Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Large Update

I'm very busy right now and I have limited access to computers, so it's hard to write awesome posts. That will change when I actually move and start working, but for now it'll have to do.

Right now I've begun teaching English to practice classes (basically, kids who were offered free summer English classes). It went really well, so the scariest part of this trip is over. The classes only have about 20-25 students, and the kids all want to be there, but I'm still happy with my performance. That will go on for four more weeks and then I move to my town to actually start teaching.

I visited my post last week with the principal of my school. My post is probably the best one outside of Cotonou. It's located in a village, but there's a large city 10 minutes away by bike that has pretty much everything. There's even a Robot Cafe and a Robot Bakery (just the names, but they have pictures of robots on the front. Seriously, what are the odds?). I'm taking over a post from another volunteer who left me everything that she owned, which rocks on so many levels. I have electricity and cell phone coverage. Water is drawn from a pump down the street, but apparently my neighbor kids will just go get it for me if I ask. I'll have a local PO Box when I move there that I'm going to share with the school, though I'm really close to Cotonou so anything you send there can be easily retrieved. Also, it costs me nothing to receive phone calls, so if you're bored, feel free to call me (I'll get a number when I move).

I think prose isn't the best way to talk about Benin with my time constraints, so here's a list of points of interest:

I saw a moped run into a goat today. The guy just kept driving and the goat just walked away, a little startled. I was shocked that it wasn't dead. Animals walk around the streets here pretty freely and I'm surprised that didn't happen sooner.

Little girls and boys dress the same and have the same haircuts, so the only way to distinguish them is by looking to see if they're wearing earrings.

When it gets below 70 degrees, you'll see a few people wearing winter coats with the hood on.

You can see the Milky Way, which rocks.

BBC Africa is my best friend (it's my only source for news since I can only get on the internet occasionally and newspapers here are only local).

On the sides of roads people are selling large jugs with what I thought was liquor. It turns out it's gasoline brought from Nigeria. That was a disappointment until I actually tasted a drink called "sodabe" which basically is moonshine.

I've vomited twice for no reason, but always without fever, and I was better the next day. I just got over a cold, which was very annoying. Otherwise I've been quite healthy.

I'd go on but I'm out of time. In any event, I'm having a lot of fun and I'm really glad I came here.


Blogger David Wen said...

Theres a store in LA japantown called Giant Robot.

Did you teach them how to say "robots will kill us all?"

3:22 AM  
Blogger Andrew W. said...

It should be something like "Les robots nous toueront tous."

12:17 PM  

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