This is Ann’s mom. I talked to Ann (10/16/2008) and enjoyed catching up on Togo news. As we talked, I could hear the rain falling on the tin roof of the home, where Ann is living during training. Ann and Nathan will go on November 1 to visit the village where they’ve been assigned to work. Ann says that the Peace Corps is building a house for them. While they won’t have electricity, they will have a pump for clean water and will no longer have to boil their water or use bleach to make the water safe. Once in their new home, Ann and Nathan also hope to have access to the internet. I’m sure you’ll be glad to get first hand reports from them!
One Wednesday, Ann and two other Peace Corps trainees led a middle school class in a lesson on gender equity. Ann says that it was tricky trying to explain in French the whole concept of gender to middle school students, who are anywhere from 12 to 20 years old. Yesterday Ann visited a class, where the students were learning English. The teacher led the class in singing a “Hello” song in English. One thing that struck Ann is that the students have no books. Instead, each student makes do with a slate and piece of chalk.
Nathan and Ann are going through the three months of training in different villages. Fortunately, the villages are only a few miles apart, and Ann and Nathan are able to spend a couple of nights together each week. Nathan will be in Ann’s village this weekend.
Three weeks ago, I sent Ann and Nathan a package. It’s yet to arrive. Ann has received several letters, including one from Brandon (a college room-mate) and one from Megan (seminary room-mate). She sends her thanks! Just for your information, Ann and Nathan are waiting until they complete training to send letters to everyone. Right now, mailing a letter is too expensive. As Ann explains, she makes 700 CFA a day. That’s about $1.50. It costs 650 CFA to mail a letter! Picking up a package can be as much as 1200 CFA, so Ann has asked me to hold off sending any more packages. Once they begin service, she and Nathan will each make 4000 CFA a day.
Ann sends her love to everyone. She assured me that she and Nathan are both doing well. No major melt downs! They are both enjoying the training but are looking forward to getting their own place and beginning the two years of service.