January 10, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: Blogs - Togo: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Togo: Peace Corps Togo : The Peace Corps in Togo: January 10, 2005: Headlines: COS - Togo: Blogs - Togo: Personal Web Site: Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-13-244.balt.east.verizon.net - on Saturday, January 15, 2005 - 12:11 pm: Edit Post

Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

Peace Corps Togo with Chris Harmon

Hello and Happy New Year to everyone, even though it's a little late. Things here have been going well since my last update. New Year's was a lot of fun. Went to the Marine's house and had a fun time drinking, eating, playing pool, ping-pong, and hanging out. Got home kind of late because on the way back we got a ride from the Marine's security guards and the minivan we were in got stuck in the sand right before getting to my house, this was at about 4:30am... Anyways, out of nowhere about 5 other guys show and we all start pushing and pulling and digging... There was this one guy who kind of became the boss of the whole operation somehow, I'm not really sure how it happened because he was probably the craziest one out of all of them, but anyways, he notices me and another volunteer and decides to start speaking english to us. The thing is, he only spoke about 4 phrases in english: Chicago, Black Ninja, Africa, and then everytime we would get ready to push the van again it would be "Shaka Zulu 1,2,3!" Anyways we finally got the car out and I got to sleep...

The next day was spent at the beach with good friends and good drinks. IT was the perfect way to spend New Years Day. The sun as shining, the water was warm, it was really great.

So you guys remember me talking about the HArmattan? If you don't remember, it's these winds that come from the Sahara.Well it finally arrived last friday. It is probably one of the strangest weather effects I've ever experienced. First of all it happens from one day to the next. Thursday was a beautiful hot day, as usual, and Friday was the beginning of Harmattan. So the winds do a good job of cooling everything down, I've even been old a couple times which is not an easy thing to be here. The air though is s full of dust that it looks like there's a fire somewhere and what you're seeing is smoke. Visibility goes way down, on friday you couldn't see more than 1/2 km in front of you. It's pretty funny because everyone gets all bundled up in their coats, yes our old winter coats make it to Africa for the Harmattan, everyone complains about being sick, it's a very abrupt change in weather. Supposedly it lasts for about 1-2 months down here in Lome. It's nice that it's a bit cooler but it definitely looks and feels a little weird.

They are in the process of rebuilding my roof at home. I asked the landlord one day if I could have a roof over my terrace and he decided to do the whole roof over instead and when I asked him if they were going to put the roof over my terrace too he said they'd have to check their budget... Oh, Togo... So in any case, I got home last Wednesday with no actual roof, just the ceiling which is about 1/4 inch thick. My house was pretty much a mess too so me and two friends who were staying with me thought it would be a great idea to try and trash it a little bit more by plaing racquetball inside, we had been drinking a little... I'm surprised we didn't break anything in the house or in our bodies because it started to get a little physical... Good times...

So I'm staying with my friend Marcy until my roof is done, hopefully Wednesday. Marcy is the Canadian Red Cross delegate who was here for the campaign and is doing some follow up work now. It was really nice of her to let me stay with her, especially since she's got AC and TV. So I spent most of the weekend watching CNN and their tsunami reporting. It's unbelievable what happened over there. I try to imagine what Lome would be like if something like that ever happened here and it's not a pretty sight...

This Thursday is a holiday so I might go get my cats at the end of the week. I'm pretty sure they'll be called Small Poppy and Black Ninja (in honor of our New Years buddy). I'll let you all know how it works out.

Well that's it for now, I have to start real work now.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.

January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 8 2005 No: 367 January 8, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Zambia RPCV Karla Berg interviews 1,374 people on Peace 7 Jan
Breaking Taboo, Mandela Says Son Died of AIDS 6 Jan
Dreadlocked PCV raises eyebrows in Africa 6 Jan
RPCV Jose Ravano directs CARE's efforts in Sri Lanka 6 Jan
Persuading Retiring Baby Boomers to Volunteer 6 Jan
Inventor of "Drown Proofing" retires 6 Jan
NPCA Membership approves Board Changes 5 Jan
Timothy Shriver announces "Rebuild Hope Fund" 5 Jan
More Water Bottles, Fewer Bullets 4 Jan
Poland RPCV Rebecca Parker runs Solterra Books 2 Jan
Peace Corps Fund plans event for September 30 Dec
RPCV Carmen Bailey recounts bout with cerebral malaria 28 Dec
more top stories...

RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

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