|Our first professor, Arsénio, |
during a CouchSurfing event
But to live and specially work in a country, you need much more than that. At this point a good language instructor becomes essential. People think a language professor is there to tell you how to say this or that, explain some grammar rules, and correct your mistakes. And to be honest, that was what many language instructors were doing in Mozambique. But a good language instructor is, more than anything, a cultural interpreter.
|Cristina, my favorite Portuguese professor |
in the whole world
We were lucky when eventually we were able to have classes with two such wonderful instructors. Arsénio had training in Linguistics and came from a very traditional style of lecturing-teaching, but had a wealth of information when it came to work relationships and communication that was eye-opening. Unfortunately, he soon left for a job abroad.
After much running around, we found Cristina Chilaule*, another wonderful professor. Not only did she have a strong work ethic, but she was able to adapt immediately to our specific needs of working professionals who needed to reach a certain communication standard quickly. More importantly, she became a window to a part of Mozambican culture we had no idea about. Because she came from a completely different background, she was able to introduce us to different aspects of the local culture and give us invaluable insights into everyday life. She even managed to teach Fadi some grammar, a never-before achieved feat! (Fadi learns languages by osmosis and had so far done without any grammar).
Definitely, a highlight of our time in Mozambique.
*If you happen to be in Maputo and in need of a Portuguese professor, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org