I am back in Togo and happier than ever! It was beyond sad to leave home and my family and all of the people that I didn't get to see, but I am returning to Africa with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication.
I missed the Togolese people so much it hurt. I missed speaking French and Ewe, even the heat and bugs are great right now. I will probably be singing a different tune once I try and get back to Notse and traverse broken bridges only to get there and discover that there is no cooking gas and I have to try and cook over charcoal. Taking 3 hours to boil water, then filter, then drink is no fun. I won't even get into trying to cook on that thing.
Regardless, this week is getting Kevin settled into his new home in Lome (holy cow, it is awesome - I will send pictures) and checking on what will hopefully be a great job with PSI (I think www.psi.org - check them out) and Peace Corps that will move me to Lome. Keep our fingers crossed.
The new NRM (Natural Resources Management) and GEE (Girls' Education and Empowerment) stage was on our flight from Paris to here, so we got to see all of the overwhelmed new faces and buy them beer:)
KB and I are overjoyed that we both brought board games back to Togo with us -- we figured out how to play the modern version of Risk last night (our friend Jake is ruler of the world, even though Kevin and I formed an alliance after we realized that as we kept fighting each other, Jake was taking over the world. Important lesson anyone?).
I truly can not express how happy I am to be back here. I really do belong. The hardest part is work and lack of structure, but I am committed to make something happen before I leave. I love this place.
Went to the Grand Marche yesterday to try and get some essentials for the house (KB can't deal with the nuttiness there, so it is up to me) (seriously, google a picture of the Grand Marche of Lome and maybe you will get an idea. Sounds and smells not included). By the end I had a giant backpack full and trying to balance a big basket on my head. Being a foreigner and carrying my business on my head like a Togolese is not a common sight. I had my own town criers ahead and behind me yelling to all of the vendors to check me out (as if they weren't already) and "hey, she speaks Ewe too". It helps with the prices though. I don't get the full yovo surcharge.
Today we have a crew at the beach bar (today is a national holiday celebrating something to do with repelling a coup attempt in the 80s led by 70 people. All I know is the banks, embassies, and Peace Corps offices are closed) so we will hang there with friends and dogs and wait for more goods that we need for the house to pass by on peoples' heads and we will buy them. Easy peasy.
Jet lag only hit me yesterday and it has been brutal leading to late nights and late mornings. Ca va aller.
I miss you, love you, etc. etc.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I just got an email from my darling friend Megan in Togo and she has set up a website showing some of the wares she is marketing for a batik bag maker in Kpalime, Togo. Perhaps eventually there will be a way to order online and I can help ship or bring them home. Email access is tough in Togo, but try and email her if you are interested. I have one of the bags and I love it!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I drove back from Kentucky by myself, stopping in Ohio to visit my dear friend Sarah Louise and her dad (my adopted grandpa), Dr. Bug at Embe Horse Farm and Happy Valley invention land.
After that, I spent the night at my parents' cabin between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, chillin in the woods. America is the most beautiful country on earth.