I have been in Mozambique for just about two days and have found that each day is filled with a new adventure. With the more people I meet and the more places I see, my understanding of the land is growing as I find a lot of my preconceived notions about Mozambique–and Africa–in general are wrong. Mozambicans are generally very happy and social people. They enjoy building relationships and love to sing and dance. I am learning more and more Portuguese as the days go on. I have found that the language is similar to Spanish. At this point, I am only able to hold basic greeting conversation (ex. hello, goodbye, what is your name, how are you, how old are you, where do you live).
Yesterday, I visited an orphanage in Matola-Rio. At this center, the orphans have it good (and good is probably defined differently than most Americans would consider ‘good’). They have a safe place, three meals a day, and people to look and watch out for them. In comparison to others in the countries, I would consider the orphans pretty lucky despite the sadness of losing one or both of their parents.
To be honest, I did feel weird taking out my camera at this place. It wasn’t until I realized that the children loved having their picture taken did I become more comfortable with it. It was so funny–the children were posing and then laughing hysterically at their picture. I put some of my favorites from the day below. I hope you enjoy. Many more pictures and thoughts to come.
As some of you know, I am planning on going to Mozambique, Africa for 3 weeks (July 23rd-August 12th). I have a 15 hour flight from JFK to Johannesburg (South Africa), a 5 hour layover, and then an hour flight to Maputo, Mozambique. Being on a 12-13 hour flight to Israel just last June, I am expecting this flight to be long–very long. This time, I am planning on bringing my own plane food (and some extra food for the time I am in Africa…I really am not allowed to eat much). Being Italian, this is obviously one of my main concerns haha.
I am excited to visit Mozambique and am excited about the people I will meet. There will be a slight language barrier since most people will speak Portuguese, however, my Linguistics and Education background in ESL should help me be able to communicate. I am bringing a lot of games and manipulative to help speak basic English and was given cool puzzles, stamps, and books that reinforce the concepts I hope to teach. I want to thank Michelle Conte for the verygenerous donations of her classroom supplies.
I am interested to see how teaching in another country will change my perspective of education.
In a recent blog post, I discussed how times are changing for people with autism. While people with disabilities have traditionally struggled finding employment, certain companies such as SAP and Freddie Mac are actually seeking people who are on the spectrum. Temple Grandin, the most famous person with autism, gives a great Tedtalk on how the world needs all kinds of minds.
I was recently asked to write a guest blog post for the Neighborhood Writing Alliance, a blog based in Chicago. The blog aims to provide opportunities to provoke dialogue, build community, and provoke change. My piece on The Accessible Icon Project was just published today. Feel free to read it here.
A professor from Gordon College recommended this new website: http://everybody.si.edu. This website aims to collect the history of various people with disabilities who have been present throughout American History. Since people with disabilities have been stigmatized in years past, many stories have not made it into history textbooks because of the person’s physical or mental condition. This site’s goal is to save those stories and make them available for the general public. The website is even available in Spanish. Be sure to take a look at this month’s Website of the Month Award!