Friday, August 12, 2011

11 August 2011

I realized that I don’t have a ton of continuity between my blog posts. To update you on all the things I already talked about:
Post Visit party was awesome, lots of delicious food and dancing at Plasir’s, Pagala’s famous bar. The soccer tournament went well, I actually played … and then couldn’t move for two days afterwards because I was so sore. The volunteer team lost in the first round 4-8, but that’s better than last year’s volunteer team who lost 1-8. Pagala’s Togolese team won the tournament and the “grand prix” of 10,000 francs! That’s about $25. Everything else I mentioned from earlier posts went well, even though halfway through pommade de neem, I was convinced it was going to be a huge failure. It wasn’t.

Next week is Take Our Daughters to Work week in my region. Two other girls and I are organizing it along with three incredible Togolese counterparts. It’s for girls aged 13-15 to come to a big city (Sotoboua), meet successful Togolese women, learn general lifeskills, and gain encouragement to stay in school. I’m getting really excited about it!

Next week is also camp Joie, the camp for handicapped children, in Pagala. I’m really bummed I won’t be here. I read some of the letters the kids wrote, and they sound awesome. I hope the camp will really change their lives.

The library the volunteer before me built is having major cashflow issues. I’m trying to figure out what to do about this without just giving them a bunch of money. Unfortunately, giving them money (or rather, stuff like a photocopy machine and solar panel) is seeming like the only viable/sustainable option right now.

My next big project idea is a six-week business skills series for artisans in my canton (like seamstresses, carpenters, mechanics, masons, and hairdressers). I plan to do questionnaires beforehand and individual follow-up after the series. I also want it to be completely self-funded (this is the most exciting part to me!). We’ll see if people go for it or not. People don’t like to pay for things like this and they’re used to an NGO culture who pays them to go to things like this. On vera!

I can’t believe I’m finally down to less than a year. It’s still a really long time, but one of my best volunteer friends and I realized that if we have one thing per month to look forward to, then that’s only 12 more things. Totally doable.

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