Posted by: jodentz | October 9, 2011

Best Week In Village Yet

            I have to say that this has probably been the best week I’ve had in my village yet. Despite the normal stomache troubles which have been plaguing me for the past few days, this week has been both fun and extremely productive. Monday, school finally started so I all of my teacher friends are back in town which has been fun. Soon I have to make my way over to the high school and discuss with the principal whether or not I will teach again this year. I have also been working daily with the community development president and the Chief to write up the proposal for my overhang project. We will be trying to get the money from a local NGO and the paperwork is fairly lengthy. Among other things that must be done, I have to actually get the development committee registered and legalized in Togo before I can proceed- a minor set back.

            Village cleaning wise, we had a meeting with a group of about 30 men on Wednesday to motivate them for the cleaning on Friday. Friday came along and we were able to get over 400 people from throughout the entire village to come clean and help repair the road. It was truly amazing to see everyone there and in such great spirits. The committee of women I’ve been working with did a great job spreading the word around and mobilizing the community. And the chief has been extremely helpful and supportive as well which has made my job infinitely easier. The cleaning went so well that they decided that they want to do it again in two weeks! It’s things like that that make me happy to be doing development work and want to continue it into the future. Never had I seen the community come together like that; it was inspirational. Apparently, it was also the first time ever that anything like it in the community had ever been tried. Days like that make all the frustrating experiences, setbacks, and failed project ideas worthwhile. The next day I celebrated women’s day with the club des meres (mother’s club) which helped promote the women in the community and show appreciation for all that they do (which is a lot).

            Throughout the week I have also been spending time with my various friends who have been coming back to village. I’ve been eating Fufu and drinking tchouk with my friends from up north (as that is what they do) and even eating some dog from time to time. I’ve recently had a realization that almost all of the people I’m good friends with in village were not actually born in my village. It would seem that all the Togolese that were not from this area initially i.e. the border patrol, the school teachers and directors, engineers, etc tend to band together. It is with this group of “foreigners” if you will that I tend to fit in best which I find funny. I found out this week that one of these friends even named his child after me! You know it’s been a good week when a child is named in your honor.

            Well that’s about all there is to report at the moment. Just had to share how awesome my week has been. Hope everyone at home is doing well! A la prochaine….

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