETTER because the students are adults and i can treat them more like equals. i can joke, they laugh at my joke, then we get back on task. one false move with the kids and they go out of control and there goes the rest of the lesson. The little children here, who are still in the rye-field, those kids are just plain beautiful, but...8th graders. iºm working on it, got to be more positive.
Also, my house is coming along. I guarantee you it will flood in the first medium to hard rain, no matter how many Mozambican engineers tell me 'no ha de entrar agua' which is 'water wonºt come into the house' just a simple assertion, repeated again and again despite the laws of physics, by the builders. Iºm in Maxixe now buying some stuff to make it more livable, like an electric hotplate. Write to me!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Send me MP3 cd's

You wouldn't believe how bad the American music that makes it over here is. Some dumb Avril Lavigne songs, James Blunt...worst of all is that so many people REFUSE to believe me when I tell them that actually, Linkin Park sucks, you just don't know it because you've got nothing to compare it to. So please send me CDs at my address here,

Greg Harris
C.P. 16

I recently bought an MP3 player and speakers that hook up to it, I promise I'll share your music with others here. later,


My newest insight about Africa

The thing about Mozambique and probably Africa in general. It's easy and enjoyable to live here, but nearly impossible to get anything done. This has been a big challenge for me recently, as I've got more of a sense of urgency having seen a quarter of my time here gone by already so now i'm trying to get stuff done. All I have to show for so far is some work I did on finding info about scholarships for our students. As it turns out the Provincial Direction of the Ministry of Education is essentially the only place a student can turn to for a scholarship and with interest so high students loans are unfeasible. So there's only one thing to recommend for my best students, grit your teeth and push on the bureaucracy and hope that, in the end, their scholarship package and subsequent payments will get done. There's about 50 scholarhips for the whole province, i think they're awarded yearly.