Trocas (field trips) are the highlight of the year for nearly every REDES group. It was the end of the school year and we’d decided to host one in Machanga. It would be a monster: nearly 80 girls from 4 different schools. As master orchestrator, I stayed ruthlessly busy the entire time. BUT let me compact into a few sentences the great things we did and mishaps we encountered:
The girls of Mangunde came a day early due to transportation limitations and had the greatest reception to ever occur in Peace Corps, before finding out they couldn’t stay in the classroom they’d been promised because their early arrival meant night class still had to take place, but class got cancelled because it was a Friday (lawl) and they slept there anyway. The girls of Mambone and Mapinhane arrived the following day before lunch, which fell out of the pot in monstrous portions about an hour late, and left enough time for Mambone to present their theater performance before rushing back to the canoes to return to school in time to meet their nuns prudent curfew. Mambone, Mangunde, and Machanga gave AIDS-related performances in front of about 200 onlookers, knocked their chinelos off, and retired the night only after dancing to American hip hop for two hours in the girl’s dorm. They awoke the next day to breakfast and a talk about pregnancy, STDs, and contraception given by three local nurses, complete with complementary pens and notebooks (not to be scoffed at). The nuns of Mangunde dined at my house every night, partly because we enjoyed their company, but much moreso because I forgot to arrange them a dinner. Oops.
|The girls of Machanga performing in a play|
|PCV Laurie getting sassy|
|Iranethe doing the dude|
|Me introducing the nurses before the health lecture|
Machanga’s first troca was a STUNNING success. Some of the younger girls were exposed to the concept of STDs for the first time, the older girls to newly available contraceptive technology. All of them had a blast, and so did I.