Wednesday, February 28, 2007

JMU 14th for Peace Corps Volunteers

Peace Corps Book List

Peace Corps Book list (Started July 22nd 2006)

  1. Diary – Chuck Palahniuck
  2. Starship Galactic – Terry Jones
  3. Fight Club - Chuck Palahniuck
  4. Mountains Beyond Mountains – Tracy Kidder
  5. The Little Price – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  6. The Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  7. The Viceroy of Ouidah – Bruce Chatwin
  8. Island of the Sequenced Love Nun – Christopher Moore
  9. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
  10. Narcissus and Goldmund – Hermann Hesse
  11. Bringing Down the House – Ben Mezrich
  12. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  13. Jarhead – Anthony Swofford
  14. Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
  15. The Greatest Nation Speaks – Tom Brokaw
  16. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind – Chuck Barris
  17. Nine Hills to Nambonkaha – Sarah Erdman
  18. Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
  19. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  20. Welcome to the Monkey House – Kurt Vonnegut
  21. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkein
  22. Cats Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  23. Money Secrets – Dave Barry
  24. The World at Night – Alan Furst
  25. Red Gold – Alan Furst
  26. Skinny Dip – Carl Hiaasen
  27. PIMP – Iceberg Slip (Robert Beck)
  28. Don’t lets go to the Dogs Tonight – Alexandra Fuller
  29. Timequake – Kurt Vonnegut
  30. One the Road – Jack Kerouac
  31. Girl with the Pearl Earring –Tracy Chevalier
  32. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  33. Stiff – Mary Roach
  34. Slapstick – Kurt Vonnegut
  35. King Lear – Shakespeare
  36. The Rules of Attraction – Bret Easton Ellis
  37. Show Me the Magic – Annie Caulfield_
  38. Little Angles – Phra Peter Pannapadipo
  39. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
  40. Nickel and Dimed – Barbara Ehrenreich
  41. Pictor’s Metamorphoses and Other Fantasies – Hermann Hesse
  42. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  43. Beasts – Joyce Carol Oats
  44. The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield_
  45. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  46. Waiting for Gordot – Samuel Becket
  47. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse
  48. Naked Pictures of Famous People – Jon Stewart
  49. Galapagos – Kurt Vonnegut
  50. Its not easy being Green – Jim Henson
  51. Screw it, Lets Do It – Richard Branson
  52. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
  53. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  54. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  55. Bobby Fisher Teaches Chess – Bobby Fisher
  56. What am I Doing Here – Bruce Chatwin
  57. The Old Patagonia Express – Paul Theroux
  58. The Tao of Pooh – Benjamin Hoff
  59. The Island of Dr Moreou – H.G. Wells

Feel free to comment on books i should read or books you are going to send me...


So about the time that I posted last, right after my parents left I became extremely sick. I was lucky that I was in Natitingou at the workstation since I couldn’t move. I was sunburned, dehydrated had a fever and some kind of stomach sickness my guess would be amoebas. It was a week of being sick all day and not being able to keep anything in me. It was probably the sickest I’ve ever been. After talking to the doctor I took ciprofloxacin (Cipro), a miracle drug for severe stomach problems. I’m told that it is pretty intense and you shouldn’t take it more than twice in your life. So after wanting to die for a couple days the medicine kicked in and killed all the bacteria in my body (or at least felt like it) and I started feeling better. I spent the next week regaining my strength and eating very carefully (and very little). It was good to return to post after being away. But now I am feeling better and that is the important thing. Not too much has changed in Kouandé, they are putting in electricity poles along the road with the intention of one day having 24hour electricity. I don’t see this happening for quite a while. I met yesterday with the director of my ONG (NGO in English) and we are working on the creation of two environmental clubs one in Kouandé and one in a neighboring village for the CEG (High school). The clubs will hopefully run the botanical and vegetable gardens and help with the reforestation efforts in the commune of Kouandé.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Et la famille?

Hey, so its been a while since my last update. The biggest news since my last post would have to be that my family visited (mom, dad and my sister). They were delayed in Paris and missed the connection and had to spend 2 days in Paris, one of which was spent sightseeing. During this time I was already in the capital Cotonou and stayed in the hotel waiting for them to arrive. I did get a chance to meet the new FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) representative to Benin. He is a great guy and not only in a position to be able to do good things but very knowledgeable in Agroforestry. I hope to collaborate with FAO and possibly work on a TeleFood funded project in the future. It was a great shock for me to travel from the north to the south. On the 7 hour bus ride you could see the countryside change from very dry and dusty to very green and lush. It also is very humid, and as my dad can testify to dry heat is bearable its the humidity that kills you. Since this was my first time being in Cotonou since I arrived in country 7 months ago, it was a bigger shock to be in a real city. Things like showers with hot water, AC, and TV. Restaurants are also strange to be in after eating street food for so long. The problem with spending time in the city is that everything is so much more expensive than at village. You can easily spend 10 times more on just about everything. When my family finally did arrive we spent a week in the south where we went on day trips to Genvie (A town that is built on stilts in the lagoon) and Ouidah (where the slave route is and the port of no return). We rented a car then drove up north. We spent a night in Kouande then headed up to the Penjari national park. We stayed a night in the park and saw lots of animals. Elephants, antelopes (there are at least 6 different variations), baboons, rese monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, all kinds of birds, warthogs, and water buffalo. It was very cool to see the elephants in their natural habitat. We saw a heard of elephants that were going to get a drink at the lake and one of the guides was bothering the elephants and getting one of them to charge him. I caught it with my camera, hopefully you will be able to see it on uTube soon. After the park we went to visit my post again and had a party for the 'importants' and to give my parents a chance to meet some of the people I work and socialize with. It went well even with all the uninvited people. I said goodbye to my family yesterday evening and left them in Nati, they continued on to Cotonou and will fly home tomorrow.
In more work related news some of volunteers closest to me and I are planning a girls camp in Ouassa Pheunco. We are getting some assistance with a local womans group to try and give the camp some sustainability. The camp will be for girls about 13 years old and for a week. It will focus on womens empowerment, health, choices, team building and there should be some fun in there too. I have been working with a local gardener and have been planing to run some Moringa education sessions in time for the rainy season so they can plant and cultivate the leaves for better nutrition. Thats been it for now. There should be some new pictures up check out:
my parents put up some pictures too.
Take care,