Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mid Service Medical Checkup and the 52 new volunteers

My check up with the doctors went relatively well. The information learned can and will be summarized in bullet point form:

  • I have lost 10 pounds (4.5kg)
  • I have a low resting heart rate
  • I have giardia

I have the medication to treat giardia and will take it when I get back to post. The med unit is nice mainly by having unlimited access to internet and hot showers. There is a 8:00pm curfew though. I have also had some time to think about what makes hot showers so great and it comes down to one word… solubility.

Big News! The cell providers have finally reached agreements with the government and have resumed service. This means my phone is now working I can be reached at

+229 (Benin country code) 95 29 07 95 (Télécel now called Moov)
+229 (Benin country code) 97 01 62 95 (was called areeba but now bought by MTN)

depending on is I am within coverage. I am not sure if the two towers have been turned on in Kouandé as of yet. One way to find out…

Tara met me in Cotonou and together we took the shuttle up to Aplahoue to work the final two weeks of stage (stage is French for training or internship). It was good to be back in Aplahoue and see the EA crew. They are all doing well. The biggest surprise was that 2 more PCTs (Peace Corps Trainees) had decided that Peace Corps Benin was not for them. The other surprise was the level of French achieved for the people coming in with very low French. It is amazing to think that only 6 weeks ago some people spoke very little to no French and now are able to communicate all by themselves. I think the group as a whole is ready and pumped to go to post and graduate from Peace Corps High. The other thing I noticed was how much more mellow the group is now. I had said in an earlier post how it was really tiring working because they all had so many questions and need a lot of hand holding. That is completely normal and I chose to work because of those reasons. It is great to see that now they are more confident and comfortable (I think they are also tired). The last two weeks are programmed based on specific needs; since they already found out where they will be posted and have made a 2 day visit. We also had a trip to Grand Popo which is a beach about 2 hours away. All the sectors met there and spend a very nice sunny day at the beach.
Swearing in will be held at the American ambassadors house the 21st of Sept.

I will now leave you with an interesting fact:
“The seed of the Mediterranean Carob tree (ceratonia siliqua) is so regular in size it was originally used as the measurement for gold, the carat.”
Trees: Their Natural History – Peter Tomas


1 comment:

Rob Baker said...

Great blog! Enjoyed your photos, too. Thanks for your comments on my blog. Enjoy Kouandé, and I hope the Giardia gets sorted soon (I've had it once and malaria 5 times! I guess you're on 'Flagel' tablets?!)

All the best,

Rob B