Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Click image to visit website.
So I'm gonna keep this short....maybe. Okay so I just got back from a banking weekend in Parakou. I went to the club. The owner paid for me to get in with my friends, then he gave us all a beer, a bottle of whiskey, sucreries, a bottle of amarula. Ton of stuff. All free, we stayed til 4 and went back home. Club was good, they played a lot of salsa music which I don't know how to do but it's okay. Came back after eating a hamburger and some ice cream. Bought some food to make a cake with. Made a pound cake for the people I work with. Went to a party for somebody who died in my village. There were 3 men playing instruments, 2 women singing on megaphones, and 2 people dance at a time. Me being me, they told me to dance so me and my friend in village went for a spin. When you dance well, people come up to you and put candy in your hand. I also got a few 5 and 10 franc pieces. We left to go get some food. Then, came back when it was more crowded and I went for another dance with the pharmacist I work with. Danced, got a ton of candy. Some guy put a 5 Nira bill from Nigeria on my forehead and everybody laughed and clapped at me, but mostly with me. Kind of reminds me from a dancing experience in Ghana...okay gotta run! Erika

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Click on image to visit website. The 1st 3 mos we have no appointed job. We are to just get to know the town, people and resources. I've been looking for projects to help me keep busy. One idea is to organize a girl's basketball league. I've also gotten to know a volunteer in a neighboring town who is teaching. I may be able to help her with something. I'm slowly finding things to do. Tomorrow, I will be teaching, hopefully, 3 classes about hand-washing since it is International Hand-washing Day! Use soap and water! I wrote a song to Akon's "Smack That" about washing your hands so that should be fun. Akon never knew he was all about some good hygiene.
My house is basically finished now. My furniture is inside; a bed, table and chairs which were expensive because they are really good quality which I didn't really need but my homologue knew the guy so she took me to him. I had screens put on my windows and a screen door put in. The mason had to come cement things in so that is all coming along.
For sending LETTERS, send to my post at
Erika Lobe
Corps de la Paix
BP 126
Kandi, Benin
Afrique de l'Ouest
For PACKAGES, its safter to send them to
Erika Lobe
Corps de la Paix
01 BP 971
Cotonou, Benin
Afrique de l'Ouest
My French, eh, don't know if it has improved. My Bariba has stayed the same, but after these classes I won't really have anything to do so I can study study study in the heat. So far, I've only had 3 babies pee on me. Somebody brings me water from the pompe so that I don't have to and somebody in my concession washed my clothes for me. They seem to think that because I'm foreign, I'm not capable of doing chores so I have started washing my dishes inside which they probably think is really bizarre. Some vielles (old ladies) came to saluer(welcome) me one morning as I was doing dishes and they took the dishes from me and finished washing them. I tried, I guess that's not really something to complain about.
Gotta run!

Friday, September 25, 2009


Today I swear in as an official Peace Corps volunteer!!!! 50 of the 56
stagieres remain and we will have a grand ceremony this morning and then take off for post on Monday!!!!! Click on image to visit my website.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I saw that someone tried to call. The service is bad every now and then so I could answer the call but I couldn't hear you. I'm on post visit now so I'll try to send a quick email to the group about my post at Kassakou, but I doubt its on the map. You should see Kandi and Kassakou is 5km south of that off the main/only road. I have no electricity or water and my village doesn't have a big market but I'm close to a bigger city so that's good, I can easily bike here to get things I need and to be at the workstation. I'm taking a bus back tomorrow so you can try to call then. I leave here at 7:20 in the morn and I should get back about 12 or so hours later. Click image of northern village to visit my website.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Peace Corps life is very busy these days. I'm living with a host family. Mama, stay at home mom, and Papa, an architect, have 5 children ages 4, 6, 12, 15 and 16. They're very eager to help me with my French, which is coming along, though not fluent yet. My meals have given me a taste of a variety of foods. The main staple is a corn based mash that you roll up into a ball and use to pick up sauces and veggies. I've been eating goat regularly as well as beef.
I've been taking some pics but haven't gotten to a computer yet to upload them. Stay tuned.
My day is basically waking early around 7, eating breakfast and conversing with my family then hopping on my bike, wearing my kickass helmet, heading to Peace Corps training center where I train until after 5, then head home. A little time for conversation, relaxation and eating dinner. Then off to bed. This is 6 days a week. Sunday is my free day.
On my following blogs I will be more descriptive and hopefully will be able to upload some images. Don't have much time now. Click image to visit my website.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My Address

I will be taking off from RDU to Philadelphia on Wednesday morning, embarking on my 2 year and 3 month adventure in the country of Benin, West Africa. I read today that Benin is about the same size as Pennsylvania. I have been studying French and trying to learn as much as I can so that I can adapt without too much difficulty and culture shock. Although, from my last experience in Ghana I didn't really have so much trouble with culture shock, but the reverse culture shock was pretty tough. My address for the first 3 months will be:

Name, Peace Corps Volunteer
Corps de la Paix

I still have a lot of packing to do. I am trying to finish moving out of my apartment and pack all my suitcases in 2 days. Then I have to say my goodbyes and eat my last American meals, eat my last pieces of ice, sleep in air conditioning, etc...
Click on image to visit my website.