Two other Volunteers and I spent the past week in Kaya for a Moore training. I biked from village to Kaya, spending the night with another Volunteer along the way, and returned in one day a week later. Going to Kaya, the wind was against me all the way so it probably took 7 hours total. Going home, 5. I counted 500 goats alongside the road over about 25k between one village and Kaya.
I thought our training was pretty useful. Maybe a quarter of it was review and explanations of material seen during PST – greetings, food, event vocabulary. Another quarter was grammar explanations – tenses, prepositions understood in syntax. The other half was concerned with new and “work” vocabulary – health trainings, directions for teaching preschool, expressing emotions.
We ate all sorts of fancy food: ground meat sandwiches, green beans, salads, super fish, spaghetti bolognaise, super meat on a stick (brochette), mashed potatoes, steak (2 x 1/4in about the size of hamburger patty). And omelettes and rice with sauce, but I can get that in my marché town.
We slept in big beds. Big beds are nice. Running water is also nice. When I first arrived I was super gross from biking and wanted to shower, except the water was down. ‘We’re paying 9000 a night [or at least the Peace Corps was] for rooms with no water?’ But they brought me a bucket of water and I was a lot happier after I was clean. I think once or twice afterwards, I went to go take a shower and there was no water; I just skipped those showers.
I saw camels alongside the road eating some tree! They were very tall. They’re probably my first “exotic” mammal I’ve seen near to village. Some Volunteers have elephants. Lucky ducks.
I also hit a sheep on my bike. In Charlotte, on the school bus one day, we hit a cherry picker that had run a red light. Neither the bus nor the truck were moving very fast by the time we hit, but there was enough exchange of momentum, and the truck so top heavy, that the truck slowly rolled over onto its side. That’s what hitting the sheep was like. It yelled at me and then ran off to be with its family.
It’s nice to have a break every two months or so.