I helped my little brother August with counting in French. (This is like his third language). We practiced with bottle caps. It reminded me of when my Baba was teaching me how to count by 10s with pennies and taping them together.
August 31st 2017.
Peace Corps Volunteer Oath
“I, Si-Asar Uri-Biia, do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.
So help me god.”
Peace Corps Volunteer Pledge
“I, Si-Asar Uri-Biia, promise to serve alongside the people of Benin.
I promise to share my culture with an open mind and open heart.
I promise to foster an understanding of the people of Benin, with creativity, cultural sensitivity, and respect.
I will face the challenges of service with patience, humility, and determination.
I will embrace the mission of world peace and friendship for as long as I serve and beyond.
In the proud tradition of Peace Corps legacy, and in the spirit of the Peace Corps family, past, present, past-
I am a Peace Corps Volunteer.”
Picture of me after swearing in:
Picture of the POC volunteers from stage 30A minus one:
Waiting for the ceremony to begin:
Picture of me with the training staff right before leaving for site:
Picture of all the TEFL training staff minus one:
Picture of all the volunteers plus some of the training staff:
During Pre-Service Training, we got to take a trip to Ouidah and it was so great. We got to see 5 things: the sacred forest, python temple, the French fort, the slave route, and finally the door of no return.
Super nice. There’s lotsa statues here and there is this tree which is like 300 years old and one day without warning like all the branches and fruit fell off and never grew back. There’s also a tree that fell down and then righted itself back up also. We could not go all the through the forest because it is sacred and they still use some parts of it for initiation.
Exactly what it sounds like…
One of the French forts where they use to hold enslaved Africans before they started their long march done the slave route to the door of no return. It is now a museum about some of the history of the fort and slavery. Also the area where they use to hold the enslaved Africans has been changed to a place where one can buy and sell art (locally made art from what I could tell.) We couldn’t take pictures of inside the museum which sucked. BUT one of my favorite exhibits was when they showed the connection between Benin and Brasil through side by side pictures of life and both places. I could barely guess which picture was from where. It was beautiful. It was amazing. It made me appreciate going to Brazil when. I was 7 years old even more. It also made me laugh a bit about how the ancestors guided me to Brasil and are now guiding me through Benin.
We didn’t drive the whole route but it was pretty intense. There was a couple of memorials which I was happy to see along the route. It was intense imagining my ancestors walking and walking and walking to the door off no return. There was a couple of stop points where there was a tree where they had to walk around it backwards a couple to erase their connection to their villages and country and to severe their connection to their history, heritage and culture. It didn’t work.🙃
Door of No Return (Port de Non Retour)
The beach where enslaved Africans had their final moments in Africa before being forced to leave and never return again.
For those who do not know, I am not a big fan of bugs especially spiders. My kitchen area is a room outside my house, which is a hundred percent fine I actually really like have a separate building/rooms for my kitchen, bathroom, and shower area. But the kitchen having not been used before had managed to gather a rather large collection of spiders. After doing a quick survey to see who in my family could help me get rid of them, me and Emmanuel went to go take care of business. Now I like to put on airs of not being afraid of things and willing to experience anything. That didn’t work at all… I ended up hiding outside the room screaming “C’est la!! C’est la!” It’s there it’s there!! Emmanuel probably ended up killing like 10 spiders for me 😂