I’m heading back to post tomorrow after a spending a week with 20 other Americans. These people are all near and dear to me, but I think I’ve grown used to a different pace of life. Somewhat surprisingly, I find myself looking forward to sitting on my porch.
Our in-service training was simultaneously overwhelming and reassuring. Everyone claims to have ‘done nothing’ for the last three months, and everyone secretly thinks that they have done the most nothing. For instance, I know for a fact that I actually have done the most nothing, but after various discussions with other people posted in the south and in the east, and the ‘time-line of development’ in other areas of the country, I feel a little better about that. I got to post in December ready to search out community groups to work with. What it took me three months to realize is that it will be my role just to introduce the idea of community groups in my area.
I don’t mean to imply that there are no Cameroonians in the South doing good work on their own—obviously there are many. It’s just on a totally different scale than in provinces like the Northwest and West. Peace Corps has been in the northwestern corner of this country for 40 years, so the current volunteers there are having a very different experience than those of us in other areas. Where they have people approaching them and asking them to collaborate, I’m having a really tough time just explaining what in the hell I’m doing here. If you’re not a doctor, then who ARE you? (This is not to say that volunteers in the northwest are in some sort of cakewalk—they are just at a different place on the ‘timeline of development’. (I refuse to say ‘timeline of development’ without quotes. It’s just too pretentious. Unfortunately, I don’t know how else to say it.))
So anyway, I’m going to head back and start the process of creating some clubs. What’s that you say? Didn’t I already dothat? Yes, my astute little readers, I did. But turns out I sort of did it wrong. Or at least in a way that wasn’t really working for me. Standing in front of 102 bored high schooler’s who have no idea why we’re all in a room together was sort of…not enjoyable. So new clubs, check.
I’m also (hopefully) going to be working on a soy project with the agroforestery volunteer that lives to the south of me. She’ll talk about growing it, and I’ll present poorly drawn representations of eggs and cows to show how much higher the protein content is in a kilo of soy than various other, more expensive options. Good times will be had by all.
I really am feeling excited to get back though. If nothing else because I finally found a good tailor and I just printed off a bunch of cute pictures of dresses from the Anthropologie website that she will make me for $6.