So training was pretty busy and often the network was down when I went to the internet cafe or I just chose to go play ultimate frisbee with friends or have a beer instead of getting on the super slow computers, so sorry for the lack of any updates over the last several weeks! So as of last week I officially finished training and was sworn in as a volunteer and packed up and sent off up country to my little house in Pagouda. I've been there a week now today and so far all is well. I have no furniture, just my cot and my gas stove and two wooden chairs I'm borrowing from my host family. But I have ordered all my furniture and am just waiting on it to be made. Should have the first 3 pieces on the 30th of August and then the rest will come in Sept. Still trying to figure out how to get electricity installed in my house, so until then I have to travel about an hour to get to the internet cafe so I probably won't come too often. Also just because money is a little tight and I tend to spend a lot of money here in the regional capital since I can get so much here I can't get anywhere else; like white cake or chocolate croissants I discovered earlier this week!!!!
Being in my house has been nice for controlling my eating and getting to cook for myself and eat what I want instead of depending on others to cook for me and being forced to eat what they cook. You'll all be happy to hear I ate liver and goat at my host family's house and even tried a tiny bit of fish which if you saw the fish here you'd understand just how big of a step that was for me! But now I'm doing my own cooking so it's a lot of tofu (yay I can get it from my neighbor who makes it at her house!), spagetti, rice, and beans (yes I eat beans now for the sake of getting protein!). I did manage to make tofu fried rice with the soy sauce I found in Lomé the other day and it came out great so I'm really excited now! I need to start controlling my portions though, I've gotten a little out of hand thanks to how much they fed me during training with my host family! It's also now more of a challenge to find fruit and veggies up in my village so I really need to watch what I'm eating and make sure I'm getting my nutrients however I can. So far so good though thanks to the tofu and the bit of veggies I can find and the bananas!
As for my house I have a fairly sizable house, 3 rooms, one large living/dining room and two bedroom type rooms. One will be my bedroom, the other will be my kitchen/bathroom/storage room. I have an outdoor latrine (closed in with a roof and lock) and shower, and that's the only downside really to my house. Otherwise it's very spacious and nice and now that the drop ceiling is in place I don't have to worry too much about mice or other insects coming in from the tin roof. Will post pictures whenever I'm able to get my own computer online.
Other than that not much going on. I have to stay in region for the first three months and am not supposed to work really. So I don't have a whole lot to do most days, just work on getting my house set up and getting to know the town. I'm starting to do some meet and greet meetings and just sit and watch the work that people do do. However; we're in the rainy season and no one works when it rains so a lot of times things are cancelled due to the rain. Can't wait to come back to the U.S. and explain that I can't work today because of the rain! There's also a coming of age ceremony going on for young boys in my town that has been going on for a while. They go up to the mountain and dance all day then come down and dance through town in the late afternoon with the boys participating in the ceremony wearing big headresses with, wait for it; baby dolls or stuffed animals in the center of the headress! I have pics and hope to post as well once I can get my own computer hooked up to the internet. This ceremony though is another excuse of why nothing is getting down in town. But it's all good and it's entertaining to watch.
Well must go, hopefully my next post won't be so long from now!