Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trip to Cotonou

Warning: I’ve very whiney

I woke up with miniscule little bumps on the edge of my lips on Sunday morning, however, I quickly brushed it aside (probably heat rash or something) and hurriedly got ready for Parakou. I was SO excited to go up to Parakou and to take the bus down to Cotonou. Rather than taking a horrible stop and go, crammed taxi where I’d likely be sharing a seat with the driver, I was taking the bus down here with Jenny!! While a taxi will take me eight to ten hours from my village, our bus (where I had my own seat) took us just seven hours!! My village is closer to Cotonou than Parakou is, by about 1.5 hours. I will never taxi to Cotonou again.

Parakou was really fun; Jenny, Allison and I all hung out at the workstation, made a delicious meal, gossiped, watched movies, skyped my mom and sister (that was mostly me) and just had a fun relaxing evening. The next morning, Monday, my lips seemed a little bit worse, like really really chapped…but I didn’t care, I was going to Cotonou!

We’re in Cotonou for In Service Training. Our counterparts from school are here too (our work partners from school, Beninese English teachers). We started Tuesday morning and are finished Thursday evening. I however am currently waiting for my new medication, because you see, I have mango rash…all over my face. It’s the same exact thing as poison ivy. They warned us during training when we first got here, but I’ve never in my life had an allergic reaction. I’ve been eating mangoes like crazy for probably the past month, 2-5 a day, minimum.

I eat mangoes like I was taught: bite the skin off, spit it out, eat the delicious mango until I have to bite more skin off, repeat. So mango skin (poison ivy) is constantly on my face. I usually rinse them before I eat them. I’m guessing that’s why I just now am suffering from a reaction. Maybe I didn’t rinse one properly on Saturday? The Dr. told me to avoid mangoes now, I will. I dearly love mangoes, but the pain and ugliness I'm experiencing right now is not worth it.

Anyway, I have a rash all over my neck, on one side of my face and on my right eye. IT ITCHES SO BAD and I look like something out of a horror movie, all puffy too. UGH. Apparently it’s going to continue getting worse as well. I’m currently waiting on new medication. It’s not in the office so they’re sending someone to get it. I’m also getting some sort of cream to put on it. Feel sorry for me!! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2 Days, 3 Tarantulas.... my house.

They're no longer with us. I don't think further explanation is necessary.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

RIP Hedgehog

As I was arriving at my family’s house yesterday on my walk home from school, the little kids all raced inside. I sat down and they came out holding an adorable hedgehog!! I love hedgehogs (as I do all pets) and was super excited. I told them I love those (don’t know the word for hedgehog) and asked to hold it…..they seemed confused and plopped it into my lap. It looked sick, so I said, ‘oh, I think it’s sick.’

Barakatou responded, ‘No, it’s dead.’


So, later last night….I ate hedgehog. (tastes similar to forest rat – agouti). I feel bad, but I don’t refuse food, especially from my family and especially meat, that’s kind of a big deal.

PS: Never occurred to me that hedgehogs live in the wild. They live in my forest!