I am now a Peace Corps Volunteer. I took an oath and everything. I feel I should tell you that for whatever reason, every time I hear the phrase “I swear to protect the constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic” it is immediately followed in my head by the phrase “with a pitchfork, if necessary”. I’m not sure why that would ever be necessary, or where I would even get a pitchfork in Cameroon, but you have to admit, the image of someone defending the constitution with farming equipment is amusing. Or maybe my recent lack of exposure to pop culture is wearing on me.
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Tomorrow I head off into post. All 39 stagieres (thats ‘trainees’ for all you people out there NOT at an ‘advanced low’ French level–Booya!) who made it through left Bangante this morning, to head towards their various new homes around the country. I cried about eight times, so all in all it was a typically dignified sort of morning for me. I’m in Yaounde for the night. We went to the ‘white man’ store (and by ‘we’ I mean a bunch of other people went while I watched Napoleon Dynamite (and by ‘watched Napoleon Dynamite’ I mean took a nap on the couch)) and picked up the ingredients for some sort of delightfully cheesy pasta dish. I love cheese.
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I’m going to take a moment here to acknowledge that I do in fact realize that I am in Cameroon, about to embark (finally, and for real) on perhaps one of the most formative experiences of my life, and all I can find to write is “I love cheese”.
I mean, I do love cheese. But perhaps that isn’t the most pertinent information to be sharing at the moment?
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So then. Right now I feel exhausted. It’s been a really long week. Two weeks really. Full of presentations and awkward goodbyes in a foreign language and tearful goodbyes in English and also trips to the bank—which is no mundane errand here in The Roon—and now there is the whole ordeal of getting my enormous trunk and bike and big backpack and small backpack to Ngoulemakong AND THEN I have to figure out how one procures a bed in this country where its often a pain in the ass to procure a banana.
And then there is the whole ‘work’ thing. Which I’m not really going talk about right now. Because its too overwhelmingly confusing. Our jobs as Health Volunteer are incredibly flexible—which I will be incredibly grateful for sometime in September, 2008. But for the moment it just means one more aspect of life that fits securely under the ‘Currently Undefined’ heading.
So instead for the next week or so I’m going to concentrate on making my currently empty house livable and also on going outside said house at least once a day. Baby steps people.
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At the officially official swearing in ceremony yesterday, they were blasting music. Specifically they were blasting “I’ll Make Love To You” by Boyz 2 Men and “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” by Whitney Houston. Sometimes this country is just magical.
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I received packages today!!! From TLMQ and my dad!!!! It made me very, very happy. Thank you so much.
I haven’t written much of anything to anyone in the last two weeks. I’m pretty sure I’ve been legitimately busy. But that is all about to end, so start expecting a veritable flood of letters from Africa people.
I also plan to fulfill a lifelong dream by finally taking up quilting. By hand.
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Au revoir, mes amies. Please say a ‘du courage’ for me if you can. I’m going to need it.