I have been continuously hounded by many of you to post on my blog, and I am sorry that I have not been posting as much as you would like. Honestly though, I feel like it was just yesterday when I posted my last blog. The past two months have really flown by. I now understand when volunteers who are leaving say how quickly time passed here in Benin. The first few months went by quickly, but days still seem to drag out a bit. As I am more comfortable with my language level and finding more and more work to do as time flutters by. I also found a somebody who is willing to tutor my in French and Fon in my village. He is the director of the CEG (high school). Anyways I hope that you all had wonderful holidays and I wish all a Happy New Year. It seems the Mayans or our calculation of their calendar was off because the world is still here after December 21, 2012. I was kind of looking forward to what the apocalypse would be like, but it is great to still be alive! The last two months have been a whirlwind of emotions, but most of them have been pretty splendid.
After 3 months at our posts we had our first in-service training session. Each sector of volunteers met up in Parakou for a week of training the second week of December. It was refreshing to see all of the other volunteers and to share stories (both good and bad) of our experiences at our posts. During training we learned how to get grants as well as to raise money to fund our different projects. I’m sure you will be hearing from me soon regarding different projects I will be starting. The best part about training was the hotel we stayed in. After not having air conditioning or hot water for 6 months now, it was amazing to just sit in a room that does not have you constantly sweating. The hot water was a plus, but I think the girls enjoyed it more than the guys. I have become accustomed to taking cold showers. In fact, with the heat here I prefer the cold shower. There was also a pool at the hotel which we swam in the first couple nights until we saw the pool during the day and realized the green murky water was probably not treated and possibly would lead to some sort of skin disease. Don’t worry it didn’t happen to anybody (that I know of). Anyways after in-service training it was back to post for a week, before many volunteers commenced their vacations for the holidays.
*I stayed in village for the holidays and had a great time! If you want to know more about my time in village shoot me an email. Anyways, I have also been getting request to post more photos, so I will do my best to get some photos up soon. It takes forever to upload the photos, so it is easier to do it when I am in Cotonou at the workstation. I will most likely be going down there the first weekend of February to catch the Super Bowl game. Go Pack Go. Hopefully, the 49ers don’t come too prepared next week! I will try not to get lazy and keep posting and you folks back in USA updated.