The First Day - Saturday, June 4

One day in Togo. I made it! So far everything seems great, yet surreal. It is hard for me to believe I am in Africa. In some ways, it feels like a place I never went to in the US. 

We when arrived, we were greeted at the airport by three current Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) and some staff from the Peace Corps office. We did not see the entire airport but were instead shuttled to a "VIP" lounge. The PC staff told us that only dignitaries to the country and PCVs get to see that space. It is comparable to a large lounge in the US, with couches, tables, and even flat screen TVs.

After spending about an hour or so at the airport to collect our luggage, we were driven to a hotel in the city. There we met some more Peace Corps staff and ate dinner. The food resembled American pizza, french fries, and meat on sticks. Of course, I did not eat any meat, but I am pretty sure it was chicken and beef. Instead, I ate the pizza and french fries. The pizza was made with the traditional tomato sauce plus olives and a few pieces had sausage. The french fries were made with local yams (yellow in color, not orange like the states). Both were pretty tasty.

After dinner some of the volunteers were taken to a second hotel because there were only seven rooms at the first. Fortunately, I was one of the lucky ones that got a room downstairs. No lugging my 67-pound suitcase upstairs! 

The hotel was modest but still quite nice. My room had its own bathroom, closet/storage space, two tables (one with a small TV), an end table, and a full size bed (equipped with a mosquito net).

Each day of training begins at 7 a.m. with breakfast and lasts until about 5 or 6 p.m. In the morning we walk less than a quarter mile to the Peace Corps office. The weather so far is cool but humid which makes for a nice walk. Today was cooler than the first night with some wind. 

Here the roads here are sandy and dusty. Our route takes us past local houses where we see many Togolese outside their homes working. Some sell food, craft/textile type items, and some just sit.

Our training sessions so far have been about safety, security, and health (which includes vaccinations each day until Wednesday). Even though we are busy learning about procedures for the Peace Corps Togo all trainees spend pretty much all of our day together. So in those brief few hours, minutes, or moments of downtime, we talk! It's interesting to realize that we know some much, yet so little about each other.

In the same way I know this post has covered a lot, yet so little so if you have any questions, please feel free to comment, or e-mail me about them!