Wednesday, December 29, 2010

3 December 2010

All of the Small Enterprise Development (SED) volunteers have been in training this week in my village. Everyone brought their homologues, so almost all of the training sessions were in French. The first couple of days were pretty tough to get through.
Next week the CHAPers (health volunteers) will be here for the week training. I feel like I have been going, going, going, and have hardly had a moment to breath! For those of you who know me well, you're probably thinking that I'm finally in my element. True! Although, Peace Corps has done something to me, something very strange. I actually enjoy free time and alone time. Crazy, huh? So in a way, I'm just hoping for things to sloooow down soon, as I'm sure they will after the New Year.

I have a new clustermate named Becky and she's really awesome!! She's from San Francisco but spent the last year in NYC being some rich lady's personal assistant. She came to Pagala last weekend for our marche and we decided that in order to get through 2 long years in Togo, we needed lots of things to look forward to. We decided to plan a pool day once per month during hot season; there's a pool only 1.5 hrs away from her village in Sotoboua. We're also editing "Where There is No Whopper," the Peace Corps Togo cookbook all the volunteers receive during training. All the page numbers are off in the index and table of contents, and it's honestly just poorly organized. We have lots of ideas and definitely plan on helping each other stick it out through the tough and lonely times in village.

Think that's all for now. One example of how things work in West Africa: we've been trying to make hotel reservations for New Years because we're afraid of getting to Ghana and everywhere being booked! None of us could get through, but finally a girl's mom got through from the US and none of the hotels will take reservations pre-Dec. 20th. Does this make any sense to you?

While on the topic of things that don't make sense here, I'd like to give you a very brief lesson in Togolese french:
Togolese: Comment ca va?
Me: Ca va bien
Togolese: Et ta sante?
Me: Ca va bien
Togolese: Merci
Quick translation: How's it going? It's going well. And your health? It's going well. Thank you.
Togolese: Vous allez sortir on peu?
Me: Oui, je vais au marche.
Togolese: Il faut aller et revenir.
Me: Merci
Quick transalation: You're going to go out a little bit? Yes, I'm going to the marche. You must go and come back. Thank you.

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