Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Tip on Sending Mail

If you want to send me a letter, don't use a regular envelope. I've received exactly zero letters like that since I've been here despite having many sent to me. Just put it in a big 8.5"x11" envelope and it should get through. I don't think any of those have been lost yet.

Also, a big thanks to everyone who's sent me things. I really appreciate it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Eight Months

The school year is coming to a close, and pretty soon we’re going to start planning out the training period for the new volunteers who arrive in July. I don’t know how to say how bizarre that feels without being boring, so I won’t.

My fridge got turned on for the first time Tuesday, after a weeklong blackout. I’m pretty stoked to be able to have leftovers. And vegetables! I’m restricted to running it during the day since the voltage cuts are too deep during the night, but it’s a lot more than I ever expected to have, so I don’t really care.

The fact that you can join the Peace Corps, own a fridge, and still not be considered to be above the level of your community speaks to how much Africa has developed in recent times. A statistic I only partially remember was something along the lines of the infant mortality rate being the same here as it was in America in 1920. Rock.

Il Faut Apprend Francais Quoi

During a weeklong workshop, me and a bunch of volunteers went to a pool at a nearby hotel. There were a lot of Europeans there, though I couldn’t understand a thing they said.

“What language do you think they’re speaking?” I asked.

“Um, that’s French, Jim.”

And so it was. I really hope I get the chance to go to France while I still have my sweet Beninese French accent. Apparently no one sees it coming from a white guy.

Absense from Post

I’m sorry if anyone is fervently awaiting updates from me, but I’ve taken an anti-maudlin stance with this blog, and that’s usually the way things come out unless great care is taken. Also, my day-to-day life is usually pretty repetitive, and even when it’s not, the things that punctuate the tediousness are only of interest to myself (there are bugs in my oatmeal, ashes blow out of my latrine for no apparent reason, I can’t taste the bugs in my oatmeal, my heat rash has spread to my ankles, none of my friends judge me for eating bugs, etc).