Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! Even though the Togolese do not celebrate Thanksgiving, I was still able to eat lots of good food and spend time with the other Peace Corps volunteers who have become my family over here. We went up to a small town called Ajengre where we ate turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and of course lots of pie! Some of my friends even had Thanksgiving decorations sent from the United States so it felt a little bit like America (except that it was 95 degrees!). I bet it’s really cold there now. I used to love bundling up and playing football the day after Thanksgiving to exercise off all of the food that I ate.
At first, my Togolese friends and people in my village did not understand Thanksgiving, but once I explained the origins of how it is to celebrate the Pilgrims first harvest with the Native Americans, they totally understood, because there are big harvest festivals all the time here. We just had the “Feast of the New Yam” and we are in the middle of the Bean Harvest Festival right now.
The weather here has just gotten really hot, and it hasn’t rained in a long time. During the rainy season, I did a lot of work to prevent and treat malaria and other diseases caused by insects, because all the bugs love the humid and wet climate. Now that it is the dry season and there isn’t a lot of food, I will change my focus to nutrition by teaching people about healthy foods and making sure that they get enough vitamins.
That’s it for now. Next week I am playing in a soccer game to promote AIDS awareness. Everyone wins when we have a fun and educational game like this, but I also hope that we win the game too!
A la prochaine (Until next time)