Hey everyone. This is my blog from Benin, Africa. I'll try to write as much about my experience as I can. Hope you all enjoy and feel free to write me as well.

Friday, October 3, 2008

September 14 i know i put them on backwards

Well, it looks like I officially live in Djidja now. I guess it is still somewhat unofficial however since I still have not moved into my house yet, oh had I mentioned that I have been here over a week now. And yes to answer the question I know you all were already thinking my house was suppose to be finished way before I even got here. On the Brightside however a nice family, actually I would say a man since his wife and children live in a house near by, has allowed me to stay in a small apartment they have in their concession. I am pretty sure I kicked the older son out of the place he sleeps but what can I do.
On a lighter note I would say I am doing as well as can be expected. The first night was tough I was actually very upset to leave my family here and I was also missing my family and friends at home quite a lot. I got through it though and am still here. It has been quite a trip to move somewhere, where you know not one person, you are very unfamiliar with the culture, and yes I am going to say it, the only white person for 40 miles. It is not as hard as I thought though, people are genuinely a kind race and I have found that the people here are kind as well. I would say the hardest thing here is that I have absolutely, positively NOTHING to do.
I am not sure I have explained this yet but for the first three months of peace corps service you are suppose to just asses your community. That doesn’t mean that you can’t begin some projects, but you are really just suppose to get to know your community. Which is a good idea however in the long run it means I sit around a lot with nothing to do. Also my homologue is out of town for the next month and I can’t really start anything without her. I am in contact with some other NGO’s however that I am hoping I can start doing some things with. I am very excited to be here and I know that in the long run it is going to be good it is just hard to get through this slow, transitional period. I also don’t like always looking towards the future but I feel that is all I am really doing right now, just playing the waiting game. Waiting to know people and my community better, waiting for my homologue to come back, and waiting for the these three months to be over with so that I will have something to do and can start something.
So I guess I could some up my first week for you. The first couple of days I went to the CPS ( centre de promotion social) where I will be working and sat around while my bosses assistant did some things. He also took me to the mayor’s office several times to see people, most of who I had met on my post visit. We also went to the NGO Bonde Fondle which is an affiliate of Child Fund International, where people from other countries sponsor children here in Africa. I think I will be doing a lot of work with them actually. I was also taken to several tailors, mechanics, and hair tressors to see the AIDS orphans that are doing apprenticeships there. Some how we do stuff with them but I am not sure yet what that is, my French still isn’t up to par. I also biked out to two villages to see them doing cooking demonstrations on healthy porridge to feed 6 month to two year old children. That was a very interesting experience. The one village that we went to was very small and poor, many of the children were malnourished and had been for a while, that made me very sad. This job is going to be hard at times. It was also difficult for me because there was this dog there that was clearly on the brink of death, its ribs were protruding dramatically and it had soars all over its body and ears which is a sign bad nutrition and starvation. That hard thing was that I felt horrible for this animal but the people in this village for very obviously not even feed their own children so how was could they possibly take care of a dog. It was just something that really made me think. It also made me really happy that I am here so that maybe I can help do something about one of the too. It is amazing all the work there is to do here, it is just difficult to know what to do exactly and where to start.
Well that is most of it so far, I am sure you will be getting more blog entries because I have nothing to do so I will be writing more blogs on my laptop and then putting on my website when I can get internet. I might have it in my town in the near future, but they say that about everything so we shall see. Hope all is well with everyone.
PS I almost forgot on weekends here people play music all night long until the sun comes up, it is almost so loud that it shakes my bed with the bass, so needless to say I sleep very late on weekends here because there is not much sleeping going on at night. I think I might just have to start partying with them through the night because I’m not getting anything else done.


Melanie said...


I am currently watching the MU football game and I am so annoyed right now. IT is only the first half, but they are down. I want them to win. Chase Daniels needs to work his magic. It is almost 8 here, but I will be up late watching the game. I misss you lots. I enjoyed looking at your new photos. You do look like you haVe lost weight. 30 pounds.....that is so awesome. Just think how hard it would be to lose that here in the U.S. I know I am having a time of it. But, I am getting down there. I concentrate on ten pounds at a time. I can finally wear my jeans. Anyway, Love you,


Melanie said...

I forgot to mention the pics of your house. It is pretty nice for Africa. Your bathroom seems nice and your living room. The mosquito net around your bed scares me. Like I said I will be mailing your package on Monday. I cannot wait until you get your sheets. I cannot believe they play music all night; I would kill them. Do you want a noise machine?