I'm stuck in Lome at the medical center with an infected foot. No worries - all will be fine! But I am on antibiotics and my foot is still pretty swollen. I had a mosquito - or a spider - bite that I scratched. Bad Ann! So it got infected, my foot swelled and continued to swell up my leg. There were no antibiotics within 50 miles of our training site so I was sent by car to the capital. I'm actually a little embarrassed by my posh accomidations - AC, hot showers, soft bed, tv with a dvd player, and homecooked food. I had cornflakes for breakfast! and spaghetti with meat sauce for lunch! No bad, huh? Though I am a bit bored and am reading lots while keeping my foot elevated.
I'm anxious to get back to training though! Today they were making soap and lotion - two different income-generating activities for women in village. One idea that we can do in village is to teach women how to make items - food, charcoal, lotion - and sell it at the local market. Since many women don't work outside the home, it is an easy way to bring extra income to the family. And sense people have to pay for school, it would help get girls to school. Often families only have a bit of money and they spend it on the boys so they can go to school. If there is more money, then in theory, the girls can also go to school.
I realize I haven't talked much in my posts about the work I may do here. And really they are just giving us tons of training sessions on various ideas. We have to get to our village and spend the first three months seeing what the villagers want us to do. But I have tons of good ideas. I want to continue the girls club at the middle school. There is no school on Wed afternoons so many clubs take place then. There is a volunteer in our village who is leaving in two weeks after two years here and she started the club. I will continue it. And do lots of girl empowerment lessons - income generating activities, HIV/AIDS awareness, self-confidence building. There are also baby-weighings in the village and I'll go there to meet women and see what they want me to help with - maybe some nutrition and sanitation classes?! BTW, baby-weighings are the village way of seeing if a baby is healthy - they chart their growth weekly. It's preventative health care. I can also do a savings group with women so when it's not harvest time, the family still has money. Also I may coax Nathan into doing a couples club where we encourage monogomous couples to work together equally in the household. The idea is that if we can get the men on board - thus Nathan's presence - then the women can more easily make changes at home. It would be silly to tell only the wife to send her daughter to school when her husband has never heard of the idea. Or silly to talk about birth control when the man has no idea. Less children = more food to go around = better health = more money = girls go to school. Deceptively simple, but we need to get the nen and women to work together!
So I also have a bit of a cold - the rains have ended and the dry, dusty air has arrived. I'm sniffling. Nothing new for those of you who know me well! I'm to have a salad tonight. And may watch "Titanic" ;-) Again, nothing new for those of you who know me! Nathan is well and took good care of me - getting me to Lome quickly and safely! We're both anxious to return to post. Thanks for all the newsy emails. Even if I cannot respond to each in length, know again how much I love reading them! Love and miss - as always!