My adventures serving in the Peace Corps

Friday, November 13, 2009

Just kidding!

Apparently I couldn't stay away from the big city for more than a week! No, I'm down in Cotonou because I wanted to find out if PLAN would fund Camp GLOW this year, and when I FINALLY got a hold of them today, they said that they will not have an answer for us until January. So, I am 99% certain that we will be funding the camp using a PCPP (Peace Corps Partnership Program), which allows friends and families at home to donate. I will absolutely keep you updated on that and will let you know when you are able to go online and donate, probably starting sometime around Christmas.
School is moving right along. I gave my first quizzes this week, and so far I am quite happy with the results. My sixieme students seem to be doing better than they were last year, and I am moving along much more quickly in the curriculum, which tells me that I am a better teacher the second time around. I am frustrated, however, with my quatrieme (older) students. We spent the first two full weeks of class reviewing verb tenses, and they seemed to be doing really well with that. When I gave them a quiz, which was basically a simplified/watered-down version of what we had been doing in class, many of them were angry about how hard the quiz was. I won't pass any judgements yet since I have not started grading the papers, but it was frustrating hearing them say that, because that tells me that they didn't study.
We did not vote for head of the department this week since many people were absent for the meeting, but supposedly we are doing so next week. During our meeting next week, all of the English teachers are going to observe me teaching a class! I am a bit nervous but mostly excited to show them some new ideas, and that you really don't have to use French in the classroom.
One sad/scary thing happened this week. As I was arriving home from school one day, I noticed that Angele was wearing pants. (An odd way to start a story, I know, but when her husband is around, he does not allow her to wear pants, only skirts.) She greeted me loudly and I could tell that she was in a rather bold mood. As I was walking into my house moments later, I heard a commotion behind me, and saw that Angele and Victoire (the second wife of my proprietor) we having an all out fist fight. We're talking a real fight, not some girly spat. Even with two huge men trying to restrain them, they still managed to get at each other and give each other cuts and bruises. I still do not know what the fight was about, but I assume any small thing would have set them off- as you might imagine, the two wives don't really get along. When all was said and done, Victoire hired a photographer to take pictures of the mess and the damage, obviously with the intention of showing their husband when he returns home on the weekend. I can only hope that he is merciful towards Angele; he has always favored his secnd (and much younger) wife. Honestly, I am afraid that he might kick her out of the house. The whole village is gossiping about it now, and one man even told me I should intervene because they would listen to a stragner/white person, and I respectfully declined. I have no business interfering in a situation like this.
Let's see, other news from Lobogo... Belle is most definitely pregnant, her nipples are about half an inch long now. One night in my latrine, a cockroach boldly crawled right across my foot. I pulled a tick bigger than a ladybug out of Baby's neck. (The critter stories never stop, do they?) It's getting hotter than hell here; I don't know how I will survive another hot season. Three of my best friends from home called me this week, which was a pleasant surprise!
Tomorrow I will head back to post, but will probably have to come back to Cotonou in a week to work on the Camp GLOW PCPP. Have a nice week!

1 comment:

loehrke said...

I've always wondered about the multiple wives thing. How could that EVER work?? I realize there are cultural differences but still.........seems like it would be a disaster. And it sounds like it was. I would agree 100% with your decision not to intervene. There are so many ways that could not end well.
Best of luck with the hot season and with keeping the critters off you. I have no idea how you do it.
Stay healthy, Mark Loehrke (Carly's dad)