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
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.