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.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Weekend was interesting. Sometimes we have those, other times it's just basically sit around and read or watch some DVDs. But this weekend we actually had some things to do. Ok, background info: the Camara is the local governing body here, and each zone has one. On the island of Santiago, there are several Camaras because there are several zones. I am not sure how they split the zones on each island, but it has to do with general population I think. Think of the zones as similar to counties. Boa Vista (my island) only has one Camara because the population here is so small and there aren't very many towns other than Vila, where I live. The Camara functions similar to a state-run government system. There is a president of every Camara and his position is somewhat similar to the mayor of different towns in the US. Here where there is only one Camara, however, the president's position is similar to that of the governor of the state, as his governing body pretty much runs this whole island and all 4,000 people on it. Yes, there are only 4,000 people on this whole island.

Anyway, most community development volunteers work closely with the local Camaras as they are able to get funding and provide the most help through this governing body. Leland's job is an exception, he works mostly through and at the Youth Center, but the two are very closely connected. So we know a lot of people in the Camara. One person who has been friendly and very helpful to us since we got here works for the Camara and his project/job is to do a complete overhaul of all the Youth Centers on the island. His name is Paolo. There is a Youth Center in almost every town. So here, that's about 5, plus two that are currently being built in other small towns. So needless to say, we see him a lot. Friday night he invited Leland and me to dinner (as he was at the dinner party we threw at our house). We went out to a very nice restaurant which was a little bit of a treat for us. Ever since we moved out of the hotel, we don't go out to eat ever because it's so expensive. Paolo is the sort of person who is in control of every situation. Not in a bad way, but in that protective-I-want-everything-to-be-right-for-you type of way. So he order our dinners for us, which ended up being lobster. First time Leland and I had lobster on this island and it was very good. He apparently got too impatient waiting for me to take all the meat out of my lobster, so he ended up deshelling it all and placing it back on my plate. If I hadn't been three glasses of wine in by that time, I would have been a little grossed out. After dinner we went to a rooftop restaurant where there was a band playing (the only band here, they play everywhere) and the President of the Camara was there. Paolo knew and greeted everyone. But the President's situation made me laugh a little. He was sitting at a fairly long table and on his right there were three pretty young Italian (aka white) women sitting and on his left were thuggish looking African men (aka body guard type people). I had to have a giggle about this because it just made me realize that no matter where you are, people in governmental power are all the same (or you can draw your own conclusions here :). Anyway we went to another bar after that where Paolo told me that his marriage and therefore his life was in trouble because of me. I laughed it off like I laugh off every ridiculous attempt to hit on me and am now avoiding him for a little while as per what I have found to be the best method. So that was fun.

Saturday night Leland and I went to Mazurka, the only discotequa on the island. This is only the second time we've been there because the place doesn't open until midnight and that's simply just too late for me anyway. So I stayed up, and we went. And it was nuts. Have you ever seen the second Matrix movie (I think it's the second one) where they're in that underground city and there's this techno-rave like dance going on? Yeah this is what that place was like. Techno pounding, which is quite irritating dance music and people just grinding and sweating on the dance floor. My favorite however, was the big bus that brought all the tourists (young and old!) who are staying in one of the nicest resorts here in town called the Marine Club. They have their own bus, I thought it was funny. We were there until about 4am, but it was fun.

On a separate note, I dreamt about my sister last night. I miss everyone very much, don't get me wrong. And some days are worse than others. But if you had to ask me who the one person was I missed the most, my answer would immediately be Natasha. So needless to say, after the dream, I woke up a little depressed and missed her more than ever. Anyway, this week will be focused on AIDS as December 1st is World AIDS day, and this Saturday is our race. So that's all for now, happy Monday!


Anonymous Danielle said...

Does Paolo have a MBA? ha! i had too! love ya miss ya :0)

29 November, 2006 06:20


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