Sunday, July 23, 2006

Jim Lands in Benin

July 23, 2006

Great news. We have gotten two short emails from Jim, and it seems his adventure is off to a good start. The first email came from Philadelphia just before he was to board the plane for Paris. The Benin group of volunteers seems to be a lively bunch. They had a proper "Good bye America" dinner and party the night before they left, then they all received a round of vaccines the next morning before they headed out to the airport. Jims last comments in that email were,"Remember, no news is good news."

I believe, however, news is better than no news so I was pleased to receive a second email, this time from Cotonou. Here is the text of Jim's message:

"I am in Cotonou. Sorry I couldn't call, but it turns out their phones don't work or something. Anyway, It's quite a righteous blast here. I'll be moving to Djougou for Stage on Thursday where I'll be living with a host family. In nine weeks I'll get a cell phone. It'll be too expensive to call, but I can text message.

I'm constrained for time in writing this email, so tell everyone else that I'm still alive and having fun and such. Oh, and in Djougou the internet is really bad so it'll probably be mostly mail through which I'll communicate. "

All you blogger fans, I will be checking any replies to new posts and send them to Jim when I write to him. You can also write him yourself:

Jim Rybarski, Peace Corps Trainee
Corps de la Paix
B.P. 971
Cotonou, Benin

By the way, Djougou is in central Benin, a few hundred miles north of Cotonou, near the Togo border.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Only 826 Days to Go

I'm leaving for Philadelphia tomorrow, and I'll be in Benin on Friday!

While I was internet-stalking my fellow volunteers' blogs (and I do enjoy a good internet-stalk), I read a post saying the flight to Philadelphia was today. That was an extremely unsettling typo, and I had to check my flight itinerary first to make sure I hadn't screwed everything up.

I had a good time this last week, and Mom's birthday party was quite fun, as expected. Still, I regret not accomplishing my goal of watching every episode of Star Trek: Voyager before I left. Such is the life of a PCV. It occurred to me the other day that not only are the volunteers who are in Benin right now going to miss the premiere of Snakes on a Plane, but they haven't even heard about it. I can't decide if we should leave them blissfully ignorant.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how things will have changed when I come back (and I think they'll change more than most people expect). And since I'm a gambling man, I'll make a few predictions about the world in October 2008:

1) Oil will be above $90/bbl.
2) The Democratic nominee for President won't be Hillary Clinton.
3) The Republican nominee for President will be John McCain.
4) It will turn out that Lost actually did have a coherent, well-defined plot since the beginning.

I hope some of those turn out to be really funny. In any event, that's about all I have to say. Thanks to everyone who got me something for the trip. Feel free to give the address of this blog to anyone who wants it. And please write me letters!


Thursday, July 13, 2006


the mom is learning how to blog.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Six Days Left

My plane for Philadelphia leaves on Tuesday!

I moved back to my parents' house in Dallas today, in what turned out to be a fairly easy trip. Also, it would be great for pretty much everyone if this chart goes to zero:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Two Weeks Left

I superimposed a silhouette of Benin onto a map of Texas to get an idea of its size. Also, Google Earth rules way more than I thought it did.

© 2006 Google Earth, Me

I'm moving back to my parents' house in a week and flying to Philly a week after that. I'd be excited if that didn't seem like forever. I'll have a lot to do once I get to Dallas though, so at least I won't be bored.