Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Mid Service Conference

January 27th, Moz 17 volunteers were all once again united for the first time since January 2012 for our group’s Mid-Service Conference (actually, it’s past the mid-service point as we’ve officially been in country for over 16 months, but the idea still remains accurate.)  Flown to the capital city Maputo, we 39 members were rewarded with seven nights in a hotel complete with running water, air conditioning and per diem allowances burning a hole in our bank accounts just waiting to be spent in this city full of delicious restaurants!  What more could a Peace Corps volunteer want?

The first day of the conference, we had a special memorial ceremony for Lena and Alden, the volunteers who passed away last December.  It was an informal event consisting of several activities including planting trees, making a garden, painting walking stones and creating a mural in the girls' honor.  It was the perfect event and a great way to remember our lost friends.
Here's our memorial garden.  We painted stones, planted flowers and bushes and each volunteer painted their own square around the mural quote "The Love They Gave Will Forever Endure".  Also, a zoom in on the plaque which dedicates the garden to Lena and Alden.

The remainder of the conference aimed to provide an opportunity for us to share our successes, lessons learned, strategies in the classroom and community as well as performing a yearly physical and dental exam.  We had discussions in the morning and afternoons were either free or for our scheduled dental or medical appointments. 

I think probably everyone’s favorite part was having the evenings free to hang out and sample the huge variety of restaurants in the city.  I ate spinach and ricotta-stuffed ravioli, thai food  including spring rolls, curry, pad thai and beef in a thai sauce, pizza, a burrito and nachos (interestingly made with Dorito-like chips, but still delicious), cheese, ice cream, real coffee,  and so much more!  My tummy was very happy J  

All in all, the week was a great chance to catch up with some good friends and I think we all returned to site motivated, inspired, and ready to continue this last year.

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