It has been a while since I have posted. First of all I would like to bring attention to Lucian Reynolds who is now an official Peace Corps volunteer too! You can keep up with him and his shenanigans on his blog here:
One reason is that I have done a little of traveling. I went down to Badjoudai and Wache which is right near Togo for a Whipping Festival. Which is a coming of age ritual where boys of about 15-17 years old really do whip eachother with nylon whips. There are also a lot of men dressed in drag. It was interesting, again I have pictures but they will have to wait till I get more time on a computer and lots of internet time. After the Fete which was around Halloween (I have some good pictures of my Halloween costume too) we had our Early Service Check In conference in Parakou for 5 days of Air Conditioning and Per Diem, it was also good to see some of the volunteers that are posted pretty far from the Nati area. Parakou is a pretty big city, very heavy with air pollution. From there I extended my trip to Djougou where I stayed with another volunteer for a couple days and was able to get some money. My word of advice to anyone with the Bank of Africa is to count your money twice. I learned this the hard way and got screwed out of about 20,000CFA = 40 USD. I do like Djougou it is a good sized city where good food is easy to find. I had the best omelet of my life there. After my voyaging I spent a good two weeks at post in Kouande. I met with the director of the high school and a local gardener and both show promise with being good work partners. The ONG i should be working with has no work and money. The radio director has been hard to find but I think a radio show could be in my future. My post title: petite chaleur (The little heat) has started. This is when all things green turn brown. People burn the grass fields. The temperature has also dropped especially in the evening and mornings. There is a constant wind that keeps your lips chapped. The cold-ish weather reminds me of how cold it must be in the States right now. This weekend we celebrated thanksgiving in Nati at the workstation, there was turkey and something like 10 pies. The turkey was cooked in a pit with banana leaves and coals, it came out really well. The only food left are pieces of pie.
In other house related news I had the mason come and redo my shower, it now drains!
I would also like to update on my health, I am still healthy and have not been sick other that the food poisoning event. I drink the tap water and eat the street food. That's more that I can say for some other volunteers, I think the record for weight loss is 45lbs. He is still sick.
Future posts will include 'You Know Your Bien IntegrÃ© When...' list.
Stories from a BushTaxi - How does one travel in Africa
Ive said it before and I will say it again, when i have time i will try and post pictures. Hope everyone is well and has sent me a playstation 3 by now.
Once again my address is:
Corps de la Paix
Afrique de l'Ouest