Welcome to Science Camp! Being here does have it's ups and downs, but overall is going really well. I do think it's safe to say we have an excess of volunteers. Most of my work is in bursts, a lesson, someone asking for me to go get something, a meeting with my team of kids, supervising shower time, but there's still a lot of down time (which can be very nice, but on some days is just too much). Still, as people are getting sick it's handy to have extra hands to take over. All of the other PCVs are from the stage after mine, and I'm really enjoying getting to know so many new people who are all so passionate about science and teaching!
The story that shouldn't have happened but was funny in the end was trying to get to La Reunion the first night I was in town. I thought I remembered it, out past where the paved road ends, but Drew kept saying it was close enough to bike with people on the racks of our bikes, so I assumed I was thinking of a different restaurant. Turned out it was the same one, but due to construction and our unwillingness to actually look and see if we could get around or over the big pile of dirt we ended up going on a wild detour a huge way out of the way. We waded through mud, biked over washboard roads, and ended up having to pass our bikes and jump over a 3 foot ditch from one re-bar-spiked cement ledge to another. It was terrifying, it was unnecessary, but we made it and had beer and alloco and frites and laughed and talked and it was good and somehow worth it after the fact. :)
These women that Marlow and I are working with for the health lessons – Esther and Gloria – are simply amazing. Their title is “assistant sociale” and they not only counsel students, but do health lessons at the school on all kinds of topics. They've been doing it a while, Gloria mentioned 1996 as the time of one particular affectation. They've been all over – villages, cities, North, South, East, doing stuff in schools on family planning/prostitution/staying in school/early pregnancy, with villages to teach on forced marriage/early marriage/excision/covered wells/building latrines, etc. Gloria is doing another camp this week as well, a “Camp for Success” where kids from middle school up to university come and learn about how to do well in school and how to get into a trade or become an entrepreneur. It has a strong religious theme as well. They start at 5:30am and keep going until 8pm, which just seems crazy to me. The two of them are currently employed at the high school where we're doing the camp, which is how we ended up working with them.
Yesterday we caught frogs for today's dissection, but I didn't go watch, it seemed cruel somehow even though I remember enjoying dissection in school. It rained today, finally, really hard but only for a few hours. I've been eating way too much gateaux, but it's just so tempting, especially since people keep going to buy more several times a day! Otherwise I've been keeping busy by talking to people, doing odd jobs like refilling hand washing teapots, and working on my resume and DOS.