Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Creeping Eruption!

so in October, during stage, I woke up one morning with this bump on my arm. Between now and then it has been wandering around my wrist and forearm. one of the PCMOs (peace corps medical officer) said in november that it was probably fungal. but today i went with her to see a dermatologist who said it is creeping eruption, or larvis migratus, something like that. google it.

the trip down here was a broken A/C fan away from being hellish. I took a moto to Alisha's on saturday evening so that we could catch the "Lome Limo" the next morning in Kante. the Limo is a PC van that goes up and down the country twice a month and offers free rides to PCVs. we caught the Limo in Kante about 8 am. we got past Kara and into Centrale without any problems. Then, a little more than halfway down, the traffic stopped on the Route Nationale. we got out and checked it out. a tractor-trailer had jackknifed acrossed the road, blocking everything. a crowd of people was helping those few 4/4 vehicles get around the wreck through a step ditch. not an option for us. our driver eventually figured out a way around the wreck. dirt roads through the countryside. the roads were mostly terrible. im still bruised. the best part was this Chinese bridge (the chinese do a lot of road construction projects in Togo). After probably 2 hours of banging through the countryside we finally made it back to the Route.

we stopped at the Atkapame (sp?) transit house for a bit, then finally got into Lome about 7pm. I cant really describe the ride in a packed van that is bumping and swerving through togolese roads. especially at night. talking about this is making me car sick

the good thing about the trip was that we had A/C and that we didnt have an additional 5 people packed in like a bush taxi would have.

so i started a girls soccer team from the local CEG-- think junior high and the first couple grades of highschool. the importance of this project takes awhile to unpack because of how its related to girls' education and empowerment-- one of Peace Corps general goals. but, as my homologue for this project explained to the CEG classes, togolese women do all the same stuff that men do, and often with a baby on their backs. especially in nampoch, women and girls work constantly while men spend a lot of time (in the agricultural off-season anyway) hanging out under the neem/mango trees.

anyway, I was really excited when I walked out to the practice field and saw about 20 girls playing soccer, many for the first time I think. they missed the ball with a lot of kicks, but their learning curve is really sharp, i think because soccer is such a part of life for guys here. it was such a weird, happy, excited feeling to be able to get people involved in something they hadnt been able to do before

gotta get some grants written, more on this later

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