Friday, April 9, 2010

REDES is rolling

I am currently teaching at two different schools, which has me spread pretty thin. At the agricultural school where I was originally assigned I am only teaching once a week, but I am also involved in the rejuvenation of a girls group called REDES (young women in education, development, and health). It’s sort of like Girl Scouts of Mozambique. There are groups all over the country and they get together once a year for regional conferences. I’m arranging to bring two girls and one counterpart (my neighbor) to this year’s conference during secondary school vacations at the end of this month.
It’s challenging to find convenient times to meet since the students are always busy. If they’re not in classes they’re out working the fields or cleaning the school compound. Still, we’ve already done some good projects. A few weeks ago we went out to the daycare where another PCV works and painted a mural. I brought a tub of cookies and a Frisbee and we had a great time. The girls decided to paint their jeans and this new fashion can now be seen walking around campus. I consider it good advertisement for the club.
Last week we had a Mozambican-American dance swap. Valerie, Jenna, Louise and I represented the USA with such wonders as line dancing, swing, the electric slide, and old fashioned rock n’ roll. My REDES girls showed us marrabenta, passada and some talented booty-shakin. It was girls-only and super fun!
We used popular music from my computer for the dance swap, but next time I want them to show us traditional dances with only drums for music. Some of the girls in the club are extremely talented at traditional dancing. I sat in on one of their practice sessions once and got to play the drum while they danced barefoot.
I swear Mozambicans dance out of the womb. I have never seen people move their bodies like they do in this country. I’m really looking forward to Woman’s Day celebrations on April 7th. There will almost certainly be some great dancing and singing.

I'll try and post some pictures in the next post.

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