I'm here!

I am FINALLY able to post an update from Togo! Internet here is amazingly slow. Imagine an internet cafe with 20 computers sharing a SINGLE dial-up connection on computers from the mid 90s.

Where to begin? Togo is AMAZING! I love it here. I'm currently in Peace Corps training. That includes fairly intensive French language study, health sessions and technical (job related) training. It was really nice to get here and realize that my french was actually MUCH better than i thought it was. It still has a way to go though.

Right now we are living in a "large village" of about 7000 people. In order to get a better idea of what that means it is important to note that even in Lome (the capital) there was only 1 paved road. I can not tell you how big of a shock it was to be driving down dirt and sand roads in the CENTER of the city.

I live with a wonderful Togolese family that has 2 daughters (ages 4 and 8 months). I am very lucky in that my family is fairly well off and has electricity, a tv, and a moped. I have my own little room with a table, bed, and singe neon light. I also have my own outhouse/shower stall. It is a concrete little building about 30 feet away from the house where I can use the bathroom and take my bucket showers. Showering with a bucket and a cup is actually much easier than i had thought it would be. It's amazing that i can take a full shower and not even use an entire bucket of water. I wonder how many buckets one of my 30 minute showers in the US would be? Interesting thought.

The Peace Corps is taking amazing care of us. All of our needs are being met. It's was a weird feeling the first couple days to have no access to my own money, no control over when i eat, and nothing really to worry about. I get a stipend of the equivalant of $1.75 a day. We feel like kings getting around 15 dollars every week. It is more than enough money to live here.

The people of Togo are amazingly nice. I have finally found a country that actually LIKES the US. It's amazing! I have met a very large portion of my host fathers family. He took me to church on Sunday. Before the service we walked around and said hello to around 40 of his family members.

This is really a wonderful place! I know it is very difficult to travel here. But i urge anyone with a slight interest in travel to visit me. You really would not regret it!

Please send me letters, pictures, magazines, books, and anything you think i might want. I have a TON of time to read! I would also love pictures. After getting here I realised that i had brought only a few pictures. It's so nice to be able to put pictures of the people i love on my walls.

If you do send anything to me, try to put it in padded envelopes instead of boxes. Boxes take much longer to get through customs then envelopes do.

I miss you all very much and look forward to hearing from you.

10 comments:

Gary said...

Sounds great. I really enjoy hearing about your life there. Anxious to hear things about daily life, cooking, eating, etc. Do you sleep under a mosquito net? Is it really, really hot there and do you sweat like crazy at night?

Gary said...

I'm mailing you some books tomorrow. Hope you enjoy them.

Kate said...

It was great to hear from you, Aaron! I'm glad you like it there, and I can't wait to keep reading your updates!

What kinds of books do you like? And what's your mailing address?

SmellyGirl said...

hiya boyo... that sounds very cool.. and its kinda weird and very difficult to picture you in the middle of africa.. in a village.. anywho, sorry i didn't get to talk to you on the phone before you left.. i wanted to, and kept meaning to, honest i did. but you know me and my fear of phones.. anywho, im very proud you and its a very cool and admirable thing what you're doing.. miss you bro, and be careful over there. -katie (smelly)

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