Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Out And About In Hohoe

[Belated Post]

I had two Peace Corps friends come out for a visit to Hohoe today which was nice so I felt obliged to post a little bit about it. There appears to be two very large benefits to living here in Hohoe: Monday and Friday are market days, and the Barclay's bank located just down the road from my campus lodgings. I sense that there will be several chances to meet and greet fellow volunteers while they do their shopping and banking on certain days.

Market days are where most vendors will show off their wares. It is the largest market in the general area and it brings out a lot of people, including volunteers from neighboring towns. Two times a week I have a chance at seeing some of my counterparts. That is a good thing.

And the Barclay's bank here is one of the few branches around for some 30 or 40 kilometers and most people who live in more remote areas are likely to come directly to Hohoe to make withdrawals than not. Most PCVs were set up with Barclay's back during training days, and now we have money stashed there  to use. Dan and Chris made the trip from not too far distances to pick up a few more items for their respective homes and gave me a call to see if I wanted to meet up. I couldn't resist the offer and trudged my way down the road a bit to see if I could find them and also stop in at the bank to make a withdrawal of my own.

Today was a bit warmer in the afternoon than I had anticipated as the sun shone brightly so as I made my way out of the gate from the campus I could feel the sweat start to pour down my temple and back. That is one of the more uncomfortable feelings here, the sweat dripping and rolling down as you read, eat, sleepwalk, ponder, or whatever you might do that requires nominal effort. There is no stopping it and if you are sweating then you are not yet in heat-stroke territory, so count your blessings and just deal with it for a while. Like two years maybe.

Just the same, it was good to walk around a bit today. I had a goal of talking to ten people and I think I hit my quota before I even met up with the other volunteers. I love the expression on the faces of locals as I try take a hacksaw to their language in hopes of impressing them. They are impressed, but their unsuppressed laughter makes me feel that they can also hear a thick accent and mangled verbs buried somewhere deep in the carnage of what I just said. The man at the bank did appreciate the effort and paid me a compliment.  I happened to also meet a man who wants to try setting up a computer lab for children within the community. I approach this type of conversation with a tiny bit of apprehension as I don't know who the person is and how serious they are, but I remain open to listening and finding out more information.

Where was I? Oh, right, the two yevus (yay-VUs, foreigners in the Ewe language) who visited me. Dan and Chris took a taxi to town and did their errands as I arrived on the main drag. We walked to Melcom's which is a store that is more one which we would see back in the states. I have heard another volunteer describe it as Walmart meets a damaged freight store. That isn't too far off from what I have seen. Still, it is a nice big store with plenty of things to buy. Most other stores here are akin to sheds that are about eight feet by eight feet, or buildings with long rows of shops that are about double that size. Finding a store that has aisles is a novelty.

We left the store with our purchases (I had to get my necessities of an iron, tea, and rope) and strolled back towards the lorry station for both guys to catch a ride home. I said my goodbyes and found out that I could be expecting more visitors in the next two days as more PCVs are going to be swinging by. Have I said that I am having a good time in Peace Corps lately? I should say it more often.

From the lorry station it was about a half-hour walk back to my abode on campus. I heard from a newly minted friend here that I might be given a chance to move into the domicile that will be my home for two years relatively soon. That is good news, but I already know that I am soft when it comes to accepting meals prepared for me. The school has given me three square meals a day since I got here due to my being put up in the guest house. I am sure that I will be fine. I hope. Maybe there is a pizza joint somewhere close by that does delivery.

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