Sunday, July 22, 2012

1st anniversary

After our fun in Moz and the safari at Gorongoza, we made a stop in Johannesburg on the way home to celebrate our first anniversary

Months before, we had looked up Jo'burg hotels on Tripadvisor and found this cute little hotel called The Residence. Everyone gave it great reviews. We had no idea where to stay so we trusted the reviews and booked it. 

We made a great choice! It was beautiful and just what I needed after Mozambique. :) It was so much nicer than we were expecting. Also, there was only one other couple staying there that night so they were really sweet to us. 

We forgot to tell them about the whole we-don't-drink-alcohol thing. So nice of them to bring it though! 

Pretty patio off of our room... too bad it was winter in Jo'burg

Beautiful bathroom-- so nice to feel clean again!

Woohoo a yummy drink sans alcohol

This was the cutest dinner. There was only one other couple staying there that night (they only have five rooms) so they set us up a little table by the fireplace. 

Bruschetta. Mmmm.

Breakfast on the patio in the morning. It was freezing out there but worth it. 

I know it was our first so I don't have much to compare it to, but it was such a fun anniversary. A year ago I never would have thought we'd be celebrating in Jo'burg. We even watched our wedding video on our plane from Nigeria to Houston. One of the flight attendants asked us if we were on our honeymoon because the flight was empty and we were just about the only two people sitting next to each other. :)

Isn't this cute? I can't believe it's been a year. Watching our wedding video made me so grateful for the beautiful day we had and for everyone that was part of it. I'm so lucky to be married to Justin. The past year has been busy with us both working and going to school, volunteering together, J's MCAT, Moz, and Ecuador. But it has been so nice to have him by my side. I love the little sweet things he'll do like make me a lunch before he leaves in the morning or stop by to see me at work. After all the years of dating, it feels good to know I'll get to spend my whole life and forever with my bff!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Catching up: Last few days in Moz

So we got home and life started again! Hence, we are behind in blogging. But I'll try to catch up. 

Our last few days in Mozambique we went around to the same villages. But instead of teaching the health promotors, we had the health promotors teach us! They did a little bit of role playing and each took a page to pretend to teach. 

Just as a recap, there are 5-10 health promotors in each village. They are each in charge of about 20 families. We were teaching the health promotors and they will in turn teach the material from the book to each of their families over the next few months. At the end of the training we gave the promotors enough books to distribute to the families when they go to teach them.

Before we left, we wanted to make sure they felt comfortable with the material and teaching it to others. The last week was really rewarding because we got to listen to what they have learned. 

Hanging out with some pretty girls before our meeting

So many of the diseases we teach about can be prevented by simply drinking clean water. Motel Bispo's well was right outside our meeting so I slipped out to take this picture. 

Then I noticed the "Kids Club" meeting going on across the way. CFL has volunteer kids club teachers in the village who teach a class called "Stay Alive" to the 10-14 year-olds. It was fun to see how many kids come and hear the volunteer teach.

The health promotors of Motel Bispo holding up their own copies of the health book! They had just finished their last training and are ready to teach their families!

Our health "team": Dr. English, Ana Micas, and us. Dr. English is a dermatologist from Arizona and has been to Mozambique many times. He came up with the material for the new health booklet. Ana Micas is our very own Mozambican nurse! She is amazing. She would translate the lessons from Portuguese to Senna and add in funny examples or stories. The people loved her and we love her! 

Making baskets with kids club

I miss this. Every time we drove in or out of a village, the kids would run after us yelling "Muzungu!!", which means white people! It might seem rude at first but they yell it only because they are so excited to see us and want to let everyone know we're there. The only scary part is that they also like to run along side and hang on the back of our van... I was so scared someone was going to get hurt one day but luckily no one did.

Another member of our health team, Veronica. She was so sweet to us. At the end of our trip, she gave me a capalana (fabric used for a skirt) printed with hands on it. She said it was the symbol of nurses in Mozambique and that I was now one of them.

Our favorite Brazilian!! Joao created the CFL program and has lived in Mozambique off and on for the last six years. Justin and Joao were roomies and buddies on the trip. Luckily, when Joao isn't in Mozambique, he lives in Utah so we'll be seeing more of him!

On our last day, we walked to Villa Mesane with Ana Micas to review the book with our last group. It was our first time walking to a village because we usually had Dr. English or Joao to drive us. I was so glad we had that day though because it was fun to just walk through the whole village. We walked through their market and bought fruit from the people selling in front of their homes. The people here are so friendly. Anyone that was outside near the road would wave and smile at us. 

My nurse friend Ana Micas

 While walking in one of the villages, I made a cute friend. He wouldn't say a single word to me, but he wouldn't let go of my hand. Also, he was the cutest little boy. Justin was sneaky and got these pictures.

While the rest of the team was teaching the kids club, I entertained the little ones. We did everything I could think of-- from the hokey pokey to head, shoulders, knees, and toes. We even did the macarena. Finally I asked the kids if they knew any songs of their own. One little girl started singing and they all joined in. I recognized it from our lessons with the health promotors. I'm not sure what it means (it's in Senna) but the only word I knew was "diarrhea". The girls started dancing in a circle and we sang about diarrhea for no less than 15 minutes, the same tune over and over. Justin heard us singing the song and was totally laughing.

My little friend

My "diarrhea" singing kids and a few more at Ngupa.