Sunday, November 17, 2013

Road Trip Savannes!

With IST approaching, I managed a boondoggle to get a ride in the Peace Corps car from Maritime all the way up to Dapaong in the northern most region of Togo, Savannes. The only downside to this trip was the 12 hour car ride (but in a Peace Corps car, a very different level of transportation than the typical bush taxi). But the biggest upside to all of this was getting to see what the rest of Togo looks like and seeing my best friend, Amelia who I haven't seen since swear-in.

The Savannes region is about as different possible from Maritime. Maritime is still green and humid, while things are turning dry, dusty and brown up here. There's hills and even some mountains, where as at my site and the surrounding 30km I rarelly have more than a 15 foot elevation change. Moba is the most popular local language in Dapaong, though others are in the area while down in Zafi Ewe dominates, even to the extent that many women don't speak much French.

Togo and neighboring countries were divided by European powers during colonization without regard to ethnic groups or geography thus Togo had great variation from the North to South. What this also means is that there's a lot to explore over the next two year, and I'm just getting a first taste!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Careful what you wish for....

Sorry for the delay in updates! Internet has been particularly spotty lately, even at cyber cafes. My friend Neal was kind enough to let me use his internet key when I stopped by the other week, but I didn't want to take advantage of his hospitality.

As I mentioned last time, the start of the school year was marked by strikes, and my off handed joke about striking until Christmas has become a little too true. The past few weeks have been marked by starts and stops. This has led to mostly stops, rather than starts, in my work.

I announced my girls' science club and twenty minutes later the school was shut down for what turned out to be about a week and a half. Our teaching timetable hasn't been 100% hammered out yet, so that's been holding me back on when to even find times to meet for clubs.

We are now headed to In Service Training (IST) which gives me a chance to talk to other volunteers and, importantly, my director. This will give me a chance to hammer out some issues and get ready to get back to work with new excitement in village.

Hopefully, I'll have some goo news to report after IST!