Mondays are the Worst

Greetings from a beautiful day in Korbongou! You know those first spring days when the weather is perfect and there is a slight breeze? Well, that’s exactly what it’s like here today—surprisingly! It sends me back to the States, waking up early and sipping coffee on the deck before heading to class. To go along with this nostalgia, I am listening to the Best Hits of Johnny Cash, because, why not?

I thought that after 18 months, I should finally share a typical day with me as a Peace Corps Volunteer!

Monday, November 20, 2017

430am: Hit the snooze.

440am: Hit the snooze.

450am: Roll out of bed and put some water on the boil for coffee.

5am-6am: Sip coffee, review lessons for class, and listen to NPR podcasts over a Bluetooth speaker

6am: Fetch water from the well, boil a potful, and take shower.

650am: Arrive at school!

7am-12pm: Teach classes, chat with professors

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My path to school!

 

12pm: Walk home and pass through the market to buy rice or beans for lunch! You have to walk home fast because the midday sun is unbearable.

1230pm-230pm: Nap time.

230pm: It is still too hot to leave the house, so I am watching reruns of Big Bang Theory

330pm: Fetch water for second shower to wash off the sweat

4pm-6pm: Return to the market to drink locally brewed beers with friends

6pm-7pm: Return home to prepare lesson plans for the next day. Tomorrow’s lesson is about countable vs uncountable nous. Many vs much. A text where Bola is meeting his friends at a theater, and revision of sentences with “if.”

7pm: Go to Benoît’s house for dinner! Today it is pate with dried baobab sauce and fish

 

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It took me a while, but now I really love this dish. I crave it all the time and eat pate every day.
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At Benoit’s featuring his daughters Grace & Firmine, Dermand, and my dog Luda!

 

8pm: Third shower to wash off dust and sweat

815pm-930pm: Read a book. I am currently rereading Room by Emma Donoghue (shout out to my lit professor Dr. Weihman!)

Granted, every day is different here. I never do the same things twice. So I decided to randomly record everything I did today to share with you.

I am sure some of you will read this and think to yourself: “Geez Ti, you basically did nothing all day except nap!” Well, that’s true. Time works differently here. It is, after all, the small successes that count. If I can make it through a morning of teaching and still be in good spirits, I count that as a big success! In the States, I can get twenty some things done a day. Here, I am so satisfied with one or two things!

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As always, stay savvy friends!

With much love,

TrekkingTim

No, I Miss You More

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Surprise! Trekkingtim is back after nearly nine months of absence. I can’t possibly go back through nine months of experiences as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in Togo, so I won’t even try. Instead, I want to list a top ten of the weird and bizarre things that I miss.

Even though Togo is listed as a “hardship country,” I haven’t had that difficult of a time adjusting to my new lifestyle. Granted, eating donkey and getting over my fear of The Ring while fetching water from a circular, stone well wasn’t the easiest of tasks, je me débrouille.*  

 

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I have to say also that my house is baller.** I have 24/7 electricity (hey there fridge!), my own kitchen, bedroom, shower, and latrine. My host family is also very accommodating to the tall white man they’ve newly accepted as their son. My parents are both pretty old, but my host father is the right-hand-man to the chief of the village. It makes it 100% easier for me to get a meeting with him when I needed to do work in the community.

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My host mother and sister are lovely. They often send me over delicious dishes ranging from Togolese couscous to assorted meats. On March 8th, International Women’s Day, I bought them traditional pagne which can be a little expensive. So as of late, I’ve been getting really delicious dinners.

The best part about having retired host parents is that they understand when I need to rest. They turn away everyone that comes to greet me and I lovvvvve it. I could sleep until noon and they wouldn’t think less of me–which is quite a feat for the ever early-rising Togolese.

Nonetheless, here are my top ten most missed things in the United States. Feel free to send any sendable items to:

Ti Bedunah
Corps de la Paix
BP 291
Dapaong, Togo
West Africa

  1. My coffee maker
  2. Chewing gum
  3. Keeping my deodorant in the bathroom, instead of the fridge. (It’s hot here.)
  4. Honey Buns
  5. Browsing hipster stores only to buy cool stickers
  6. Being able to google things
  7. Thai food
  8. Cheese, just all of it
  9. Taking showers inside
  10. Watching reruns of Roseanne

 

 

Stay savvy,

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* I manage
** really cool?