12 July 2008


8 July 2008


I thought I was headed into a yucky tropical disease complete with
tummy upset, mild fever, body aches, and mood swings. But it's just
that my cycle arrived a week early. Resume normality, with extra
self-care :)

And so, I continue with my daily routine...

Okay, I left off at 6:30 am on July 1.

I don't always take a morning shower – it depends on how busy the
family is, I don't strictly need it and I don't like to distract my
sister from taking care of her kids.

In either case, I prep myself for the day – packing my Camelbak
backpack with
my training necessities: cahier (notebook), my Oral Proficiency
Learning textbook for Ewe, and a pen
and other necessities: my Ridgeway bottle (like a Nalgene, but not) –
sometimes I'll dump half a tub of 'tea-on-the-go' type mix, I can get
filtered water at the techhouse –, the various medicines I might need
during the day (I always carry a couple pepto bismol tabs, some
ibuprofen, some hydrocortizone cream, insect repellent, and a couple
band-aids), my camera, some toilet paper just in case, my phone, my
rain jacket, and my watch (I don't wear it on my wrist because I get
heat rash – there's a handy little loop in the strap of my backpack
that works nicely)

I just severely overused parentheses. This may be a recurring fault.
(especially since I've been prone to it since I was 16)

I usually head to the Techhouse at 7am.
Me le ku keke yi suku (I am riding my bike to school – in Ewe)
We were given brilliant 7-speed mountain bikes for use in Togo. We've
received training on maintenance and emergency fixes, etc. I feel this
may be the most useful training I have yet received. I kind of can't
wait till I get my first flat tire. I'll know EXACTLY what to do. What
a feeling of power!

Classes start at 7.30, or at least they are scheduled to start then.
I usually have a chance to chat to people, finish any homework and
possibly open up my computer (if I brought it with me).

Our first class lasts until 9.30, then there's a half an hour break.
This gives people the chance to come to the Techhouse if their first
class was held elsewhere – a lot of the language groups are held in
individual host family houses.

10am - Often, we have our Technical sessions as the second session of
the morning. This means we will start with one of the stageaires giving
a presentation on some form of business skill that they are already
familiar with through their experience outside of the Peace Corps.
We've had presentations on Linux and the merits of open source
software; how to open and register a business; and how to
fundraise/write grant applications. Pretty interesting stuff, but it
primarily is interesting to me because I get the chance to have a
glimpse of what people were up to prior to Peace Corps. Lots of

After the individual presentations, we cover various aspects of
business development a la Togolaise. We either have a current
volunteer, a guest speaker, or our tech trainer lead the session. These
sessions vary widely as to how boring or interesting they are. I've
been forced to pay good attention because I've been called on
frequently to translate guest speakers presentations in French into
English for the stageaires who are new to French. My tech trainer
passes me notes that say "Il faut bien suivre cette partie pour
traduire." (Rough translation: pay close attention to this part so you
can translate)
There's a guy stageaire who speaks French fluently (his schooling was
all in French) but he's very good at avoiding eye contact with the tech
trainer when he's looking around for someone to translate, so it's
mostly up to me :)

12pm – Second session ends, time to bike home for lunch. Biking home is
uphill. It's not terribly steep, but it wears on me when I'm feeling
tired, hungry or a bit ill. Especially when I'm wearing a skirt and I
have to be careful to keep my skirt down while peddling. On contrast,
the ride to the Techhouse is absolutely blissful.

Okay, I've got you through the first half, I'm going to leave the rest
for another time.

nighty night

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