Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Meeting Our Host Families
Our home and the PCV training site is in Tsevie, which is about sixty miles from Lome. It rained…..poured in fact, almost all day, the day we left Lome. We were all instructed to wear our best outfits and shoes to meet the families we would be spending the next nine weeks with. When we arrived in Tsevie, we drove into the PCV “Tech House” compound. The PCV Tech House is several buildings behind stucco walls. There is also a large gazebo with a thatched roof. It was still raining when we arrived. We made our way from the vans to the gazebo. Waiting for our arrival in the gazebo were twenty-four representatives from twenty-four families sitting in thinly cushioned chairs. We sat in chairs facing them. The twenty-four of us all sitting down, facing the twenty-four families, then they started the introductions. I was the first one called. They called my name, and then they called the name of my family. It was a woman and her sister. Everyone applauded, and we greeted each other in the middle of the room, and then I went over to their side and sat with them. Finis…..I was now officially a member of a Togolese family. This introduction was done twenty-four more times, until all of us were sitting with our new families…laughing, giggling, and trying to communicate the best we could. The families seemed genuinely happy and excited to have us there. Many of them have done this before…hosted a PCV for nine to twelve weeks. The director of the PCV Tech Center said a few words, and then they had their version of a welcoming buffet. They passed around plates of food…it was kind of like the Togolese version of dim sum. After the food, we all left and went home with our new families.