March 6, 2002

Mom,

Before I forget, remember to delete my message before you reply to an email! It takes a very long time to download each email.

I am sorry I have been away from the email for so long. It is difficult to squeeze the time in. I am very busy with lessons and exhausted very early. I can barely keep my eyes open past 9!

I wake up at 6, breakfast at 7 and first class at 10. My first class is the most advanced, and I am still getting a feel for how much they know. There are only two people in the class and so the lesson is pretty intense. We are beginning to exchange fairytales and local myths and legends. I thought of this idea because a book Patrick gave me on legends of the lake. Patrick and I agreed it would be fantastic to know their own legends and it would be a great thing for them to discuss with the tourists.

The other classes are going well. We are basically starting at ground zero, so we laugh a lot and play games, but I think they are picking it up. Patrick and Nadia say they hear them speaking English all the time. They are very keen to learn and very flattered that Patrick has brought in a person just for their education. and it is an entire education I am giving these people. Through English we are going to cover everything from wildlife to first aid.

Patrick left for Lichinga yesterday and Nadia left to go visit the nearby villages (3 hours walk). I was on my own for a day, but Stuart (the marketing manager) arrived in the afternoon and we have been getting to know each other. There are always people around, but I can see why Patrick warned me that I would get lonely. There is no one to have a heart to heart with. But, I have not been lonely yet. I have been playing a lot of guitar. It is great, I can play as loud and as badly as I want and no one can hear. I think I am going to learn a lot. Nadia plays a little guitar too and she has a few drums, so we are excited to learn from each other. We can create a band:)

Other than Nadia, I have not played in front of anyone yet. I am feeling shy, but I can already tell that I am settling in much better and soon I think I will bring the guitar out. All with time. Things move very slowly over here.

What else, what else. Oh, there is so much. I wish I knew how to describe this place for you. I went swimming today on the white sand beach, so clear that you can see the fish swimming below you. I have not gone snorkeling yet, perhaps on Sunday. I also want to go on a canoe trip to see the 2,000 yr old Baobab tree.

It is not very hot here. I have adjusted already. It only gets bad right before the rain then it is very heavy and muggy, but nothing a quick swim can't cure. The storms are magical. You can feel them coming, and then all the sounds change and the thunder strikes and then it pours, a quick and short rain, then the sun comes out again and the animals sing their happy tunes.

I saw a snake eat a massive lizard today! How he even managed to fit the lizard in his mouth is still beyond me. I asked Rabecca (that is not a spelling error that is the way she spells her name) if the snake was dangerous. She said 'yes, all snakes are dangerous.' which is not true, but to the locals all snakes are bad. Rabecca is in the top class. She lived in Zambia so her English is pretty good. She is our cook. She learned to cook from Lula, Patrick’s girlfriend, who is in the
UK now recovering from malaria. Everyone here has had malaria, but don't worry they say they don't know anyone who has got malaria on Larium.

Anyway, back to Rabecca. we spend a lot of time together. I am going to help her with her cooking. All the food we have is foreign to her. They only eat nsima and cassava over here, sometimes some fish or meat. Rabecca is 40 years old and has 7 children! All of her kids are living with her brother in Malawi, but the littlest, Patrick, is here and I am absolutely in love with him. He is an incredibly good kid with massive brown eyes, just on the verge of talking:) So cute, but I am afraid soon he too will be sent to Malawi. Their sense of family is much
bigger here.

Anyway, I should go. Douglas' typing lesson is soon. Ooh! Can you ask dad (actually, I am sure you are reading this too! Hi Dad!) Dad, do you have an typing tutorial for Microsoft? Mavis Beacon sort of thing? We don't have one here and could really use it. We also need paper if you want to send what I left behind it would be really appreciated and a mini-chalk board, but that is not so important. I think I am going to start doing my lessons on the beach so I can use the sand to write in.

Ok, I gotta go. I love you all very much.

Love,
Shauna

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