Staging, Cotonou, and Lokossa

Trip Start Jun 02, 2003
Trip End Dec 31, 2006

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Flag of Benin  ,
Tuesday, June 17, 2003

I have about ten minutes to give a quick rundown. Of course, I didn't follow my plan to write this out before coming to the internet place, so lower your expectations a little bit. This entry will be far from poetic.

So much has happened in the past couple of weeks. As I sit here writing this on a fairly fast computer (especially considering the connection to the internet by phone, I think??), a cool fan squeaking over my head, I can hardly believe that I am in Africa.

Less than two weeks ago, my fellow stagiaires (trainees) and I ran over to the windows by Mary Kate to get our first glimpse of Africa. The Sahara desert stretched out below us like a bright red sea. We all turned to look at each other with nervous, stupid grins on our faces. A few hours later, we stepped out of the plane and into the Beninese heat and humidity. Thank God for Corpus was less of a shock for me, I think.

But let me back up a bit...

Staging in Philadelphia was quick and uninteresting compared to what has happened since, so I won't dwell on it. At the time, though, it seemed very exciting to be sitting in those cold chairs in a hotel conference room discussing cultural issues and malaria medication and playing icebreaker games. It was a great opportunity to get to know our fellow stagiaires on familiar soil. I like everyone in my group. We have a good combination of serious folks, jokesters, married couples, first generation immigrants, dancers, men, and women. We all seem to get along well, and I feel very fortunate to be among such a good group.

AAAHHH!!!! I have taken too much time. I will try to get back to the computer soon to write more. Culture class beckons, though, and my bike chain has already fallen off once. We haven't yet learned how to fix them, so I better get a move on.
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