Friday, July 30, 2010

the "senha"

I have been here three days and already done so many things! I have had many experiences with this thing called the "senha." A senha is the number that you get to hold your place in line. Normally I only encounter this only at Publix to buy lunchmeat, but here they use it for everything. It's quite nice--instead of standing in line you just pick up a number and sit until you're called.

One of the things I had to acquire was a CPF, which is the Brazilian version of a social security number. But now I am officially a person according to the Brazilian government! I exist!

Besides registering with the government, researching cell phone options, procuring all sorts of paperwork, catching the bus, and doing LOTS of walking, I have gotten to do many cool things. The other day Marta and I went to this neat little coffeeshop that sits across from a big park in the city. It's close to her house so we just took a stroll through the park to get home!

Today I went to my campus (in the "valley"), met my advisor, and chose my classes! My schedule is going to be great! I'm taking four classes (a normal class load here is eight or nine) and I won't have class on Mondays or Fridays! My classes are Syntax, Phonology, Psycolinguistics, and Pragmatics, which are all linguistics classes. I'm a little nervous about doing them all in Portuguese though.

Tonight is Bible study and will be my first one in Portuguese! Marta and I are going to make pão de queijo and I’m really excited to meet everyone!

Monday, July 26, 2010


There was only one thing left to be done before my last day in the States was complete.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

packing again?

I have officially been back in the country for two weeks and I leave again tomorrow! I have spent these past days travelling to Tennessee, visiting friends in Jacksonville, getting a haircut, making presentations about my trip to the Mozzie-land, catching up on some zzzzs, seeing Toy Story 3, and now--PACKING.

I must forge on...

Friday, July 23, 2010

a good read

Looking for a good book for a summer read? Something that will hold your attention? Something challenging? May I suggest to you Elisabeth Elliot's Passion and Purity. Delightful.

Monday, July 12, 2010

hello? goodbye? ah!

Well, here I am, back in the states. It took three days and some unexpected adventures to get here, but I made it! We ended up spending an extra day in Johannesburg, South Africa (during the world cup finals!) because our first plane was quite delayed and the president of Mozambique just happened to be leaving at the same time we were intending to! It was actually nice that our trip was extended because I think my whole team needed a little bit longer to realize that our trip was ending and that we wouldn’t see each other anymore.

Reverse culture shock started before I even left the country, though. As soon as I got on the plane to go from Maputo (the capital of Mozambique) to South Africa I was surrounded by white people! No one was staring at me. So. Weird.

It’s weird to understand everything going on around me and to have toilets flush automatically and for one meal to cost $15 and to have five different options of water and to be able to order lunch on a computer without any human interaction. (All things I faced just in the JFK airport.)

I’m glad to be back and to see my family and friends again. But I do miss Mozambique and especially all of the wonderful people I spent the last six weeks with.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

everyone loves gazebos


Our team got to go to the beach for debrief! Some people have decided that “debrief” is a little too scandalous so instead we are calling it “disorientation.” Neither sounds very pleasant to me! But what does sound pleasant is hammocks, beautiful sunsets, the Indian Ocean, and two days of rest with my wonderful team.

We got to visit a nearby village, which was really cool. In the middle of the village is a well that was built by Vasco de Gama!
Last night we made a fire on the beach and had “hobo stew” for dinner. We each put a bunch of vegetables and meat and seasonings to our liking in aluminum foil, wrapped it up nice and securely, and tossed it on the fire. After about 20 minutes we pulled it out and ate it up. So tasty!
Lisa and Jess (two girls on my team) and I pulled our mattresses out onto the upstairs veranda of our bungalow and went to sleep under the stars! It was perfect and then this morning we were awaken by the sunrise coming up between the palm trees.
On our way back to Nampula we stopped at this church built in 1579. It’s either the oldest active church in the southern hemisphere or on the mainland—take your pick.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1 Thessalonians 2:8

So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

This is how I want to live my life. First and foremost I want to share the gospel, but I don’t want that to be the end of it. I want to share my life with people.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Ever wonder what to call that pestery white membrane of pulp on the inside of tangerines and other citrus? Valchives—now you know. Take it, use it, spread it as you please.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Monica, the Lexique Pro!

For the past two weeks I have been working on one thing—dictionaries. Well, they are not full dictionaries, but rather long word lists that the people working here in Mozambique have compiled. I have been assigned the task of taking all of the hard work that other people have done and making it into something that can be handed to people and distributed across the country. First we had to standardize the list of words and the way they are numbered, run all sorts crazy lingalinga programs on them, import them into Lexique Pro, a computer program that has decided it is my arch nemesis and finally export them into different formats so we could have them as PDFs and in HTML. I did this for 16 languages! Lexique Pro even played nice long enough for me to print them with pictures! We also created one master lexicon that has Portuguese as the head word and has glosses for all sixteen of the languages in the same entry! It was pretty exciting stuff. I’m really glad I got to work on this and I might even be able to take a class on Lexicons and Dictionaries next semester in Brazil!

oh, canada!

Today is Canada Day! Many of the people here on center are from Canada, including our very own Jess Yu. They decorated with maple leaves and flags and at tea time they all sang the Canadian anthem. In honor of our dear mounties...

O Canada our home and native land
True patriots love in all thy sons command
With glowing hearts we see thee rise
The true north strong and free
From far and Wide, O Canada
We stand on guard for thee
God keep our land glorious and free
O Canada we stand on guard for thee
O Canada we stand on guard for thee!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

craft night

One of the ladies from the office brought in her sewing machine and a few of us made purses out of our capulanas. Relatively painless--I only got my hair stuck in the sewing machine once--and now I have my very own reversible bag!