I have been pretty awful at mentioning what it's like here. I was reading the blog of another trainee, and she is doing a fantastic job. Here it is:
We have had 2 people go home already out of 29. Well, technically 3 out of 30 if you count the one person that did not show up at all. One girl got hurt playing soccer and was sent to the US for repairs. She will likely not be back this time, but can come back later and do it all again. The other trainee had his dad pass away suddenly and flew back. He is returning, I believe, but I cannot imagine how hard that must be. I suppose that life goes on while we are in Togo, and I think it is quite rude that you all are not simply putting everything on hold to wait for us. Sheesh.
This coming weekend I will get to see my post up close and personal for one week. That is awesome, and I am excited for the change. I hear that you can see the ocean from my roof. I hope that's true.
I bought a marmite (look it up, I'm not translating. I like the word marmite better)and a sauce pot, and some other things, too. I own buckets (literally...three of them) here in Togo. I am amassing a small empire. I am haggling the price of this empire with great success (read limited success) and expect that soon I will have to be taxed as a separate country.
What do we do in training:
We study language (French or local dialect) two hours at a time. We learn how to take care of ourselves past the normal 'get a band-aid' answers. We learn about Togo, it's economics and it's people. We learn cultural differences so we won't be nearly as offensive as we guaranteed to be. We learn how to fix almost anything on our bikes. We visit local shops to see if we can do simple tasks like ordering clothing at a tailor. We practice our French on the poor unsuspecting Togolese people who put up with us each day. We wash our own clothes by hand. We bathe using a bucket. We eat wonderful food in large quantities. We think about home and what might be going on there. That's not really a training thing. I assume that may happen after training as well.
The time has come for care packages. Go buy a 5x7 padded envelope, throw a few rolls of Mentos in it with a few real deal Q-Tips, then maybe pen a few words and add anything else that you might think I would need...that won't melt. : )