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.

Friday, April 27, 2007

18th April 2007

So of course the one week where I can’t access the internet everyday, I have like a million things to say. Today was the interview for the program in America. Like I thought, it was a little too good to be true, but not a total disappointment. This interview process was supposed to happen around a month ago, but for transportational reasons (have I mentioned I hate TACV, Cape Verde Airlines?) they couldn’t get to Boa Vista until now. The people from Wesleyan University had already gone back to America, so the woman who came was a representative from a section of the Cape Verdian government in charge of all youth activities. She works for the group that sort of in charge of all the Youth Centers in Cape Verde. Because of timing issues, she told me that they have already chosen the five Cape Verdian students who are going to America. Well, needless to say, I was pretty disappointed for my students. But she also told me that the students chosen had to go through rigorous language scrutiny. They have to be pretty much fluent in English and under the age of 19 to boot. A difficult process. But there is another program in Cape Verde over the summer that is sort of the same thing, only in this country. A few students from America are even coming here for it. It will be a intercultural exchange sort of thing for American and Cape Verdian students. Around 20 Cape Verdian students are chosen from around the islands in various forms of artistic expression: dance, theater, and music (both singing and playing of an instrument).

Two of my students decided to apply. They are 11th graders and only level III English. In this particular program, the English is not as rigorous, but as the Americans and Cape Verdians will be in classes together, English will have to be somewhat understood, and I don’t know many American high schoolers who can speak Portuguese, let alone Creole. Patricia, probably my best student, decided to apply for the dance section and Zelinda applied for the theater. The woman who came to do the interviews was very nice and I liked her a lot. She let me sit in on the interviews. I may be slightly partial, but I think my girls did the best out of everyone who applied. They had to exhibit some proof that they were able to do what they say they could. Patricia spoke English very well (ok I coached them a little before hand, but how could I not!!) and she danced various types of dance and showed she was ready to learn new types. Zelinda pulled off a monologue and showed quite some aptitude as an actress. Her English is not quite as good as Patricia’s, but she did just fine I think. Well, the interviewer afterwards told me that she would for sure take Patricia. Zelinda was a definite possibility and there is probably an 80% that she would go. But none of the other applicants were really considered. MY STUDENTS! My own, level 3 (!!!!) students were chosen for this program. Now, I believe in the school as a whole, and yes I would have been happy to seen any other student go, but the fact that it was my student just makes me so proud . So, I think they find out for sure in the next week or so, but I was so proud of them in the interview, they held their own, and didn’t seem as nervous as the other students, they were so great! Ok, well that’s all I have to say and I’ll keep you all posted on the for sure outcome of this whole business.


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