And so it has begun - the final trimester of the year. I started off on a bit of a sour note with one of my turmas yesterday. I had made these verb strips for them to find the other people in their verb groups and at the end of the activity, four verb strips were missing. We have a problem here of people just taking things because they can. It's not even something that's worth anything - I mean, who wants a piece of paper that just says 'sat' on it? Not I. So after asking and asking and asking for the 4 missing strips of paper, no one was turning it in. It's not that I was upset about losing the paper, but that these kids don't have respect for the material and have no problem with dishonesty. The chefe of the turma started walking around and searching people's bags for the strips but nothing turned up. I even threatened a falta vermelha (the worst kind of indisciplinado there is - even written in, gasp, red pen) and then a falta collectiva (the whole class is considered absent) but no one fessed up. So I gave them a falta collectiva. One girl finally gave up a verb strip. I was just going to let it slide without a fuss but then I saw her laughing about it. That's when I told her to get out, throwing her notebooks out the door in front of her. It's so frustrating. I was talking to students about it and I told them that if one person takes things that aren't theirs, they are slowing the development and achievements of other people as well. That turma has a lesson on corruption coming their way that involves beans.
Otherwise, my time in Maputo was just what I needed. Maputo was brilliant. I got to eat a lot of junk food and watch a movie in a theater. My portuguese is suffering as a result now. I basically only spoke in english for an entire week, being around only americans. So now I stumble when I talk and get weird looks from my students. Oh well. It'll come back around.
I got a bunch of ideas for my REDES group during the meeting. We are going to learn how to open a bank account this next week. I'm also trying to organize for a local female doctor to come to talk to them and possibly do some HIV testing. I'm also excited to start planning the northern regional conference for next April. I think I may already have one facilitator lined up and a possible counterpart for here in Monapo. She's a primary school teacher with an embroidering group and it'd be a good way to get my older girls working with younger girls. For the conference, it'd be wonderful to find a woman who works at the university to come and talk to the girls about their options. This will require some more investigation on my part too. So many possibilities!