Friday, September 17, 2010

16 Sept 2010

Hard to believe I’ve been here for over 3 months now. Sometimes, I feel like it flies, and sometimes I feel like each day is never going to end. So, a lot of you are probably wondering what exactly I do day to day. Right now, not a whole lot. In training, we learned about working with microfinance institutions, NGOs, individual entrepreneurs, and women’s groups. If you’ve ever read one post on this blog, you know how much I hate French and the language is definitely holding me back from working right now. I go to several meetings a week, but have no idea what’s going on usually. They’re mostly in local languages anyway. In order to keep from going crazy (or maybe I’ve already passed that point), I decided to take up sewing. Every morning, I go to a seamstress near my house and she teaches me sewing techniques by hand and on the foot-pedaled sewing machine. Yesterday, I spent 4 hours making one shirt for a girl’s school uniform and today I spent 3 hours working on a technique called something-that-I-forgot and sewed like half of one sleeve. I’m so slow. Everyday, Togolese people just like to come watch me and it makes me a little nervous.
Somedays I go to the market to buy food or candles. Somedays, to the post office. I have French class two days per week, and there is a guy who owns a bar who always wants me to come say hello and have a conversation even though I have no idea what he’s saying. Sometimes, I read or bake in my make-shift dutch oven. Basically, I’m saying I definitely haven’t started working yet. Oh well, they tell us we don’t have to work for the first 3 months anyway.
There is a girl from NC who’s going home next week so we threw her a little party at my house! I made Mexican – even homemade tortillas and tortilla chips. I never EVER would have used the word “resourceful” to describe myself until I came here to Togo. I even reuse empty cans (I’m making hanging candle holders for the porch).
At the end of Ramadan, all the Muslims in Togo had a big party. I joined my counterpart, Djobo, with his family to eat lots of foufou with peanut sauce and chicken (wow!). We watched really weird Togolese music videos that had a guy dancing with one leg. Then I danced with kids and let girls draw henna on my feet. It smeared though, so for days my feet just looked dirty. After that, I went to my French tutor’s house to party with his family and eat more spaghetti with beets and goat. I thought I was going to be sick by the end of the day!
Life’s pretty boring here in Togo, but, every now and then, really interesting. I’m homesick all the time. I miss you all more than you know! And I really miss air conditioner. It is so HOT today and every day. If you read this, call me! I’d love to hear from you. My number’s on facebook.
Everyday when I walk through village the kids chant “Chriiiiista, Chriiiiista, bye-bye-yo!” So, bye-bye-yo for now.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What you describe as being ordinary and not so interesting is just the opposite for'll probably always keep "photos" in your mind of these experiences...sewing for the little school girl, eating goat...(oh my gosh, I'm not that brave!) etc...
    It is so very interesting to read your posts Christa! Thanks! Elisabeth