Well hey there amigo, I humbly want to say thanks for stoppin by and takin interest in what this girl is doing! While you read, Keep in mind that the ideas and thoughts expressed in this thing are mine and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Peace Corps or the United States government...blah blah blah...go read!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Girl Power

REDES conference 2010 was a big hit!!! A couple other Peace Corps Volunteers and I had been planning this conference since the end of last year. Epa, what a task in a place like this! General lack of resources (human or materials), widespread chaos, chronic inefficiency, and unpredictable communication systems make large-scale events like this one quite challenging, but the work paid off. 50 girls from 6 different provinces in northern and central Mozambique made the treck all the way to Chimoio, a city in central Mozambique to the week-long conference targeting issues in education, health, life-planning, and leadership skills. For some girls, this trip maybe the longest distance they ever travel and for many of them, it was the first time leaving their province!

One of my favorite hippie Peace Corps colleagues introducing the girls to yoga.
Mornings were filled with large-group sessions. I got to lead one session on test-taking skills and another on study skills.
Meeting other Mozambican girls from the other side of the country is one of the greatest things that happens at the conference. The support and encouragement they get from/give eachother is pretty powerful and so needed.
Veronica was one of our Mozambican fascilitators. She was a rather sassy, loud, intelligent woman who refered to her booty as her Mozambican "riqueza" or riches. lol Besides being hilariously entertaining, she served as a solid role model for the girls. She is one of a very small number of female school directors. We also had 2 other Mozambican facilitators, a math teacher and Portuguese teacher who were also refreshingly witty, talented, inspiring women who will undoubtedly do great things for Mozambique. They certainly did for our conference. The goal is to eventually hand the project off completely to Mozambican women.
The girls had technical sessions in the afternoon where they learned nutrition, public-speaking, self-defense, and income generation. Here we have one of my fellow PCVs, Gina attacking a girl in practice.
The girls are definitely starved for positive attention. We had them occupied from sunrise to sunset.
Olivia and Muazareia, the representatives from Angoche.
Outside of Chimoio is Cabeca do Velho, a mountain that looks like the profile of an old man. Many of the girls had never climbed a mountain before, so we took them up one afternoon.

view all the way into Zimbabwe

I have to say that the mountain was one of my favorite activities.

Alcancia, quite possibly my favorite Mozambicn woman.
group shot of the PCVs, and Mozambican counterparts and fascilitators

We carried them up the Mt just like this. jk This is the Nampula province group.
Rapariga oye!

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