Thursday, September 2, 2010

31 August 2010

Been a while since I posted on this blog. Things have been very up and down for me. Sometimes, I love being here and sometimes I absolutely hate it. Interesting stories for you regardless:

Every morning, starting at 6:30am, kids start knocking on my door. It is so annoying and sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed, but they will stand there and knock for an hour if I don’t. I roll out of bed and open my compound gate to a child babbling in French about getting water for me. It’s WAY too early for French.

The other day, a kid knocked on my door and showed me some watermelon asking if I wanted to buy it. Of course! I let it sit on my bench for a day and when a Togolese girl came over, I asked if she wanted to eat it together. I cut into it with my broken knives and lo and behold, the inside was yellow! I had no idea what to do with it because it clearly wasn’t a watermelon. Luckily, those resourceful Togolese people know what’s up so my friend sprung into action, cutting off the peel and slicing into pieces to cook while explaining to me that it was actually a papaya. We boiled it with some water and salt and it tasted a lot like butternut squash. YUM.

When one of the girls was getting water for me, I decided I really wanted to integrate into the community. I let her take the big cuvette and I took the smaller one and we trekked a good ½ km to the water pump. She filed mine up halfway, and, feeling ambitious, I told her to fill ‘er up! I stumbled under the weight all the way home, pouring sweat and spilling water all over myself. Pretty sure I have permanent neck damage, but that may just be from my terrible pillows.

I’m going to start learning to make my own clothes! I really love getting stuff made here and have a lot of free time on my hands, so I’m going to be kind of an apprentice to a seamstress near my house. Should be pretty interesting.

As far as work, I’ve basically told everyone now that I want to wait until my French improves before I start trying to teach them anything. Everyone is really understanding and the “club de meres” or Mother’s Club (something to do with the red cross) brought me about 100 bananas and oranges as a cadeau (gift). I spent a day giving them away because I’m only one person and everything would have gone bad!

I was in the marche in Sokode, my regional capital, buying a pineapple when this old guy tapped me on the shoulder and started talking in local language. I turned back around to continue my pineapple buying and the next thing I know, the guy slapped my shoulder as hard as he could and then ran away!! It hurt so bad and scared me and I immediately starting crying. Needless to say, this drew a huge crowd in the marche of women (who had picked up their baseball bats and were yelling they were going to beat him) and children. Luckily, I was with Lyle, who speaks French much better than me, and he explained that I was going to be ok and did not need to go to the hospital.

I’m so sorry for the rare posts, but it’s really difficult to get to the internet here. Really, everything you take for granted is more difficult here – running water, electricity, dishwashers, washing machines, owning a car, calling friends, checking facebook, googling things, going out to eat, grabbing a cup of coffee, etc. Like I mentioned, things are up and down here. I’ve contemplated coming home day after day, but know I can come home anytime so I’m getting through one day at a time.

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