Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Togolese Lemonade Stand (Entreprises Vacanaces)

The last two months have included lots of trainings for our female CEG (middle school) students. We've been learning about how to start, run and do budgeting for small businesses. Middle school education isn't free here and unfortunately people will still choose to pay for their son's school fees rather than their daughters. Entreprise Vacances was created to give girls a way to earn money over the vacation so that they can come for the school fees come fall. The girls have finished the training and are pictured below with their certificates of completion. The girls whose business plans are accepted will receive loans of up to 10 000 CFA (20 USD) in the next month or so. 

Myself, David the Plan Togo Volunteer, the girls and my principal. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lost in Translation

At the end of class, especially when my students are overflowing with energy, they like to asked me to translate differnet vocab words. The day had started out with a thick fog, so we quickly got into weather related words and phrases.

A typical punishment here is to tell a student to go stand in the sun. That might not seem too awful, and in comparrison to le baton, it's not, but remember that we are in Africa.

In any case, the students were shouting different things at me, but the one that stuck out above the rest was "Le soliel nous mange!" or "The sun is eating us!" I understood what the students were getting at, especially because I often feel like the sun is eating me, but it was still one of the funniest phrases I've heard.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A storm killed my laptop.

I'm blessed enough to have electrcity at my post, which means that I have watched countless hours of video and tv on my laptop. I'm even lucky enough to have pretty consistant electricy that allows me to run a big luxury item like my mini fridge. However, the start of rainy season brought back some lightening storms and power surges, and one of the surges blew out a light bulb and my laptop charger which was plugged in at the time.

It's not too big a deal, but it explains the lack of updates over the last month. I'm crossing my fingers here at the cyber cafe and we'll see if I can get some updates done today.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pounding fufu

Fufu is one of the favorite meals of Togolese. It can be made from manioc, yam or even taro. Basically you boil whatever carb you've got and then you beat it with a big stick and add water. When I first learned of fufu in Togo I optomistally hoped it would be like mashed potatoes. It's not.

But, given enough time, I've learned to like it. The other night my host family was cookin' some up so I crashed the party. In fairness I decided to help out by pounding the fufu. I can't say that actually helped them at all, but it had comidic value at least.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Thanks Mom!

I've been in Togo 11 months now and my wonderful mother has sent a letter every week that I've been in Togo. Yup, that's right, I have 46 letters and she's even been wonderful enough to mail a few packages with esentials (protien bars, colored pencils, stickers, etc).