Somehow I am already into my final week in Beira! When I think back to my first few days here it
feels like a lifetime ago. As soon as I arrived, I felt at home here, and it feels strange to be leaving so
soon and going back to England. Luckily, to mark the start of my final week in this wonderful city, I
was lucky enough to get invited to one last festivity – this time in celebration of International
Children’s Day – as the kind people at Matacuane Primary School invited me along to enjoy the
occasion with them.
Matacuane Primary School is located just down the road from where I have been working with ADEL.
I can often hear the children running around and playing during their lunch break from the office, so
it was nice to meet some of them during my visit. I was invited by the Head after visiting her school
last week as part of the Bristol/Beira link. Matacuane Primary School has a long-standing partnership
with Luckwell Primary School in the city of Bristol, and the staff and students in Matacuane always
enjoy hearing stories about Bristol.
Even though I have now been in Mozambique for just under four months, I still made the mistake of
arriving at the suggested time. I was told the celebrations would start at 12:30, and so made sure to
get there on time. However, in typical Mozambican fashion, it wasn’t until around 2pm that people
began to arrive! The students arrived with their families, all carrying delicious-looking homemade
food. They then sat and ate together in their classrooms alongside their classmates and their
families. While eating they sang traditional Mozambican songs.
After lunch, the schoolyard became a massive playground, as children ran around playing all sorts of
games. It wasn’t long before a dance-off broke out, with hundreds of enthralled spectators trying to
get the best view they could. Every now and then someone would burst a balloon and scare the life
out of their parents.
Whilst walking around taking photos I was offered all sorts of Mozambican delicacies, and planned
my route specifically so that I would pass the samosa stand as often as possible. The children here
absolutely love to have their picture taken, and they love to pose! I then high-fived what seemed like
every single student in the school, before leaving with a huge smile on my face. One of my favourite
things about Beira has been how friendly the people are, and the children are the friendliest of all!
I’ve visited a few schools during my time here in Beira, and each one has been a pleasure to visit.
Despite having limited resources at their disposal, they all work hard to make do with what they
have, and the children seem to really enjoy their time at school. The majority of students I have
asked say they want to be teachers when they grow up. I’m sure it’s a real struggle at times, but I
also think it must be very uplifting to teach in one of Beira’s many fantastic schools.
I now have just seven more days to enjoy Beira! I have a lot planned, including a visit to a couple of
organisations aimed at empowering young women in the city. I also have my last two classes on
Saturday and Sunday! I’ve promised them a class on England, as they all want to learn more about
Bristol, and English culture. I am making sure to make the most of what little time I have left here