The RCH curriculum for Tech I is Maternal and Child Health with a focus on nutrition, family planning and prenatal care. We have already covered how to form a Care Group, how to assist with a prenatal consultation, the Beninese vaccination schedule for pregnant women and infants, and danger signs during pregnancy. While being inundated with all of this information, we are continuing intensive language training.
Now that we have our post assignments, some of us have switched from French class to learning our local language. Because Idaasha is spoken by relatively few people (and none of our existing teachers), they brought in a special tutor to work with Rama and I every day. Unfortunately, Rama is learning Tcha and, while similar, there are some important differences between the two languages. It has made for some frustrating classes, but we're getting the hang of it and should be fluent by the end of training... Just kidding!!
Along with our days full of school, we have spent the last couple afternoons scouring local boutiques to pick a tissu for swearing in. It is customary in the Peace Corps Benin to wear meme-tiss by sector and many of us will be buying extra fabric to gift to our host families as a final thank you before we move to post. I haven't yet started a daily countdown to swear in, but I'm excited to announce that we will be swearing in at the Embassy in Cotonou on September 17th!
In my regular Thursday fashion, I'll leave you with a couple tidbits of thanks:
1. After being sick at the beginning of the week, my body has rebounded and I'm feeling great. I'm grateful to my fellow RCHers for listening to me vent (complain) and over share about all my odd ailments (but we're Health volunteers and grossly interested anyways).
2. One of the things I've looked forward to is having lots of reading time here. I have officially finished 6 books since arriving in Benin and can't wait to tackle more of the list. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!!
3. We received a huge stack of technical resources yesterday. One of them is "Where there is no Doctor," a Peace Corps bible and the ultimate resource for rural community health workers. For anyone doing health work in the developing world, I highly recommend you take a look.
The nights here aren't as cool as Adourékoman, but the Nescafé is strong and the bucket baths refreshing. What more could I ask for?!