A year has gone by (and so quickly too!) and a new group of volunteers arrived in Benin on July 4, 2008. We call the training groups PSL. I was in PSL 20 and this group is PSL 21.
I got to work weeks 3 adn 4 of training and met many trainees. I spent most of my time with the new TEFL volunteers. I worked with a volunteer named Carly who is from Kalamazoo, Michigan and is posted in the north of Benin near Bassila. Carly and I shared an apartment of Porto Novo together. Lucky for me she isn’t as squeamish, so when a dead mouse was discovered, she didn’t hesitate to remove it from the premises.
Carly and I did model lessons for the new volunteers, to show them what teaching in Benin might be like. We also tried our best to answer all of their questions. The trainees are living well in Porto Novo, which is the capitol of Benin. Most of them have running water, private showers, and toilets. They’re families are fairly well off. I ate at two families homes and was very well fed.
The trainees are very enthusiastic and working hard. They have at least 3-4 hours of French language classes, then they also do bike training, cross cultural training, cooking workshops, and of course they study how to be a teacher. Most of them just graduated from college and this will be their first time teaching. During training, they also receive lots and lots of vaccinations or shots. Peace Corps does their best to make sure we don’t get sick!
While I worked, stage, as we call training in French, I got to go on the cultural excursion to Ouidah. This time I put the python on my neck! It slithered around a little but it wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it! I do have a picture of Carly wearing the snake!