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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentines Day

I hate Valentine’s Day. Ok wait, let me back up. I have never hated Valentine’s Day until I came to this country. I have spent the last three days making silly decorations for the Youth Center for reasons which still have not been fully explained to me. Some sort for event, I really have no clue. The other thing is, people in this country are so rediculously crazy over this holiday. Yesterday, my high school put an average-sized decorated box in the common area. ALL DAY students were piling that thing up with notes and letters they had written for their Valentine. I mean these are middle school and high school students we’re talking here. I don’t think I would have had the guts to give my secret crush a Valentine in Middle School. Even if it was done anonymously. But these kids spent all day yesterday in class and everywhere writing these elaborate phrases and drawing cheesy pictures that will be distributed today to the classes. I could not believe the enthusiasm that went into this event. I mean, maybe they are writing to their girlfriends and boyfriends. It is entirely possible that every single one of my eighth graders has a significant other. In fact when I told one class yesterday that I didn’t have a boyfriend, they all laughed and gave me looks like “yeah right, Teacher.”

Leland and I were discussing this phenomenon last night, and we could honestly not wrap our heads around it. We can’t understand why they are so into this particular holiday. And in it with such vigor. I mean, decorations, and secret letters, and cheesy phrases and poems found on the internet. They love cheesy crap like this. But the idea of a relationship is not a steady institution. In fact, I dare you to find one Cape Verdean male over the age of 16 who has not cheated on his girlfriend. The Kriolu term is troca pé, which literally means, “change feet” for cheating. So I don’t get it. It’s shameless and so enthusiastic unlike anything I have ever seen. Maybe if I say St. Valentine is in the hospital, they will all line up with equal vigor for the condoms distributed there. I don’t know.

Yes, I did receive Valentines from students and here is a sampling of what one said (yeah in English):

I love you so much
I don't know to who love you but not who smiles,
To you, who smiles to you, doesn't love you and
who love you, is here crying for you, is not
fair I need to know the reason why caan't we be
one. There's no resaon my love is here for you.
...tell me if you want will be my girlfriend.

Yeah. Not exactly sure who it was from. Doesn't matter. So rediculous.


Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

Dear, Oh Dear, Nadia!! Cynicism aside, maybe you should teach them a little Roses are red. . .

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
You're what!?!?!
You're "changing you're feet" !?!?!
(insert another idiom here that means get lost!)

LOVE LOVE LOVE you Nadia, you're too funny! Mom

14 February, 2007 20:29

Anonymous Danielle said...

this blog was hilarious, thanks for the talk!!! love ya miss ya!

14 February, 2007 20:50


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