Saturday, January 30, 2010


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Things are gonna get scarce during the dry season, meaning fewer tomatoes, hotter weather. I met a guy from Cote d'Ivoire tonight and he said he cried when he first came here because it was so hot and he is partially conditioned to it so for me... it's gonna be bad.

I returned from my training, got back to post, made some awesome pizza with the pepperoni's my mom sent me! Gave some pizza to some villagers and they were a little baffled but food you eat with your hands is easy here. Roasted some marshmallows from the US for breakfast and they thought it was cotton. What a pleasant surprise. The girls don't play sports so I'm gonna try to get them active in something fun that isn't cooking. The basketball team is slow to get off the ground so I'm now working on a girl's soccer team in the village. It will be easier to get to practices. I went to a village in the bush today and made some enriched bouille with soy (tasty!). Talked to a guy about how he hates chaleur (heat) and he cried the first time he endured it and he's from cote d'ivoire. So that's great news for me. The heat is coming. The nights are no longer as cold as they once were. I did eat some fresh cashews the other day though! Mangoes are also coming in but this also marks the end of good foods like vegetables including tomatoes.

I just found out that the place I was going to plant my garden is where the family buried the Papa. Good thing I found out before digging. I saw my sage femme hit a woman giving birth with a stick. I really don't know if there is anything I can do about that. It's more of a problem everywhere, not just with my post. She can be so nice but if she gets mad...its on. As for next week, I'm going on a bike tour meaning a group of volunteers will get on our bikes and head out to middle/high schools and give awareness seminars on HIV/AIDS en francais of course and then bike home for 3 days. I think we are doing like 6 schools so that should get my muscles working. English Club is still going. Still writing lots of awesome songs. I recently wrote the remix to "I like to eat apples and bananas" to talk about the food groups so that I can get some health info in there. Gotta run, its kinda late here and I'm getting up early!


I'm now on my way back to my post after 2 weeks of training. It was really hot and humid here but good to see all the other volunteers and talk about things that have gone on at our respective posts. A lot of the training was repetitive, it was more the discussions amongst ourselves that we found the most useful. I did get to eat a lot of good food though. Hamburgers, salads, mashed potatoes! Yummy! The days were long, but the rooms were air-conditioned, a nice luxury. I learned more about HIV, some about creating goals and visions for projects, project funding, and most importantly, how to make enriched bouille (a breakfast food). My homologue, work partner, was there for the first week so we worked together on some things. She never has been the friendliest person but she really showed it here. She was arguing with many of the volunteers and at the end she lightly shoved one of my friends. I think she still likes me but she's definitely not the easiest person to work with. She likes to yell at the pregnant women who come for consultations and hits one of the girls who works for her. That's not easy to watch...But in other news, I have gotten to see a few African Cup of Nations soccer matches on TV. A few of us went out to a bar with a projector to watch Benin play Nigeria and we all bought Benin jerseys and shorts and wore them and took a picture and some guy wearing an American flag shirt jumped in with us so we had our countries represented well. Tonight Benin plays Nigeria so that's a big game and I'll get to watch it in Cotonou which is the biggest city here so hopefully the excitement will be out and about.

It was 2 long weeks but I know it will take some readjusting to get back into the French but I'm excited to try to start some work!


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Things have been going well. I did manage to faint this morning though...I'm completely fine now. Not sure what happened, but I couldn't have been at a better place. I was watching my homologue at the health center cut the umbilical cord of a baby and I started feeling hot and sweaty and I looked around and no one else seemed to be hot so then another nurse started talking to me and I felt the faintness coming so I started walking towards her and murmuring in French but of course I couldn't think of the word for faint so I fell into her and blacked out and woke up to them pouring water on my face. I was very calm throughout it all. They told me its cause I was standing up too long so I'll say that is what it was. I think my knees locked too long or something cause I ate well this morning, homemade granola that I made yesterday with fresh honey. Other than that, my health has been great! I think that was just an unfortunate accident. But tomorrow I'm going on safari for a week to help another volunteer with a formation on giving tours so that should be fun.

People wonder what I eat. I tell them everything, but they don't believe me so when they see me shovel some rice into my mouth with my fingers they really enjoy it. This is like my taste of being a celebrity. People like to stare at me, tell me my skin isn't tough enough, laugh at me, talk in high pitched voices imitating the french women's voices they hear on the radio or just touch me. But I like it all. Everybody knows everything I do. My prince friend came over and told me that somebody told him I was wearing bracelets and they weren't pretty. 0