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.