We arrived to Cotonou on Tuesday night to a huge group of enthusiastic volunteers who helped us load our luggage onto a truck and escorted us to a compound called St Jean Eudes where we spent two nights. During the day on Wednesday and Thursday, we completed language placement interviews, met the PC Benin staff including the Country Director, received our malaria prophylaxis and several vaccinations from the medical officers and started training with a review of safety protocols.
On Thursday afternoon, we travelled to Lokossa, three hours northwest of Cotonou, where we will be meeting on a weekly basis for training. The RCH (rural community health) sector is staying in home stays in a village called Sé, about an hour drive from Lokossa.
Yesterday (Saturday), we loaded up a caravan of station wagons (imagine luggage for two years plus motto helmets and bags of books tied on the roof) and drove to the school in Sé where we met our families. We had a short welcoming ceremony where Mark and I gave a short thank you speech en français and then we were sent home with our hosts.
My family is AMAZING!!! I'll write a post all about them, but needless to say, I'm sad that I won't see them for the next two days when I have to go back with the group for training in Lokossa.
Today is local Election Day in Benin, so my grandma, mom and sister all went to vote this morning. We have been talking in French and Fon all day in addition to learning tradition dancing. It has been pouring outside, so it's a perfect chance to get to know each other. I'm shocked that they have electricity and a TV, which has been on nonstop playing music videos and covering the election.
I'm getting ready to help my mom prepare dinner then pack for the next two days.
Sending love from inside my mosquito net!