So school’s out for Spring break, which I’m really excited about. I came to the big city in the Atakora region, Natitingou where the workstation is. Unfortunately this is not a ‘pleasure’ trip. I’m filling out grant proposals and trying to grade exams (among other things). The Pehunco volunteers and I are really trying to get this Camp GLOW Pehunco thing set up, even though we’re late in the school year and had tons of set-backs. We’ll make it! That’s why I’m in the city getting my sh#$ together for girls’ empowerment! woot woot. Hopefully it all works out, I’m really excited to hang out with the girls in a non-school atmosphere.
In other news, I’ve been talking with a lot of the community leaders a lot lately about more projects in Tobre. They really opened up to me in the past few weeks. My first day back from the memorial the C.A. (mayor), the principal of my school, the priest, the imam, and a bunch of other leaders (Head of the fishing department, Tobre- didnt know that existed) came to my house. The C.A. started off by expressing his condolences for what happened then told me that I had no reason to ever be afraid in Tobre and that they will always look out for me. It meant so much that they all came together to do this for me. I tried to respond and thank them but I couldn’t get the words out and I didn’t want to cry (happy tears) in front of all those men. So I was mostly silent, tried to tell a joke, then told them that I have never felt unsafe in Tobre.
I love Tobre. The people, the school, the kids, everything.
Tobre. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…..
1. Was interested to start a project to build latrines at the school. (Right now kids go in the corn field) Mentioned this to my director, within a couple of months they were built. Didn’t have to look for outside sources, totally community funded (which is very exciting!)
2. Also looking into getting a library at the school. Done and done. Again by the PTA and my director. They looked to Pehunco (nearest town) for NGOs and outside sources to help them start off. So really….didnt do anything there either. These are all good because it shows how motivated the community is and my opinions are taken into account.
3. Quesnelle. She was voted “weirdest” homologue in our in service training. We’re kindred spirits.
4. The lady that yells at me in Bariba in the marche, well, this one in particular (there’s a lot). She always keeps me in check to make sure that I’m keeping up in my Bariba lessons. And she yells in a very nice, fun way. It’s nice to know someones looking out for you.
5. Bisap. We now have bisap, everyday all day.