Thats What She Said

I'm supposed to be doing something else right now.

Q & A (Not quite as good as T & A, but you take what you can get) October 27, 2007

Filed under: *Booze,*Cheese; Or, Stuff That's Good,*i joined the what now? — thats what she said @ 7:13 am

Thanks for all the questions folks. I’ll do my best to answer them thoughtfully. Or sarcastically.

1. Notable GI Issues: (Thank you T-Bone, for getting straight to the point.) So far I’m sort of maintaing a pretty constant level of very slight discomfort. Lets just say I notice when things are…unusually solid. Here in the Corps de la Paix, we talk about poop almost as much as we talk about sustainable development. I haven’t had any major issues yet, which leaves me feeling both profoundly greatful and profoundly scared. Because I’m pretty sure its coming.

2. Spiders: so far I’ve only seen one really big spider, but since he scurried away behind the headboard of my bed, I’m not going to talk about.

3. Frenching: I think I speak French like a person who’s been speaking French for 5 weeks. That is to say, very earnestly, and probably pretty poorly. We had proficiency interviews this morning, so I’ll find out on Monday what people who actually speak French think of my French. I will tell you that I love to say “J’adore le cock”. (Sadly, I did not get more mature upon arrival in West Africa.)

4. Hotness: I think it’s hot. I would judge that it ranges anywhere from the 60s (it gets quite cool–we’re in the mountains) to the high 80s, which feels to me like about 112. Alas, the rainy season will end in November and it will get much, much hotter. I am not prepared for that.

5. Friends: My new friends are pretty awesome. Some of these people are hilarious, so of them are super smart, and many of them annoyingly combine both of those qualities. And of course, they are all approxiamately 23 years old–everyday I’m able to get around without my walker feels like a victory, and they are sure to remind me of that. I asked my best friend here what she wanted me to call her, and without batting an eye she said The Red Snapper. And that is why she is my best friend here. Kit Kat, you’ll be happy to know I’ve befriended another red head. Sadly, there are only 12 men, and two of them are married. Oy.

6. Chickens: I have yet to slaughter a chicken, although I watched as my…host nephew? Yes. My host nephew cleaned one on my front porch. I think I’ll save that adventure for post.

Speaking of post I find mine out next Thursday!!

7. Food: I actually wrote you a letter about the food! So I won’t answer this question now…more later. (Ha!)

8. Cities: Bon question. This one deserves thought.

9. Sunburn: A little. PC gave us sun lotion, which I typically forget to apply. Dumb.

OK, actually, I’m going to write the rest of these down and answer them at home.  Thanks so much for asking! It’s really hard to focus when I feel like I need to write about everything.

For now, I’m going to go home, hope the water is on and if so take a shower (T-Bone–I am so sweaty!!), and then tonight I’m going to some sort of concert at the Catholic church with the Red Snapper and her mom. After that, I’ll probably buy a couple sachets of whiskey at Chez Pierre’s and enjoy speaking English. Peace Corps: It really is the toughest job you’ll ever love.

 

I am wearing the largest dress known to (Wo)Mankind October 16, 2007

Filed under: *Cheese; Or, Stuff That's Good — thats what she said @ 6:54 am

I tried to take a picture but it wouldn’t all fit.

Also, I am a failure as a travelin’ blogger. My apologies.

This weekend I’m going on an overnight(!) trip to a nearby city called Bafoussam.  It’s a bit larger than Banganté, but more important than it’s size and all cultural impliquations of said size is the fact that you can buy snickers and cheese there. We (I think 4 of us are going) will be travelling by bush taxi (stay tuned for the diary of that experience, which I will totally write…like for reals) which costs about 3 dollars round-trip.  The trainers here did a very terrifying entertaining skit about the pleasures of travel au Cameroun. It was…intense.  I’m hoping for no less than 4 marriage proposals. Perhaps I will wear my fancy new tent dress.

I’m sorry y’all–I don’t even know where to start when it comes to describing life here. Maybe you could leave some specific questions in the comments? 

Overall I am well–pretty fucking great most of the time, peppered with moments of extreme not greatness.  We started a writing club that meets every weekend–but it should probably be called therapy club. It’s really great to hear other perspectives on life here, and I’m hoping that enthusiasm will translate to this particular medium. Or at least make me feel too guilty not to write…

 

S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y NIGHT!!! October 6, 2007

Filed under: *Booze,*i joined the what now? — thats what she said @ 3:23 am

Today I only had four hours of French class and during the last part of class we go to go to the market to try out or bargining skillz. (Sorry about using ‘skillz’ quite so much, but really its the only word that seems appropriate and there really are a lot of ‘skillz’ to aquire here.) I bought some really cool cloth (a pagne–see, that is an example of my language skillz) from which I will have made a mumu. Seriously. I am very excited about any integration process that includes copious quantities of loud fabric.

Going to the market is sort of an intense activity at this point. There are tons of people, eithing milling about shopping or on the sides of the streets selling a VERY random assortment of goods, and lots of motos zipping by. You could start a pretty kick-ass scooter gang in Bangantè, if you were so inclined. (Note: I think the population of Bangantè is about 20 thousand–all I know is that it feels much more comfortable than Yaoundè. Not that I saw much of Yaoundè from the prison hotel.) It’s a really pretty town–there are lots of hills and the surrounding countryside is very green, so there are lovely views everywhere.

Tonight we have all purchased ‘tickets’ for 500 CFAs (pronounced ‘say fa’s’, about 1 dollar) for some sort of dance show. Although really, it would probably make more sense to charge for the entertainment involved in seeing 42 white people dance. But it should be fun.

What of actual work, you may ask? Well I’ve been doing some ‘preliminary needs assesment’, and at this point I have determined that  I would like to help West Africa meet its needs for the following:

1) Better tools and education for the treatment of drinking water

2) A better understanding of the transmission process of AIDS and other STDs

3) Sarcasm

In closing, the mystery of the week: Cameroon–plenty of goats, but no goat cheese…it’s a crazy mixed up world I’m living in.

 

I am so awesome at everything it’s unbelievable October 3, 2007

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 8:35 am

So this morning in an effort to make things easier for my host mom I asked for some bread for breakfast instead of the usual omlettes she’s been making me. Because I am low maintenance and awesome.  Except even though I thought I was asking for one of the rolls they always have, in fact I was requesting my very own baguette. Which my mom WENT OUT AND BOUGHT ME. Hello Cameroon. I am an asshole. Bring me some bread.

I started this entry yesterday, but then the internet died (of unknown causes).  So I am going to wrap this up quickly today. Oddly enough I got some positive feedback this morning about my French.

Today we met with a community group of women, to practice our skillz and whatnot.  It was terrifying, but also envigorating.  We will be working with them for the next 10 weeks or so, most likely on clean water promotion. Today we just passed out cookies in an effort to distract them from our terrible French.

Soon I will write a witty and informative piece on life in Cameroon. No, really.  Witty AND informative.

But for now I have to go because I have a SIX OCLOCK curfew. Pre-Service Training: It’s like middle school without all the puberty.