Saturday, August 4, 2007

a short update for a dull week

All I can say about this week is that it passed quickly, but each day felt like an eternity. Two more weeks of training… Technically, i should be in class right now, but someone cleverly negotiated for the whole Saturday off. Since no one fought to have class, we’re actually having a proper weekend.

So in addition to two mind-numbingly dull lectures on health education in the Togolese school system, I had two Tchokossi classes this week. We learned how to count! That sound simple enough; however, there are different ways for counting things and money (and possibly a third way of counting ages, but we haven’t gotten that far yet). I’ve got the basic 1-100 down, but when it comes to franc CFA… we’re talking more math than the French “four-twenty-ten” (that’s 90 for the non-French speakers). In Tchokossi, you count money in units of five, so one is “biye”, which actually means 5 CFA. The number 20 is “dara aburayno,” which means 100 CFA. So if you have a certain amount of money, you divide by five and say that number. Confused? The trouble will start when the bean vendor tells me the price for a bag of black-eyed peas and my notebook’s at my house.

And on a different note, I’m starting a new Google group for friends and family of trainees. I’m giving administrative powers to others, as limited internet access makes monitoring a group extra challenging. To join, visit … someone will eventually add you. The hope with this is to put our training group’s families in touch so they can exchange info on calling cards, travel plans, mailing and whatever other fascinating topics emerge from having a kid in Peace Corps (“So what diseases has Mary had?”).

Finally, on my way to the internet cafe this morning, I bought myself a little snack. The package had a picture of little crackers that you dip in chocolate, so I thought I’d try it. The chocolate was dry and crusty, so I just ate the cracker sticks. Next time when the package says, “Quality Food You Never Taste!” I’ll pay closer attention.

Happy August, folks.

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