Tuesday, July 20, 2010

People and Places

Names and places to Remember:  The following is a list of places and of names of people you will more than likely hear about on a regular basis.

Lome - Capital of Togo. I will be traveling to Lome at least once a month. The Peace Corps Headquarters are located in Lome.

Tesvie – Tesvie, is a town about forty miles from Lome. It is the Peace Corps training site, and it is where I lived with my host family for the nine weeks of training.

Tchekpo – Tchekpo is “my village”. This is a medium sized village where I will be living and working for the two years I’m here. It is located about forty miles from Lome, and is in the Maritime Region of Togo, which is the more tropical region.

Tech House – The Tech House is the training compound in Tesvie. It is about four blocks from where I live with my host family. I walk to the Tech House several times a day for training activities.

Ahepe - Closest village to Tchekpo to the East.  About 20 minutes bush taxi ride.  Jeremy's village

Taglibo - Next village past Ahepe...about an hour east of Tchekpo.  Solomons Village

Pagala - Pagala is located in the Centrale Region.  Peace Corps has a large conference Center there.  We have Peace Corps conferences and Childrens Camps there.  It is in a wooded area, with many buildings, and the capacity to sleep about fifty people.

Kpalime - Is located about an hour south of Lome.  It is the artisan center of Togo.  Ashley lives in Kpalime.

Adjowa – That’s my new African name. This name was given to me by the most respected elder in Tchekpo, and it has to do with the fact that I was born on a Sunday. The villagers love it that I have already been given an African name, and they all call me by this name already.

Homologue – Homologue is the title of our partner in the village/community. Each Peace Corps volunteer has at least one Homologue in their village. This person(s) will be primary contact in the village and often be their interpreter. A good/effective Homologue is needed to be successful and effective in your village. This person or people should be your best friend(s) over the next two years, and make sure that you have everything you need to accomplish goals.

Alougba – My Homologue – ( Alougba is a 56 year old woman from Tchekpo)

Toussaint #1 – My new friend and new Homologue (Toussaint lives around the corner from me in Tchekpo) Toussaint is married to Celestine, and has two children.  Toussaint is a teacher at the private catholic primary school in Kove about 30 miles from Tchekpo.  Toussaint is the President of the M.A.P. Committee in Tchekpo.  He is also very involved in the Catholic Church.

The Chief Canton - Enough said! (Chief of Tchekpo)

Matthew – Is Togolese and he is the health clinic nurse in Tchekpo. Matthew is so enthusiastic about me being here. He told me he wants he and I and the Chief and Alougba to do work together and do great things! He made a point of expressing that he does not want me to be sad while I’m here.

Solomon – Peace Corps volunteer in Tagibow (nearest town to mine)

Ashley – Peace Corps Volunteer I’m closest to. Her village is called Mission Tove, and is located about fifty miles from me. Ashley had an opportunity to move to Kpalime.  Kpalime is a much bigger village and fit much better with the things she wanted to do and accomplish while in Togo.

Dillon – Our funny PCV friend who will be living in the furthest North village of Togo.

Mr. Hognon - Director of L'ecole No. 5, the primary school that has become our pet project.

David - My French tutor, and teacher of English at the Tchekpo lycee (high school).  David also helps me with a number of projects.

Georgette - Georgette is from Tchekpo.  She is a tailor.  She has become a good friend, and helps with a lot of projects.  She is an active member of the M.A.P. committee.

Mahsoblee - Mahsoblee is my little six year old neighbor.  She has been sick with Sickle Cell Anemia.  We raised funds in the U.S. to help her.

Leah - Is my thirteen year old neighbor.  Leah gets my water, does my laundry and helps me with a long list of daily chores.

Gabriel - Gabriel is a twelve year old neighbor.  He is an altar boy at the Catholic Church.  He comes by my house pretty much daily to visit.

Tamara - Tamara is a Peace Corps Volunteer.  She lives and works in Tesvie. 

Alex - The Director of the S.E.D. (Small Business Development) Peace Corps Program.  My boss!  He is from Togo, but attended college at American University in Washington D.C.

Blandine - The Director of training for all Togo Peace Corps Volunteers. 

Host Family (The following all lived in or near the family compound I lived in during training)

Kafuir (pronounced – Ka-free) She is thirty-four and the matriarch of this family compound. She’s very nice to me, but at the same time I instinctively know not to mess with her….she’s kind of a no-nonsense woman. Kafuir is 34.

Clee-mawn is Safuirs husband. He is a doctor and scientist and studied at John Hopkins in Baltimore. His specialty is lung tumor research. He sees patients here in Tesvie on his front porch while waiting for his visa to return to the U.S. to do a residency in Knoxville, Tenn.

Say-seel (Kafuir’s sister) is 26. Say-seel is very strikingly beautiful and has a son named Mo-dess.

Flor-aus is Kafuirs mother. Flor-aus is 67, and looks darn good for her age.

Nay-la and Ack-bennie both fourteen year old girls who live with my host family.

Coo-lee and Renee are thirteen year old boys who live with my host family.

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