December things.

In about a month I will be in Seattle for two weeks! I’m so excited to see everyone and eat all the things, but also anxious to go back to life in the U.S. I currently get overwhelmed when I go to Lomé because there are so many cars and people compared to my little village. So I guess we will see how readjustment goes for my two weeks in Seattle. 
What if you gave your kids an old bike tire and a stick for Christmas? I don’t think they would look as happy as this kid.  
   
After I got back from training and Thanksgiving I spent a week doing HIV education and consultations at the clinic. I appreciated the opportunity to see how the clinic handles HIV testing and confidentiality. The first weekend in December the Monitoring and Evaluation task force had their first conference to discuss future projects and go over the questionnaires all the volunteers have completed. There are about 15 volunteers in all the different sectors from each region on the task force to help improve volunteer reporting. I know this sounds boring, but PC has been in Togo for over 50 years and without accurate and consistent reporting there is no way to track what projects have been done and if they are effective. I am looking forward to the projects we will be doing as Togo is so under represented and there is so little accurate data collected in Togo that our work could influence outside funding, health systems management, and organizations that could work in Togo.

World AIDS day!  
Last week was exam week for the students at middle and high school so I spent most of the week at the school helping with English tutoring. To celebrate the end of exams the library had a party Friday night with games and a movie for the kids. 

  
It is pretty weird that it’s Christmas this week. It’s still so hot here that I often forget that it isn’t still summer. We are having cooler evenings in the 70’s which is a nice change, but everyone in village gets dressed up like we are heading out to climb Mt. Rainier. When I go out at night in a shirt and skirt like I normally wear everyone comes up to me to ask if I’m cold and if I want a jacket. I have some friends coming down for Christmas celebrations at my house. We will make some good food, maybe even kill a chicken in celebration, and drink home made mulled wine. 

My incredible market lady!  
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year! Thank you to everyone who sent cards or gifts for me or for my village! I really appreciate it and it really brightens my day when I get stuff from home!

My Togolese Christmas tree 🎄  

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