Monday, July 6, 2015

Vive Le Français!

Today marked the start of Week 2 of CORE training here in Benin. For the next 4 weeks, we will be focusing on full language immersion at our sectors' training sites.  Once a week, we will be traveling to the main site in Lokossa for lectures focused on health (ours, not part of RCH), security, and cultural integration activities. 

It's been hard having to travel back and forth to Lokossa every couple days (we left Sunday morning and are now back Monday night). Not only is packing a day pack on a daily basis difficult, but I miss my host family when I'm away for a couple nights. Luckily, with the start of week 2, we are getting on a regular schedule of group days on Tuesdays. This means we won't be pulled out of our homes as often and I'll have more time to play with Eddyson and Jean-Eudes!!

We just finished the kick-off of language immersion here in Lokossa.  From now on our motto here is "L'Anglais est mort, vive Le Français!" We symbolically buried a piece of paper that had "L'Anglais" written on it and were separated into groups based on how we plan to achieve our language learning goals. 

The groups were four different animals: the lion, the elephant, the chameleon, and the monkey.  Will you stalk your target and protect your family? Are you gentle, kind and enjoy a slower pace? Do you camouflage yourself in the language? Or do you prefer learning through repetition, group activities and games?

Tomorrow, we are here in Lokossa being training on the contents of the infamous Peace Corps medical kit. It contains everything from bandaids and ibuprofen to rehydration salts and detergents. The accompanying "Staying Healthy" book is a tome that I will be familiarizing myself with over the next couple weeks. 

All is well here. It's hot and sunny, but I love it. Even the bumpy roads (African massages) are growing on me.

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