Saturday, September 27, 2008

I cut my hair!! I will provide photos soon. It was just too hot for me to keep my locks. I absolutely LOVE it! So I have spent three weeks at post....AND LOVE IT!! The people here are awesome, yet there isnt much for me to do. I do enjoy cooking. I also enjoy reading, writing in my journal, and talking on the phone with my postmate. You really have to find things to do when you are in the middle of nowhere. Okay, so I will talk about a couple of weird/new/funny things I have experienced here so far since I have been at my post. Again, my stories do not reflect Benin generally but I must tell you a couple of stories because they made me smile. Dont take anything I say personally.

The first couple of days, I was trying to figure out how to comfortably use my latrine. I dont sit butI stand on it. First, I stamp a few times so if there are bugs there, they will get lost. So after I did that, I stood on it and began to urinate. Immediately, a gecko jumped out and landed right on my ass!!!! I fell off the larine and ran out with my pants down! LOL! I freaked out and busted out laughing. Never new I would get intimate with a lizard so soon.

So a sage femme (midwife) who i work with along with my other work partner who is a male helped me move in my place. Remember that I am REALLY in the bush and people dont have much access to anything here. So while they were helping me move my stuff around, my tampons fell out of one of the boxes. I was very embarrassed. The guy says, "Are these cigarettes?" And the midwife says, "Yes they are. I didnt know you smoked Satin!!"

Have you ever seen a person put out a cigarette...with his barefeet? I did and was totally shocked. He tells me thats because he is African. And I say "No, Thats not African! Thats bush!!" And he cracked up laughing!

So here are a couple of things I have experienced so far and cant wait to experience many more interesting things. Dont have much internet access so I will try to write again soon. Still waiting on a package.....Does anyone love me??

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Final pics before I head to post...

That's me at the beach. Grand Popo is the name. Great spot to just relax, eat ICE CREAM, and enjoy the sun. Bubbles from the water is what is on my ankle if you wanted to know.
This is my favorite outfit I got made. Love the colors.
This is my awesome host family. This was at the swearing in ceremony. This year is the 40th anniversary for Peace Corps in Benin. If you look closely you can see the custom made design on my outfit. We all swore in with style! Now I am an official Peace Corps Volunteer!! In the pic is my host uncle, his wife and my house sister. Host mama giving me a congratulations kiss as you can see. You want to know something nice? My mother from the states gave me the same kiss on a pic when I graduated from college. See, we're not as different as we may think we are. I will miss them dearly.
Some cultural visuals for you. Voodoo. It was a nice event. They can dance pretty good actually. This was at my house.

So this is my last post before I move to village. In host family closing, I could not be more happier with the family I had. I learned so much, I ate so much, and I was loved so much! Host families are the best way to integrate into a new culture and I am truly blessed to have gotten that opportunity. I do plan to visit them diuring my time here. Training was intense and I am glad it is over but I am sad at the same time because I really bonded with a lot of the volunteers. I will really miss our times together. As a new volunteer reflecting on everything, I couldn't be more happy with what I am doing. I am so nervous and excited for tomorrow. I had to buy so much stuff for my new place since I am a new volunteer and not replacing another one. Life in Benin has truly been a ride alright!!! Can't wait to talk about what will happen next! A la prochaine (until next time)!

Who wants to be the first one to send me a package??? Dont all rush at once : )