This Year’s Models: Michael Geneve 12.2003

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On October 1,2003, Ace’s longtime art director, Michael Geneve, left Lexington for the Peace Corps (after thoughtfully and responsibly providing a year’s notice and devoting the time to train his able successor).

It wasn’t an easy year, because Michael Geneve wasn’t just an exemplary employee and an incredibly gifted artist and art director who was constantly finding new ways to serve the paper and his community, he’s family to us (and to so many others who’ve had the opportunity to know and love him).

For the next two years, he will live in Africa. He has learned Portuguese, and will be teaching in Massinga.

We miss him desperately-especially around the holidays-but we know that our loss is the gain of a small African province. We are incredibly proud to know him.

We could try to convey the enormity of the commitment he has made, but sharing a few excerpts of what he’s told us about his experiences there so far seems far more eloquent.

DISPATCHES from

‘Dancing White Man’

(bulk emails)

Sat, 11 Oct 2003 01:11:45-0700 (PST)

“This past week has been crazy! We all moved to Boane which is about an hour away from Maputo, but in a Chapa (bus) it takes a couple. On Monday we all met our host families. I moved in with a family of eight. I have my own room in a concrete hut. They only speak Portuguese and I spoke very little-I just hung my mosquito net and basically had dinner and went to bed.

As for the morning I toco a caza de baño-took a bath. I pour water over myself with a tub, scrub and pour.[scatological details deleted here.] I do have toilet paper though. My family is very nice to me and treats my very nice.

I go to school for a huge part of the day and eat like eight times a day! I also walk around town and talk to people and shop and get to know my huge family!

Ate logo

Till next time

Michael

Sat, 1 Nov 2003 02:07:51-0800 (PST)

Health status is all good-except I got the flu and they thought it was Malaria (*sorry Mom) Negative. It’s all good-nao ha problemas. I am really having fun out here with my new family.

Sat, 8 Nov 2003

02:43:43-0800 (PST)

first of all what’s with this 7 overtime business with the Cats? OK back to Africa. Completed the first half of training yesterday and had an interview for my site placement. Came to Maputo to use the Internet and was stopped by a police officer. He proceeds to askPor favorpor favorpor favor. He wanted my passport, course I’m an idiot. Idiots don’t bring their passport with them when they go to the capital. He told me let’s go to jail. I said “- let’s.” We didn’t go, but I received a stern warning. *Sorry Mom. Oh yeah, I also was Manly Challenged to rap at Ngoma Time-weekly talent show. I’m going to rap in Portuguese. I have to start teaching classes next week so we’ll see how that goes. ~ Michael aka Kentucky aka White Dancing Man

Sat, 22 Nov 2003 03:51:11-0800 (PST)

This feels very weird (being 100 degrees out), but Happy Thanksgiving! I am currently looking for cranberry sauce in Maputo. As for training, things are extremely tough right now. We have 3 weeks left and this week we began teaching. I taught English in 10th grade here everyday.

I never really understood all the hard work behind the scenes that a teacher has to go through. I teach in the morning and then we have class (Portuguese, culture, AIDS, gender roles); after that it’s time to lesson plan.

I work from 7am to 9pm. It’s rough, but we need it.

Got the flu for a second time. Everything is good though. Comes with the territory. I will find out my site in two weeks!

Sat, 6 Dec 2003 02:05:16-0800 (PST)

You’ll be happy to know that I had a great meal on on Saturday that consisted of all your traditonal Thanksgiving dishes: turkey, mangoes, mashed potatoes, and oh yessss, Cranberry Sauce! We all woke up really early and helped cook and it turned out really great. Afterwards, somehow, somebody had a tape with a bunch of the Simpsons episodes on it. This was a really great day for all of us. Although, it seemed really weird after the TV, because we forgot where we were for a little bit. Oh yeah I’m in Africa.

OK yesterday marked the last day of training by the way!

I found out that I will be spending the next two years in………. Massinga!

Massinga is a little town in the Inhambame province on the coast. [See diagram.] I don’t know what grade or how many classes right now, but I’m sure it will be great.

I am going to live in a reed hut near the school premises. I think they said I have a fence around my yard as well. Looks like I won’t have any power though.

Next time you hear from me I should be all moved in.

Thanks and if I don’t have Internet access out there-Happy Holidays. “



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