Lara, Peace Corps Volunteer, Update from Togo, West Africa

Lara giving her first speech in Anufo, Togo, West AfricaWhere has the time gone?!

It’s already February and my blog is seriously lacking. The silver lining is life here is getting busier and this place called Togo is feeling more and more like home.
Second semester started January 6th & I began my second round of teaching English to my Cinquieme class. Additionally, with a Togol

ese volunteer from an NGO, Plan Togo, we created a Gender class for each of the classes in the Middle School.

After the school bell rings (well, here it’s a whistle) I’m keeping busy with a Girls’ Club, English Club, and a Life Skills course with local apprentices. The dream is to continue all of the above and more. Next weekend I’ll be heading to a training with my counterpart to think about bigger projects, that’ll hopefully take my mind off of the increasing heat and, more importantly, make an impact on education and gender equality in my village.
Work aside, the most notable experience of 2014 thus far was a few Thursdays ago.
On my way back from work I stopped to greet a 52 year old, seamstress in my village, Moulika. She asked if I was free that evening and wanted to go to an event- since both of our French is minimal, I said “sure” and didn’t inquire about the specifics.
Que thirty minutes later, I’m in a bush taxi holding a live chicken on my way to what will be an all night beauty pageant, which names a contestant who will go on to compete for the Miss Togo title. And that began the whirlwind weekend with Moulika and her husband, Sonya, of celebrating what is now my new favorite holiday, Koudapaani.
The following day, Friday, was a giant feast and Saturday was filled with each village showcasing their tribal dance. The schedule: Fufu, dancing, more fufu, more dancing, etc.
Koudapaani celebrates the Tchokossi (also known as, Anufo) heritage in the Savanes region. My village is primarily made up of the two tribes, Anufo and Gam-Gam. The Anufo are generally Muslim and the Gam-Gam tend to be Christian. However, there are several tribes in my village and at least a dozen languages I’ve come across so far. Other prominent religions are Lutheran, Baptist, and Animism.For the moment I’m in the regional capitol relishing the joys of internet, electricity, and running water. Tomorrow I head back to Sagbiebou to check out how my kids do on their week of exams (fingers crossed!). But most of all, getting mentally prepared for the hot season looming around the corner.

Students in Togo, West Africa, Jan. 2014

Posted by Lara at 1:33 PM

How can you get in touch with me?

Get me by snail mail with:
Lara Johann-Reichart, PCV
B.P. 102
Mango, Togo
West Africa
If sending packages, you can use the address above, just keep it under 5 lbs. Letters, pictures, or food are most certainly appreciated, perhaps even slightly worshipped. Thank you!
By Phone:
From the USA, dial: 011. 228.

Care Packages

Have I mentioned how attractive and above average you are?1-1780697_10151989352621819_956186435_n 🙂 If you’re so inclined to ship a box overseas, here’s the dream:
Art supplies! Kids here love drawing but markers and paper are hard to come by. So paints, crayons, GLITTER, and brushes would be awesome.
French or English books at the elementary/pre-school level. Literacy is low throughout the village but everyone is eager to learn how to read – kids and adults, alike.
Maps, Posters, Pictures, Classroom decorations, etc.

Peace Corps Disclaimer

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

6 thoughts on “Lara, Peace Corps Volunteer, Update from Togo, West Africa

  1. mich smith says:

    Lovely letter, Lara sound very happy!!


  2. So good to hear from Lara gain, Jane. Glad she is making so much progress. It’s amazing that we are just about 3 hours apart! 🙂


  3. Nancy says:

    Jane,,,,,,,,,,,, You have a Fabulous, Wonderful, Heartfelt Daughter. You should be soooo Proud. She is a Johann….. You put another Teacher on this Planet. Hugs.


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