Saturday, October 10, 2009

Primary students awaiting a special visitor.

So special, the veterans marched through town.

What guest could demand such anticipation?

Such excitement?

Oh you know who...

President Armando Emílio Guebuza!

In the flesh and back for the second time since my arrival!

He came to inaugurate the new pedagogical university.
Edgar presented the environmental management course to him.

A few days later, Edgar celebrated his birthday.

The spread.

Chicken and Mayo-mac.



Biscuits and cake.

He got to eat.

Pop the Cris....or Fanta.

King of the Massinga.

My student Isaias took me to his home.

He carried this huge car battery for an hour on the walk to his house.

I am happy to say that he is one hundred percent healthy.

Just look at him carve this sugar cane.

Banana trees are the most beautiful, ironic plants on earth.

So phallic, yet so floral.

My school brought out the big guns for its inauguration.

If the decorative sprinklers were not enough, the flowers had to be.

Or, this demonstration of our wonderful 9th grade English lessons.

Visual Education Class was presented to the Minister of Education.

I explained what we had been doing for the past year to a student.
Photo by Edgar Fragoso.

The kids presented a mini-science fair to the Minister as well.

At the end, my wonderful Headmaster gave a speech.

Then, the incredibly intelligent and inspiring Minister of Education.

Afterward, there was a party for the teachers.

Fidel got these photos developed of me, him, and Edgar.

My art students made a beautiful poster for the Regional Science Fair.

Then, we started English Theater.

The piece was written by Valdo a week before the competition.

The day of the competition, I tried to relax and pass out snacks.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

In anticipation, my kids ate their snacks.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Then showed off their musical talent.

Which we used as narration for our play.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Dr. Valdo and HIV-free Cordoso.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

In an ignorant rage, the HIV-positive patient
throws condoms at Dr. Valdo.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Despite the hostility, the doctor calmly explains the risks
of traditional medicine and practices.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

In the end, the community witnesses the negative
effects of tradition medicine.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

And, we walk away with third place!
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Two weeks later, I found myself back in Inhamussua
for an inter-school exchange with my art students.

The Fine Art Club of Massinga was called upon for their expertise.
Photo by Chase Nye.

And experts we were.
Photo by Chase Nye.

Valdo doing detail work.

Ginocio painting crops with the agricultural students.

Judite and Eugenio cleaning up.

Afterward, we ate lunch together.
Photo by Chase Nye.

Valdo and Chase showing off the day's work.
View the mural progression here.

At the end of the day, my kids had to go home.

It was not going to be easy.

But I was determined to get them home before dark.

That night I attended a very formal event. A birthday.
Photo by Paulo Macucha.

I showed up in short shorts and a pink shirt.
Photo by Paulo Macucha.

Simultaneously, the Fine Art Club of Massinga started their mural.

But first, they would have to prepare the surface.

We rejuvenated the wall with six coats of primer.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

And, did a lot of drawing and surveying in between.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

After, we drew out the designs on the wall.
Photo by Ismail Vilanculos.

This is me. Drawing.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Finally we got to painting!
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Valdo and Felgos painting Valdo's original concept.

Dalton painting the fruits of Massinga.

Luicano and myself working in the urine-saturated sand.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Nothing in life can be too easy.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Luciano, Benedito, and Dalto completing their day's work.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

Felgos and Makito finishing up.
Photo by Justino Cossa.

The ever-scrutinizing Felgos aka Picasso...or so he thinks.
Photo by Justino Cossa

Me and a select few putting final touches on the mural.
Photo by Valdo Isaias.

Analyzing our paint situation.
Photo by Valdo Isaias.

Fixing dropped paint and brushstrokes.
Photo by Valdo Isaias.

I introduced the idea of perfecting your work to the students.

And, required them to do two days of final touches.

It all payed off when the Minister of Education of Mozambique came.

Valdo was able to present our work to him on the 4th of October after
commemorating the peace agreement signed with the Portuguese in 1974.

The final piece.
Photo by Valdo Isaias.

As always, Edgar is working hard teaching a full work load every day
while paying half of his salary to study at university every night.

The Doctor's Dilemma.
Filmed by Chase Nye.

A trimester has begun and nearly ended as I find myself about to begin the last week of school. The trimester was filled with as sorts of activities and visits from government officials including the president of the Republic of Mozambique, who is scheduled to return this week, and the venerable Minister of Education of Mozambique, who gave immaculate speeches on both the inauguration of Massinga Secondary School and on "Dia de Acordos," the day which commemorates the peace agreement between Mozambique and Portugal.
Edgar celebrated his twenty-second birthday this trimester. At twenty two, he is already an adjunct teacher finishing up his fourth year of teaching and a first year university student. He has been a great friend of mine and I am incredibly excited to see him succeed.
As a follow up to my suspenseful story about my faithful student Isaias, I would like to inform that he is incredibly healthy and that his mystery illness was nothing more than scabies. This trimester, I went out to the country side with him and met his family. The walk was long and beautiful as we strode through the coconut orchards. In the end, we arrived to a beautiful home and two meals. While visiting, I also was able to meet several other students as I unexpectedly dropped into their rural homes. It was a great experience and brought me a lot closer to the kids I encountered.
The year has also been jammed packed with extracurricular activities. In addition to the art club we have been running since February on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, Massinga Secondary School participated in the Peace Corps Volunteer initiated Regional Science Fair, held a local science fair which inspired a mini-fair at the pedagogical university, painted a beautiful 2x10m mural in the city park, began painting four other murals in the city park, sent five of our top art students to Inhamussua for inter-school mural painting project, and participated in the Peace Corps Volunteer initiated English Theater Competition led by the Mozambican Theater Network.
The theater competition was a great experience for my kids. We had a late start due to indecisiveness on who should author the script. However, with only a week left before the competition, Valdo took matters into his own hands and wrote the whole script alone. After editing the script we me and chosing players, Valdo assigned himself the most difficult role and began practicing every morning before and every night after school. With incredible ingenuity and perseverance, my kids were able to walk away from Maxixe with pocket dictionaries and the claim to third place.
The day after the competition we all got together and finished the mural we had been working on for three weeks. It was an incredibly stressful and intense week. But in the end, I couldn't have been more proud. These kids really made an impression on me this last trimester. They have really worked hard and saturated Massinga with a deluge creativity and art over this past year. Massinga is about to be the creative center of southern Africa.


Anonymous Keri said...

Wow, you and your kids have been so busy since we left. The murals look amazing - please congratulate your kids on their amazing skills and dedication! I am more than a little jealous that you were there for the much anticipated presidential visit. Hope your last few weeks in Moz are wonderful Patrick!

3:04 PM  
Blogger After School Detention said...

Thanks Keri!
Unfortunately, I didn't catch the president this time. I was busy working on our last mural and didn't make it to the big campaign even. Not to mention, we are more or less prohibited from going to such events as Peace Corps Volunteers. Thanks for the drop!

3:19 PM  

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