Meeting my Homologue

Trip Start Jul 05, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Benin  ,
Monday, August 22, 2005

This morning, we didn't have class as usual. Instead, we all met at a local hotel, b/c they have a big courtyard area that can hold a lot of people. Today was the day we got to meet our Homologues; the person we will be working with the most over the next 2 years.

The first part of the day was spent explaining the history and goals of the PC to the Homologues. Then, we broke up into small groups and played cards. There were 7ish tables, 4 people per table. Each table read the rules to the game, and then played the game. No one was allowed to talk. After a few minutes, some people had to get up and switch tables and start playing again....eventually there was a lot of confusion and silent "arguments" b/c each table had different rules. The point was to show everyone to be open to different ways of doing things...especially when there is a communication barrier.

After the games, we (the Stagiaires) gave a brief presentation about what we have been learning/doing so far in Benin. The skit my group did went well.

Finally, we got matched up with our Homologues. Up until this point, we didn't know exactly who was going to be with whom. It's weird, b/c yesterday I asked someone if they thought there'd be any females, and I ended up getting one. There was one female in my group of 14 Stagiaires. (Later, I found out that there are 2 in the entire Stage group of 47.)

My Homologue's name is Augustine. She is the Secretary for the board of Artisan's (people who work with their hands....electricians, mechanics, tailors, sculptors, carpenters, hair dresses, etc.). She grew up in Ivory Cost, and moved back to Benin 7 years ago. She seems ambitious and excited to be having me work with her. I hope I can live up to her expectations...

After the meeting, the Stagiaires went to the bar for a drink. After that, I went home and played Uno with the kids around the house, and then packed stuff for going to Houebgo to visit for the next few days.
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