Some people feel it when they go to summer camp for the first time. For others it hits when they go away to college. I had to go half way around the world to a climate, culture, and setting completely and utterly different from my home before I felt homesick for the first time. So I guess that's saying something.
I'm in Niamey earlier than the one month that I was supposed to stay at post (came in to shop and talk to the doc) so I may as well make a post. Basically, this first month is painful and wonderful. I wake up feeling well enough. It's fairly cool and I listen to the radio while I drink my coffee (instant) and make my breakfast. Then I go out and chat with the villagers and what not and try to work even though they don't let me. It's great and I love it!
Then the heat comes.
We're talking 113 in the shade heat. Breathing makes you sweat heat. It's awful. And I can't do anything. Even if I had projects to work on at this point, I couldn't. So I sit in my house. And read. And write. And play solitaire. And think. That's the bad part. I think about all the things I would be doing on an equally unproductive afternoon in the states. And it sucks and I think about going home. It would be so easy.
But somehow I make it to 5 o'clock. Then the heat breaks. I bathe. I wander outside and chat. And I start to feel that maybe being here isn't so bad again. So I set about making my dinner and listening to the BBC. Then I chat with people some more. By 9 when I'm thinking about bed I'm happy and enjoying life and I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to have oatmeal and coffee and great the morning again.
And so life goes for me in this crazy cycle. Do to the odd circumstances of my post, which I won't detail, I don't get to see other Americans as often as some of the other volunteers. So I bit the bullet and came into Niamey early to do some shopping and check with the med officer about some things (don't worry I'm fine health wise - haven't been sick once yet - knock on wood).
Anyway, that's all for now really. In the meantime, for those of you who are so inclined I have come up with an initial list of things that I will always be delighted to find in any sort of care package:
Burned CD's (A new mix of music is always good. Please no mp3 cds)
Drink mixes (gatorade, iced tea, koolade, etc.)
Any instant foods (ie. Ramen, Mac and Cheese, pasta sauces, soups, etc.)
M&M's and Skittles
Batteries (AA are good but AAA are better)
That's all for now I think. Anything specific I'll come up with and ask for later. As a final note. Despite how it may seem in portions of this post I am doing quite well. My post is fantastic and I'm starting to establish somewhat of a routine that includes pushing myself a little more everytime the opportunity presents itself. So don't worry, I'm not planning on coming home too soon. I need to atleast survive hot season for bragging rights :-P TTFN