Today was my first day with the trainees, and as I was half-fearing, I sort of bungled my first sessions. The issue was that the training manager had allegedly given responsibility for my first session (on something called PACA, Participatory Analysis for Community Action) to the language trainers, but when I arrived, they were expecting me to take the lead, and I didn't have anything printed out. For the first session, there were luckily a couple volunteers shipped in from Niger who basically did the entire thing better than I could have. But for the second session, the trainers had basically nothing prepared and we had to wing it. It could have gone a lot better, but I think (hope?) that the trainees were sympathetic. We at least got the main points covered.
Once again Peace Corps' atrocious logistical coordination is starkly evident. Their strategy seems to be rather than trying to anticipate problems beforehand by thinking hard about what sorts of things are likely to happen in a situation, they make a vague, unrealistic plan and then deal with problems as they arise. This works out basically how one would expect. Yet the trainees are here, they've got to listen to me, or at least sit still while I talk, and hopefully I'm not coming across as too much of a cynical jerk. I'll be here all week, stay tuned.