Monday, November 11, 2013

P.S. 1

It was bound to happen with my comp as our Chef. He made patte last night. It was actually pretty good and I'm glad that I made him happy in eating it, but let's just say I hope it doesn't become an everyday thing

Wow, another JAM packed week for me out here in Nyekonakpoe... although, most of the jam packed fun didn't actually happen in my sector! 

To start out, we had our Zone Conference this past week, which is when the Zone leaders, Assistants, and the Mission President come and give us counsel and advice. It's about a 5 hour long meeting, but it's all worth it as there are free CHARWAMA's and HAMBURGER's involved... which is the real reason as to why everybody assists the meetings. I also try to sport a cool tie of some sort, and this time it was another pigne tie which everyone goes crazy after. Basically, I just have to stand there and be like, yeah, I am that cool to get a tie made out of pigne (fyi: I'm not actually that arrogant. In case you were wondering.) 

But, the real fun part of the day is when Elder Poll (one of the assistants) came down and did splits with us for the afternoon! He's a pretty cool dude and, even though we only really taught one lesson together, we had a great time. Doing splits is one of my favorite things to do on the mission because it just mixes things up a little bit... really, it's just to have a new face to talk to. But another thing you learn when you go on splits is new leçon methods and new ways to explain things!
And, by the way, just so everybody knows, a split usually just means when somebody either accompanies you and your companion, or just switches companions with you (so, for example, you stay in your sector and work with somebody else and then your comp switches with the guy who comes and works with you). So, in this case, nobody got switched out so we worked as a tri-comp, which can be annoying sometimes because we're so used to the duo dynamic, but Elder Poll is so fun to work with that we didn't mind.

Anyway, I think I might have lied. Because to be honest, the day only got better after that split! From Zone Conference earlier that morning, my companion and I invited President and Sister Weed over to eat dinner with us! So, they come over to my English class first and then we all went back to the apartment, which was nice because I had some time to get to know the Weeds a bit better! The best thing was that President Weed actually got his dentistry degree from Temple University, so, of course, they lived in Philadelphia for a good four years so we rambled on and on about that! They went to the Jarrettown ward (or, it might have been a branch when they were there) but they lived near to where the new Pennypack building is. It was fun to throw around some names from around the area and hear some of the stories they have of Philly from back in the 70s-80s. It's really nice to talk with people who actually know Philadelphia, since the people who are the closest to Philadelphia are Elders from North Carolina and Michigan... meaning not at all close.

My companion ended up preparing boiled Enyam with an egg sauce that everyone really liked! My companion was super nervous about preparing for the mission president but he loved it! They ended up staying with us for around two hours, so needless to say we had a good time together. Although, the night didn't stop there because Elder Poll and I stayed up and talked forever until the wee hours of the morning (enjoying Halloween Oreos! Which, by the way, go completely stale in a little under an hour in the humid Togo breeze).

So yeah... last Wednesday was just jam packed full of awesome.
However, today was great too because we actually did a Zone Activity! We went to the National Togo History Museum (which turns out to be in Kodjoviakope). It was really cool, albeit really small! Nothing really like the Smithsonian, but I've learned that you can't have too high of expectations while you're out here in Togo.

The Palais de Congrais, which is where the musée is located. It's probably one of the nicer buildings that I've seen in Togo... no surprise that it's a government building! 

The entrance to the musée.
(I should have asked him what that woman is carrying on her head. Looks like a rock! --Fro)

As for the museum itself, it had a lot of cool, old artifacts that were collected from around the country and show some of the ancient tools the Togolais used to use for making weapons, pottery, drums, etc. And as you know, I do love a good history lesson. Unfortunately, I didn't really catch most of what the tour guide was saying because, even though the museum has air conditioners, they don't use it and instead use HUGE fans that make a ton of noise! So I couldn't really hear anything.  Still, it was cool to see the stuff. I'll show you a few pics I took.  But of course, my favorite was the drums! 

Cool old bows and arrows.
They had similar displays for old spears and guns too but I can't upload all the pictures!

A prince's chair, made with lions as the arm rest, an Eagle back, and then really cool elephants for the feet! 

A sculpture of a man weaving traditional African fabric. 

BIG DRUMS! Couldn't play them though... bummer.
I did get to play this big bell thing though! Not sure what it's for but it was fun to play! 

The only cool fact I can tell you that I didn't know beforehand was that the two first Presidents of Togo after their independence were not in fact from Togo! They were, of all places, Brazilian  It's not as weird as it sounds though because the two Presidents were descendants of Togolais slaves that were brought to Brazil. Though, after them came another guy who ruled for a few months and then a "President" who reigned for over 40 years! Yay Liberty! 

My comp excited to see a map of Benin in the musée!

Anyway, it wasn't too much of an exciting museum but it was fun nevertheless. And, we went to Akif's afterwards so, really no complaints from my end. For some odd reason, missionaries love to complain about how lame some of the activities we do are, but I never, ever do. Why? Because we don't do many of them and the people that plan them try their best to make them happen! One of the toughest things for me to deal with on the mission is the mundaneness of it... doing the same things day in and day out. So, to have an activity like that really helps boost morale on my part and actually gives me something to write home about as well. 

Alright got to get going now, but just hope you all know that I'm doing great! We actually had a good week in terms of lessons and finding people to teach! It's still hard to find people who will actually progress, but it's about keeping busy that's important. That's why this week went by so quick: because we had people to teach, meetings to go to, and we were just having fun staying busy!
Keep up the prayers and keep sending the good vibes out here! Because, we've got... hiiiiigh hopes! (cue the Fro: HK video)

Love you all!

Elder Hawkins


P.S. 1

Note from the FroONE YEAR MARK THIS WEEK!!!  Woohoo!!!  I'm almost giddy with excitement to reach that milestone!  I think I might even bake a cake.  Or decorate the house?  Maybe put a big sign on the front door?  Tell every person I meet "hey my son's been in Africa a whole YEAR!" I don't know, I'll have to do SOMETHING! So after he sent his weekly email and he hadn't even mentioned such a TREMENDOUS achievement, I asked him if he wanted to say anything about his ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY this week!  He said, "Oh! I forgot to mention that! Hold on, let me add the addition I wanted to make!" So he sent another email, which simply said, "P.S. 1" I emailed back sure that I had missed something monumental.  But he replied, "Yup, that's all I wanted to say about that!"  Geez, that kid.  Said he's planning on celebrating the year mark with his MTC buddies at Akif's so maybe we'll hear more about that next week. 

I also laughed at him for succumbing to his comp's insistence to eat his patte. He replied, "Yeah, more precisely, it's called djenkuman which isn't like traditional patte. It's really good though. Just, you know, not like good ol' home fro cooking."  Awwww. 

And lastly, HK is the famous Harry Kalas who used to announce games for the Phillies. One of the best parts about going to a Phillies game is singing High Hopes with Harry Kalas.  Guess his talk of Philly with Pres. Weed this week made him a little nostalgic. Or, maybe it's more one year down equals "oops there goes another rubber tree plant." ;)

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