Friday, March 18, 2011

(This should have been posted before previous posting) Above: Female Elephant
I just returned from going on Safara in Park Pendjari. It was awesome. We saw 5 lions, water buffalo, hippos, elephants (which have extremely large male anatomy), tons of birds, warthogs, civet, pretty much everything that there is in the park except for cheetahs and leopards. I went with 6 other volunteers so we traversed the dusty roads to scope out the animals on the top of our old Toyota bus that looks like a VW bus from the 70s. Our guide wasn't that helpful and the driver was kind of rude, but we saw the animals which is why we went so we were satisfied. After that, we stopped at the waterfalls to go for a swim and just see how beautiful the natural world is. Especially since it's the dry season and seeing water isn't the most common sight so all the greenery was beautiful.

Before that, I went down to Cotonou to say goodbye to one of my postmates. He decided to end his service early for another job. That was kind of sad. It's nice to have another American so close to escape to every once in awhile, but at least I still have another awesome postmate who is in the same ville. While I was down in Cotonou, I went to see one of my Beninese friends from down there and he took me out to eat some fish with baobab juice mixed with milk and ice which was delicious. Although pretty much anything cold is delicious. It's getting hotter and hotter at post so it is consequently getting harder and harder to sleep at night. Eventually I will move outside to sleep, but I am trying to delay that as long as possible.

While I was at the health center the other day, I saw this guy come in from an awful accident and he had a huge wound on his head. It was as if someone had ripped a 2 inch piece of skin from the front of his head it as it's too bad, so the guy gets up off the table and walks off. Meanwhile, I feel queasy from just LOOKING at it and go lay down. I used to think that I could handle gruesome things really well, but recently I have seen so many things that should never happen to a human body and I am second guessing my capabilities.

Outside of that, not too much has been going on at post. I'm organizing some sort of event for International Women's Day. I held a girls club meeting for primary school girls. There were about 15 people in my house at one time which is about 12 people too many for my tiny house so that was a little cramped, but for now we haven't found a good room to use so we made it work. I had them do an activity in which they chose a word that described them for each letter in their name. Their were several problems. One being that many do not know how to spell their names, two being that they don't all understand French so I tried to help them and it was more fun just to let them color and draw and be together. I'm trying to organize a similar girls club for girls in middle school who have a better grasp on their French, but the older the girls get, the less time they have so finding a time that they can all meet is tough.

My health center is slow to give me work. Meaning, they give me none. Out of our staff of 7 people (which is already understaffed), there are 3 left. The majeur (fr) retired, another moved, another wants to move, etc. So my work partner is way way too busy so it's up to me to find work which is how it has always been, but sometimes I wish I had a more steady work plan. One positive thing is that they are still using the numerical order system that I put in place for vaccination day. Yay!!! Sustainability!!!!

Okay so I wanna go watch some people make cheese here. Apparently you take the milk, grind up some bark and voila, cheese. Cool right??? I'll take pics.

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