Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Togo Sweet Togo

Snowflakes sent to togo from Grams
with Dagby by my side

Sorry I’m late in sending this post to let you all know that I am safe n sound back in my African village. I was really glad to have seen all you over the holidays even if it was touch and go. Life is as usual here and I was welcomed back with open arms. If it weren’t for the warm nature of the people here then I’m sure I wouldn’t have lasted this long. Yes, they can annoy me from time to time and it can be utterly exhausting dealing or working with them, let alone conversing in other tongues but…they are open and inviting. Something that is hard to find these days in the states. I’ve already been invited to dine at many homes to catch up times since I’ve left. Which usually results in asking how the family is, how Will is, how the weather was, how I celebrated the holidays…and where is their cadeau (what did I bring back for them)…then I ask the same of them.

The weather has been a bit more bearable here as we are now entering Harmattan (dry season when the winds from the Sahael kick up dust covering the skies and all else) It’s been in the mid 80’s yet I just glanced at the temp and it says 91 huh.. Brush fires are on the rise as the farmers and hunters take to clearing out patches of field by carelessly burning debris. So the winds kick up the ashes along with the sand and that’s what you breathe in for three months. There is a cool breeze and it cools at night and through the morning. Once I get back to my old sleeping schedule I may start running in the mornings again. Update : I went running this morning and felt good, since it is a lot cooler then when I had been training for the marathon. And…there weren’t as many lil school kids en route to class as I was afraid I was going to have to dodge the packs of them

Some say Harmattan is not quite here yet, since this year there wasn’t that final big storm and huge rain that signaled the change of seasons and it has some worried. I have noticed climate change here maybe more that if I were home because life revolves around it. I’m living in a culture that lives day to day supported by the harvest. Where office jobs are scarce, people depend solely on an income from what they can grow. So weather is a huge deal here, and you notice the changes quickly. From the size of the produce at the local market to the changes in the moods of the people to the visual nature of the village, you can tell a difference.
You see the economy crisis play on the revenue of produce. In working with my coffee farmers the price of coffee dropped exponentially three times in the last month (unusual, but when there’s a crisis in the developed world, the undeveloped countries feel it too with a loss of market value). It is all very interesting to see how they view what goes on in other countries but have no way of counteracting the effect it will have on them. What’s also sad here is that there aren’t even stable electricity and water sources. I’m lucky to be equipped with it here but every day since I’ve been home it has cut and been unreliable. I hope when I go home I’ll carry with me the conservation skills I’ve used here.

Well not much else, I have counted the days and have roughly around 180 to go…wow. I can’t believe I’ve been here this long. As for post Peace Corps, I am going to apply for some jobs but in March we will know what schools Will was accepted at and if he has decided. If he decides to go back to school I will begin to tailor my job search to that location…but for now…the village awaits my presence.
could be Pittsburg, Seattle, Chicago…and others… Will knows his final close of service date in March and I will know mine around May so we will be able to coordinate all. I think we may try to travel a bit before heading home if we have time and take a trip through Morrocco…Spain…France then home? Not sure…all depends on a lot of things but that’s what we are thinking as of now.

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