My name is Francisco Chale, but my friends call me Chico. I was born in the village of Morrumbala in Zambezia Province, Mozambique. I became interested in Electrical Engineering and moved to Beira in 1994, the second largest city in Mozambique, to attend a vocational high school called the Industrial and Commercial Institute of Beira. I went on to study Physics at the University of Pedagogy in Beira for two years. In 2007 (my second year at university), I saw an advertisement in the local newspaper for an Electrical Technician at Gorongosa National Park. When I was offered the position, I decided to leave school early to pursue this once in a lifetime opportunity. In 2010, I returned to part-time studies in Mechatronic Engineering at Zambeze University and I am excited to start my third year in 2013.
I settled in Beira with my wife and three children and I commute to Gorongosa National Park at the beginning of each work week. As an electrician in Gorongosa, I am responsible for making sure that the Park’s camps are supplied with electricity, whether from the electrical grid or generators. I feel that I have a great responsibility to make sure that there is no interruption in electrical power for Park employees and visitors.
I love Gorongosa because it is through this Park that I learned to see nature in a very different way. Now I understand why we should not conduct uncontrolled burns, kill animals (no matter how small), and we must not participate in deforestation. I learned how to conserve nature and the environment and I am proud to be working for the restoration project because I know that I am contributing to the Park’s conservation and its bright future.