This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Life is the craziest I’ve ever known it. It’s odd when you are so consumed with life that you forget when or where you came from. Fellow trainees have nicknamed pre-service training high school on steroids. It really feels that way. We are in class from 8:30 until 5:30 with sometimes only ½ hour for a lunch break. Those are the days I go back home and collapse. There is no time however, because my family is there and I like talking to them. They don’t speak any English so I have been forced to learn to speak Creole fluently in 2 weeks. I was actually surprised as to how fast most of us were able to pick it up. The teaching thing is going to be very scary. We started model school this week. I am teaching 10th and 11th graders. I have lesson plans but when you get in that classroom with 30+ students in the class just staring at you, I found it was similar to auditioning. And we all know how much I love doing that. At least I know what to expect when I actually get to my site, which is also something of a nerve-racking anticipation. I may also be teaching a computer class or two, so I’ve been told. It will be basic word-processing class, but that means that I will have to be up on my Portuguese. Yes we are learning two languages at the same time. We were given 2 weeks of instruction in Creole, and now we are expected to continue speaking with our families. For those of us in education, we have now moved on to the Portuguese instruction for the next 6 weeks. So we will continue to speak Creole in the home with our families and Portuguese in the classroom. In schools here, Portuguese is the language all subjects are taught in. Any kind of formal instruction, anything is done in Portuguese. But when having a conversation with the average person on the street or in the market, they speak Creole. Yay language! It’s very overwhelming and life consuming I feel like I’ve been here my whole life. I haven’t been able to think about anything else. It has started to rain here. They love the rain, they only get a little bit of it, so they are thankful when it comes. I’m sorry if this has been scattered and long but I don’t get to go to an internet café that often. Hardly ever actually, there is no internet in the town we live, so it is rare to get to go. Mailing letters may actually be quicker. I may have to try that…. Goodbye for now and I hope to be able to write again soon. Also attached are some photos of the area. There is one with me and my host mother and younger sister. Also, there are other photos of Sao Domingos where I have been for the past 3 weeks, and will be here for another 6 weeks. I always have like 5 seconds on the internet so i try my best!!

3 Comments:

Blogger Jenna said...

Nadia! I am so jealous of you right now. Everything sounds so amazing. I can't believe you learning to speak Creole in two weeks...that's crazy! We missed you at Country Thunder...it was really hot and it rained the whole time...again...it was fun though as always. We made some pretty sweet shirts this year...it's hard to describe them in words so we'll have to send you some pitcures...I miss you lots, keep in touch!

Love Ya! Jenna

31 July, 2006 14:39

 
Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

Well done you, Nadia! Two languages--piece of cake for a smart girl like you. You will know it's all sinking in the first night you dream in either Portugese or Creole--that alone is an amazing experience! As you said on the telephone on Sunday you did not have time to read the posted comments to your blog, but hopefully next time you are in the cyber world you will have more online time allowance and will get a chance. More people than have replied have read your blogs and I am going to compile a notebook of your blog entries for all your "patient" fans in the office as they ask about you all the time. Keep us posted as each new experience you share with us broadens our relationship with the world outside our community.

Those of you who are reading my comment and intend to reply to Nadia's posting should know this--she is very eager to hear from everyone and she, too, has stated that she wants to hear about what everyone is doing--the everyday stuff will help keep her in touch with our lives at home. I mail an envelope to her everyweek including items such as magazines, New York Sunday Times sections, and bits of home. She says that all the PCT (Peace Corps Trainees)feel a little out of loop as far as news and American culture are concerned and all literature any of them receive is shared amoung the PCT community. My point? She wants to hear from you through this blog. Any little piece of home you can include through your words are a delight to her. Thanks, Jenna, for Country Thunder inclusion--I am sure you reminded her of her good time at CT 2005! Love to you Nadia, Mom.

02 August, 2006 16:25

 
Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

By the way, Nadia told me on the phone on Sunday that she did not have enough online time to upload the photographs and will try to do so next time.

02 August, 2006 16:27

 

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