My New Home!!!

After 3 months of training i have finally arrived at my post. Things changed around a little bit and instead of going to Kara I am now in Sokode. This is my first day here. But i am already VERY happy! I have a HUGE house. Everything that i said before i left (no electricity, mud hut etc) has been replaced by a two bedroom house with my own guard and a maid. There are palm trees in my front yard, big flowering bushes along the walk way around my house, and servant's quarters for three. It is amazing! Whats interesting is that my rent is only $80 a month.

My house is right next to an elementary school. When I got here we pulled up to the house and were INSTANTLY accosted by 20-30 little children all screaming and laughing. As soon as i would take any of my luggage out of the van one of the kids would grab it from me and run into the house. When i went to kick the kids out of my house I saw about 10 pairs of little flip flops sitting in front of my door. I told everyone to leave. I knew they were all out when all the shoes were gone. It was both very helpful and very stressful at the same time.

My first few weeks here I am going to be laying fairly low and getting a feel for the town. I need to find a good carpenter who will make all my furniture for me. Im planning on buildling a nice size bar in my living room complete with wine racks, speed wells, and hanging wine glasses. :) I was just in Lomé, the capitol of Togo for swearing in. While there everyone took the moving in money they gave us and bought things that we would need that could only be found in the big import, western style stores. Each of us bought stuff that fit who we are and will make our lives here a little easier. One of my friends spent almost $100 on cleaning products, another bought dog food for her puppy; I bought 2 cases of French wine.

I must be getting back to my palace so I can hire the staff for the upkeep of my house. Maybe after that ill drink a bottle of wine and sit on my roof watching the sun set. Ahhh, my difficult life in the Peace Corps. :)

I'm FINALLY back

Sorry about the long break in posts. Along with me being very busy the past two weeks the internet was down in my town. One can never totally be sure of what causes those outages, but for some reason the internet cafe has not been working.

Today at 5pm I will officially become a Peace Corps Volunteer. You can now change the PCT part of my address (Peace Corps Trainee) for PCV (Peace Corps Volunteer). I'm moving up in the world! On Monday i will be heading to my post. I'm both scared and excited.

Sadly I must be off to take care of some things while here in the capitol (you can't get 90% of things anywhere else in the country. They actually have cheese here! Cheese... so good... so good!) I am off to purchase over priced imported goods. Hopefully I will be able to get online again soon and post a longer more detailed update.

I'm back and ready to rumble!

ps. My cell phone works again! Try to contain your excitment.

As i have said many times before, it is so nice to hear from all of you! Please keep emailing me and posting comments on my blog. Sometimes i feel very far away from everything.

Camelia, so glad you found my blog. :)

Few notes...

First, my cell phone is not working at the moment. For some reason the reception in my town (and my town only! Darn developing countries!) decided to give out. So far all of you clogging the lines between the US and Togo, please stand down. Hopefully things will be fixed shortly. Do not panic. Aaron will be back shortly. :)

Second, in case you havn't known the address, is fully up and running.

On to the good stuff...

As i think i metioned a number of times before i am currently living with a host family. They are amazing! I think my host father and mother are in their early thirties. They have two little girls ages 6 years and 8 months old. I love them all dearly. I really think that when i leave here I will miss them like i miss my own family.

When i first arrived I would eat all of my meals at the table in the house either alone or with my host father. The rest of the family would eat after me at a small table in the outdoor kitchen. After about a month of being here I asked my host mother if i could eat with the entire family. For some reason (it was the same way in India) people think that it is respectful and actually wanted, as the honored guest, to eat alone. This concept is SO foreign to an American!

The first time we ate as an entire family it was raining. My host father and I, after drinking a local alcohol called Sodabe (aka MOONSHINE! PHEW! I had some earlier today at half-time of a soccer game i was watching. That stuff BURNS going down!) we prepared Fufu (i think i've talked about fufu before) under the thatched roof of the kitchen as it rained. We then went inside as a family and ate together. The 8 month old girl says two words. She says "Bonjour" (sometimes) and "papa." While we were sitting at dinner she looked at my and said, "Aaron." I can honestly tell you that my eyes started to water.

(Another short story when the little girl almost made my eyes water...

A couple week ago I was playing outside with the kids . I was sitting in my chair as they ran around and did what little kids everywhere do. At one point the littlest girl came to me and motioned that she wanted me to pick her up. Having heard another Peace Corps person tell me, "Don't worry. You WILL get peed on." I tried to stay clear of holding the potential water ballon at my feet. The older girl noticed the little girl wanted to get into my lap and ever so kindly ran over and helped her up. I sat there with this ticking time bomb on my leg expecting every second to feel the warmth slowly creep down my leg. Nothing. I was just feeling comfortable when the little girl runs back over and says, "Elle a fait kaka." (She pooped). Sure enough I lift her up and look down at my newly crap streaked shorts. That's what happens when you are living life in the fast lane... aka... Africa.)

I now have moved out to eating with the family at the small table outside next to the kitchen. I am in. I'm a part of the family now.

I love it here.