Thursday, September 25, 2008

Phone Call From Togo

This is Ann’s mom Sally again.  I just talked to Ann in Togo and told her that I would leave an update on her blog.  It was wonderful to hear Ann’s voice and to know that she is okay.  Nathan is, too.  During training, Ann is in one village, and Nathan is in another village, about 3 miles away.  Ann and Nathan will see each other tomorrow, when Nathan comes to Ann’s village for some joint training.  French classes start tomorrow, too.


Ann is staying with a woman named Josephine.  Her son Peter takes her to class each morning.  According to Ann, Josephine is very nice and is pleased that Nathan is living in her home village.  Ann is the third Peace Corps volunteer to live in Josephine’s home, so Josephine is accustomed to cooking for Americans new to Togo.  In fact, for dinner tonight, Ann had pancakes!  “Best thing ever” was Ann’s response to the pancakes.  When we talked, Ann was already in bed reading.  Her book of choice for tonight is Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss.  Maybe tomorrow night she will have French homework.  


I have a phone number for Ann and Nathan, which I will gladly pass on to anyone who wants to e-mail me for it (  Ann and Nathan will share a cell phone.  Ann has the phone right now, because Nathan’s village does not have phone service.  Ann recommends that we all buy phone cards online at  Supposedly, those phone cards offer the best deal for calling Togo from the U.S.  If you want to text Ann and Nathan, then Ann suggests that you sign up for service with Skype (   At this point, the best time to reach Ann is from 2 to 6 PM, Eastern Standard Time (or 6 to 10 PM Togo time).


Thanks for getting excited about news from Togo!

Monday, September 22, 2008

We're safe and sound!

Hi All,
I am borrowing someones computer and am so glad to have a couple of minutes to email.  Nathan and I are safe and sound.  We have been very busy in training sessions and they are taking very good care of us.  Everything is overwhelming and I find myself nervous often, but slowly I am getting more confident and excited.  It's just crazy to imagine living here for 2 years!  But all that said, we are pleased and they are very pleased to have us here.  The accommodations are modest - I want a hot shower and a comfortable bed.  We sweat all day long.  My hair looks horrible and I'm ready to cut it!  But neither of us are sick and we take comfort that everyone else is in our same shoes.  We've gotten lots of shots, have not slept much, but the food is Americanized - which I'm appreciating now.  Everyone gets along well - they call us Mom and Dad.  We leave on Wed for our training sites.  They told us Nathan and I can see each other as much as we want.  Oh and we got our bikes - I've yet to ride mine.  We are buying a cell phone - probably one for now.  Every volunteer gets one.  I am not sure yet how it works.  I may text you when we get it?!  People say Skype is cheap and  You'll have to investigate.  We can't really afford to call you.  We can text, and then you can call.  We get $1.75/day and to mail a letter is $1.25.  But I will send one in the next day or so.  Things are expensive.  Nathan bought me cloth to make a dress for our "engagement anniversary!"  Everyone is jealous ;-)  I can't wait to make a dress!  Nathan is enjoying his French and loves telling his Guinea and Mali stories.  He also played the guitar for everyone last night.  We're both making friends - together and separate.  Last night we went to a bar and had local beer - gross if you ask me!  But I did have an Orange Fanta.  The roads are sandy, the people nice and curious, the clothing colorful.  Well I gotta run...I LOVE YOU ALL TONS!  Nathan sends his love.  We will be in touch soon!!  We miss you tons but like I said, we are enjoying it, I'm growing more confident, we're thankful to have each other, and we're still making a go of this!  Not sure when I can check email again...but I will!!
Love you and miss you!!
Ann Green

Sunday, September 21, 2008

re:Safe and Sound in Togo!

Hey, Everyone!  This is Ann’s mom.  I received an e-mail from Kassie, a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, at 5:47 AM this morning—North Carolina time.  According to Kassie, Ann and Nathan arrived safely in Togo last night (September 20) at 7 PM—Togo time.  Kassie writes, “Everyone looks happy and well, and we are happy to have them here!”  Kassie says not to worry, if we don’t hear from Nathan or Ann for a week or so.  As Kassie says, “Peace Corps keeps them pretty busy, and we are helping them transition into life here in Togo.  For now, just know that they are safe and sound and were welcomed with open arms!”  As I receive more information, I will pass it on.  Thanks for your interest in Nathan and Ann!

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Hi Everyone!
Nathan and I are safe and sound in Philadelphia and are enjoying meeting all of our fellow volunteers! We arrived around lunch yesterday and have been in meetings (safety, health, travel, rules, regulations, etc) since then. A few cool facts:

31 volunteers - 16 natural resource mgmt (Nathan) and 15 girl education and empowerment (Me)
Oldest person - 31 (Nathan)
Youngest person - 21 (at least two people)
We're the only married couple
More girls than guys
There are guys volunteering with GEE!
People from all over the US (Alabama, CA, Oregon, Illinois, GA, Ohio, etc)
Tons of people have been to Africa before - and many other countries as well!

Well, I'm off to more meetings. Tonight we are all going to the Italian restaurant Maggianos for dinner. I'm excited for lasagna as my last American meal!

We fly out tomorrow evening for Togo. Vaccines tomorrow :-(

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ann Green

I've given my parents permission to post on the long as they behave themselves ;-) Thanks Dad for your nice words. I may be in touch with my parents occassionally by phone, so they'll be sure to keep you all updated when I cannot!


As Ann Green’s father, I am so proud of Ann and Nathan.

They will be serving our nation, and our God, caring for the least of God’s children.

As they begin their journey, keep them in your prayers.

Andy Langford

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Togo Cake

Yummy carrot cake ;-)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Less than a week...

And we'll be in Togo! We've been busy packing and yes, as I've mentioned several times before, visiting lots of friends and family before leaving. We're back in Boston at Nathan's parent's home and are having a cookout tonight with his family. His mom made a cake decorated like the flag of Togo...I'll have to post it later!

Here's a bit of the packing chaos...

This does not even include the clothing we are taking. Actually, the clothing is the smallest portion, because we are expecting to have clothing made there. Supposedly their fabric is much thinner and more culturally appropriate than clothes we can buy in the US. But I am taking a few tshirts, capris, and long skirts. As soon as I get my first official Togo skirt or outfit, I'll take a pic so you guys can see!

This a link to the packing list the PC gives us...yes, it is looongg. And we have to fit all of this in a 50lb bag. Yep, that's all...2 bags, total of 80lbs, but one no more than 50lb. I'm only taking one 50lb bag. Mainly, because I think I can get it all in there and also because I have to carry it all on my own. Nathan is also taking a 50lb bag and then his guitar. Should be interesting!

Here's our schedule:

Wed Sept 17 - fly to Philly

Spend Wed through Fri in training in Philly...going over logistics, meeting people, starting our shots!

Fri Sept 19 - fly to Paris...and from Paris fly to Togo

Sat Sept 20 - we'll be in Togo!!

We spend three days in the capital Lome before moving on to our training villages. Nathan and I will be in separate training villages because we are in different programs. The villages are only 5km apart and he'll be coming to my village a couple of times per week for class. We'll also see each other on the weekends. But we will be living apart for those first three months. While we'll miss each other, I think it will be good for me...I need to learn how to do this PC thing on my own...especially getting used to the food, language, water, bugs...It will be a great chance for me to build my own self confidence!

After 9 weeks we'll be in our own village...just the two of us. But more posts to come before then...

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I'm reading "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson. He built several schools for children in Pakistan and this is his memoir of the experience. This quote jumped out at me last night and inspires me for the work I am about to do....

"Once you educate boys, they tend to leave the villages and go search for work in the cities. But the girls stay home, become leaders in the community, and pass on what they've learned. If you really want to change a culture, to empower women, imporve basic hygiene and health care, and fight high rates of infant mortality, then answer is to educate girls."

I don't want to sound idealistic, but I am excited for Togo (less then 2 weeks away!) and at this point can use all the comforting I can that this is the right decision and I can make a difference...for others and for me!