Posted by: jodentz | April 18, 2011

It’s A Chicken-Eat-Chicken World…

Yesterday I was walking down the street and I saw a chicken pecking at something odd: a dead chicken. This is the first time in almost a year that I have ever seen a chicken canibalize one of its own. The next day I saw a different chicken eating half a dead mouse. I don’t know what this world is coming to but the chickens here seem to be taking on larger and larger prey…next thing you know, gangs of chickens will be bringing down goats.

Anyways, I have just retured from a week in Atakpame. Though it was a nice break from village after staying here from a month (people were complaining that they never see me now that I have internet at post and that my mail was overflowing in the box), I was super busy. I finished my VRF which is our reporting form on all the activities that I have done since being in country- this alone took about 6 hours to complete. Then I had to prepare my presentation for the NGO workshop on flip chart paper (because there sure isnt a projector and PowerPoint here). The workshop itself was 2 days long with presentations going from 8am-5pm and we had a good showing of 38 people from 19 different NGOs. I presented on the first day and it actually went super well. My subject was attracting and retaining individual donors and apparently was scoffed at last year when it was presented as most people believed that their fellow . So I changed tact a bit and presented Togolese case studies and showed that it can be done here in Togo. People participated in activities and actually gave some of their success stories (all in french of course). So I was pumped that things went well. In all I facilitated 1 session and assisted in 2 others (computer training). At the end, my neighbor and I threw together a nice dinner making this great curry rice and a lemon pound cake with Bisap (taste a bit like rasberry) glaze. It is frankly a relief to be done with it all.

Also, I got accepted to be a camp counselor at Camp Unite! This is a camp that instructs and encourages Togolese youth (I was selected for the boy students camp in particular though there are also camps for girl students and boy and girl apprentices) and teach them valuable life skills that they can bring back to their community. The participants are nominated by volunteers and come from all 5 regions of Togo. I’m super pumped to have been picked as a few volunteers apparently were turned down due to lack of space. I think it will be a great time and way to spend July.

Now im back in village and just counting down the days till vacation. I am trying to get this simple latrine project going at the school before I leave so I’ve arranged for a small formation on the subject Thursday with a presenter from a village 30km away. Also trying to get this budget worked out but organizing problems (people in village pass away and therefore meetings get cancelled) keep interfering. Other than that a teaching in the school on Wednesday and a few random groupment meetings, I am in the clear. This weekend I will be heading to Atakpame again for a Workstation committee meeting to discuss the state of things and then have a fundraising Passover dinner. After that Cameroon here I come. Now I just need to get rid of these ameobas and I’ll be golden.

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