Thats What She Said

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

*1st They Slaughtered A Goat, And Then The White People Danced November 25, 2008

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 8:27 am

* This one goes out to my number 1 fan…Miss Jessica “Haricot Vert” Tharrington.

(Also, what follows will be schizophrenic. I apologize. But its this or nothing.)

Many, many things have happened in the last couple of weeks. I dressed up like a California Raisin.

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I spent a week looking at things like this:

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I had my fortune told by a man and his crab:

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I watched Obama win:

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I saw my new house, and it has a hot water heater. Hot water! Water that has been heated! Whenever I want it! People, I was just hoping for a toilet.

I went for a site visit to my new post. (It’s official! I’m moving from The Kong to The Dong in January!) I met my new co-workers, saw my new house, ate jama jama 87.4 times, and generally reveled in the fact that I was speaking English. (Jama jama is this leafy green veggie business you eat with fufu corn…I’m not sure that makes in any clearer…I’ll make T-Bone photograph it and tell you about it. It’s delicious.) I’ll be working with an NGO (rather than a government run health center) who’s mission is to improve the lives of families in the area. They do everything from marriage counseling to HIV trainings au village, but really the point is that they DO WORK. They are all incredibly motivated and made me feel very very welcome.

After site visit I said good-bye to Fundong until January and headed down to PCV Seth’s village (Mr. Sech to his villagers) for his Cultural Festival. I wish I could convey to you how hard this kid worked, and what an amazing event he pulled off. Actually, I can’t really. So here’s a bunch of photos…

Me with the Fon (a very high-up traditional leader in the NW province):

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I drank palm wine at a death celebration with Andy and Megan:

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I danced with my homies, right after a goat was slaughtered:

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The whole idea of the festival was to exchange our cultures. The Americans generally made asses of themselves, while the Cameroonians looked on in…awe?

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I have to run out and teach a group of American Boy Scouts about nutrition at my country directors house. I’m not sure why, exactly, but we’ve been promised rewards, so I’m all in.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

 

I’m Movin’ On Up! November 4, 2008

Filed under: *Daily — thats what she said @ 9:13 am

So, those of you following along with my lame little existence here en afrique may have noticed a trend in my writing (that is, when I can be bothered to write). The work–its um, difficult to find/do/maintain/makes me want to punch myself in the face. And so I decided to be pro-active (this is the word I’ve chosen to alleviate the guilt I feel for abandoning my fellow Southies) and asked to be switched to a different post. I assumed the process would be horrendous, and went into talk to my boss armed with approximately 86,762 reasons why I needed to get the &#%@ out of my village, but instead she was amazingly receptive and within 3 minutes of me mentioning my desire to move asked me that most golden of golden questions: “How would you feel about moving to an anglophone province?” How would I feel about being able TO SPEAK ENGLISH TO PEOPLE ALL THE TIME EVERYDAY WHEN EVER I WANT TO USE WORDS? Um, yes please, that sounds delightful. (And people, its not just English–its Pidgin English, which means I get use such delightful phrases as “belly done flop” when I’ve eaten my fill, “I done spoiled her” after I’ve impregnated a women, and “catch booby” every time I refer to my bra, which I do constantly.)

If all goes according to plan I will be moving to a place called Fundong (yes, possible the only name that could equal Ngoulemakong in gloriousness) in the beautiful North West province. Its not 100% for sure yet, and I’m probably jinxing myself by even writing this, but I’m so unbelieveably excited that I have to share it. The move is scheduled for January. Happy New Year me!!

In other news, Jess and I took a trip up to the Extreme North Province. Highlights include–but are not limited to–the following:

  • Buying the equivalent of an entire cow’s worth of leather goods
  • Buying a snakeskin purse (Classy!)
  • Buying shoes
  • Buying 743 meters of loud African cloth
  • Buying a bowl
  • Buying a tiny brass hippo
  • Buying traditional gourds to be worn on my head to indicate my marriage status
  • Buying a bell (Fellow PCV Dave would like you to know that he loves bells!!)
  • Having my fortune told by an old man who talks to a crab
  • Walking to Nigeria
  • Getting EXTREMELY upset at a fish vendor who refuse to give me the 100 CFA (approx 22 cents) she TOTALLY FUCKING OWED ME
  • Eating salad!!
  • Attending a Halloween party dressed as 1 of 3 California Raisins

It was a great time. There was a train involved! With beds! Which is a good thing because once you get on that train you don’t get off it for 17 hours. Then you get on a ‘bus’ for another 8 hours. Travel here is so relaxing!

I’m here in Yaounde now for meetings, (and the elections!!!!) and am heading back to post on Thursday for a couple weeks. At the end of November I’m going to take part in a Cultural Festival (again in the magical NW) where I will be singing with the band. Ha! I’ve been told DVDs will be made available. Don’t worry, I’ll still talk to you when I’m famous.

Barack the Vote!!!