My Response

I would like to start this entry by saying thank you to everyone in the School 54 Room 29, 5th grade class from Indianapolis, Indiana. Your letters were wonderful! Thank you also for all of your birthday wishes. Maybe sometime soon we can celebrate together.

You all asked so many great questions. I have gone through all of your letters and picked a few questions that I will answer. I'm sorry I can't answer each one individually.

Traci asks, 'What clothes do people there wear?'
Everything about Africa, including the clothes, is bright and filled with wonderful colors. Most clothing is made from a long piece of cloth called a 'pagne.' Pagnes are usually filled with very brightly colored designs; vibrant greens, oranges, blues and many others like you cant't find in America. Women usually wear dresses made from the clothe and often times wrap their hair in another piece. Men have button down short sleeve shirts and pants made. When i got here I thought all the men were wearing pajamas! Imagine walking down the street surrounded by people wrapped in all the colors of the rainbow. It's very beautiful.

Denisha writes, 'I bet you are between the ages of 20 and 50.'
You are exactly right! I actually just turned 23.

Annie says, 'One thing I still don't know is what a circular piot the class was sitting in.'
I'm sorry I didn't explain that more fully. A piot (I am not sure I am spelling that correctly) is something that you find in most people's front yards here. Imagine a round hut with no walls and a roof made of long dried grass. They are wonderful in letting in a nice breeze when it is very hot outside.

Justin Evans asks, 'Was it easy to kill an animal ?'
In response to many of your questions and comments, no, it was not easy to kill the Turkey. I did not do it for the pleasure of killing. I did it to help better understand the people I live around. Every day I go out and try to expierence the life that the Togolese live. I try to never pass up an oportunity, no matter how difficult it might be, to understand this culture a little bit better. While I am glad I did what I did, I hope to never have to do it again.

Neechelle James asks two questions, 'Do you stay there all day and night.' And, 'What is a PCT.'
First, yes, I live in Togo where I stay all day and all night. My job requires me to be here for a little over 2 years. I have a very nice house with a wonderful cat named Oliver. I work during the day and then go home to garden, read and sleep at night. Second, PCT stands for 'Peace Corps Trainee.' While I was in training for my job I was a PCT. Now that I have completed the training and started working I am a PCV, Peace Corps Volunteer.

Malik write, 'Are there a lot of animals there ?'
Sadly Malik, most animals have been killed from over hunting and loss of places to live. The only animals I see are lizards (TONS of them in my yard!), bugs (more ants than you could EVER count. If I leave a tiny piece of food on my kitchen counter I will have a swarm of ants all over my kitchen within 15 mintues.), few birds, the three egg laying chickens I have, and my cat. There is a nature reserve about an hour away from me where there are monkeys, a few elephants, and a couple other types of animals. I am hoping with the next month or so to camp across the park with some friends. I will make sure to let you know how that goes. But overall, no, there are not a lot of animals here.

And finally, Brandy asks, 'Why do you like to go around the world so much?'
Oh Brandy, what a wonderful question! There is so much to see in this world. I can not sit in one place for long knowing that I am missing so many beautiful sites and not meeting so many interesting people. Every night I sit on my roof watching the giant red and orange African sun set behind the many palm trees in my yard. If you could look up and see the colors shooting across the sky, playing in and out of the full white clouds with the giant ocean of blue behind it, you would understand why I do what I do. My breath is taken away every night and I say to myself, 'This is amazing.'

Thank you all so much for your letters. They made me smile in the middle of a very difficult day. Please feel free to write any time.

Aaron

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