For the EGE volunteers, we packed up and headed to our new, temporary, training site of Kpalime (Pah-lee-may). It's here in Kpalime that we have model classes and the rest of our training. What's Kpalime like? Well, we have running water first of all! Kpalime is a tourist filled city, as it's a lively town with a gorgeous mountain setting the background and a great gateway to waterfalls and hiking in the area. We've also found it to be a less aggressive city, or perhaps just more used to us Yovos and therefor we get less harassment.
Because Kpalime is a big town, there's also a good number of restaurants including an amazing restaurant called “Le Bon Vivant” which is owned by a Belgian guy, and more importantly, has a great selection of beers and the best burgers I've ever had.
Our host families are also much more accustomed to having students. While there aren't many streetlights, there's moto (motorcycle) taxis everywhere which means you never have to walk home at night. Being able to stay out until 9 (hey, it's pretty late considering we start teaching at 7am each day) is a big change compared to before, when we were racing the sun home, making it back before the 6:15 sunset.
Many of us are also happy about the change because we feel it's been the most useful part of training. You can talk about teaching theory until you turn blue in the face, but it wont mean much until you actually get to practice teach. Here we are teaching at a local middle school summer program, and then also with a micro-scholarship and English program funded by the US Embassy. The program at MLK Jr. funded through the embassy is very similar to the work I did in France, as it focuses a lot more on cultural aspects. However, I find the classes at the local middle school (CEG Kpodzi) to be the most helpful. We are teaching using the same textbooks that we will most likely use this year, and while the classes are smaller than we will have later, these are regular students- unlike the selected ones from MLK's program.
Kpalime has been wonderful, and I'm really going to miss it when I leave.
Other reasons to love Kpalime? The most beautiful walk to school I've ever had.