A little less than two weeks ago we arrived in Mozambique at the Zimpeto Children's Centre that provides emergency care for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC). Stepping off the airplane we were filled with both excitement and fear. We were thrilled to have finally arrived and all the while a little nervous about getting settled in. (For anyone just tuning in to our blog, my husband and I were elementary school teachers from Ottawa, Canada who have decided to move to Mozambique to work with OVC in one of the poorest countries in the world.)
I first visited the Zimpeto Children's Centre two years ago as a short term volunteer for 3 weeks. As we drove through the streets of town I was filled with joy. A flood of memories rushed through my mind from the last time we were here and I couldn't wait to get to the centre. Driving through the streets of Maputo from the airport to the Zimpeto Children's Centre can be a little daunting for someone who has never done it. While I was filled with joy and excitement, I think Mr. Richmond was feeling rather overwhelmed. It was his first time entering a developing nation and the streets are nothing like streets in Ottawa. First, everyone drives on the other side of the road. Second, there are very few traffic lights and the few they have are rarely obeyed. Third, poverty abounds. The dirt roads, run down homes, and the sight of many struggling to make it through each day fill almost every turn to get to our destination.
In the past two weeks we've done a lot of observing and getting to know the children here at the centre. As we begin to launch our programs, we want to make sure to know the children and their needs as best we can. In a lot of ways, these past two weeks have reminded me of my first few weeks of school last year at Elmdale, wanting desperately to get to know each child in my class and find out how I could best serve them.
Here's a few pictures from our first few weeks:
Local: Are there any new students in your class this year? What kind of an effort could you make to get to know them better and to welcome them into your school.
Global: What are you learning this year in Geography and Social Studies? Take some time to research a country other than Canada.