It’s been two weeks of this two year adventure and man have things really taken off. I’ve officially started my training, and I’m well on my way to becoming a sworn in Peace Corps Volunteer on December 1. These two weeks have not been without their difficulties, but it has also had some beautiful moments as well. In the interest of your time and my laziness, here’s a quick list things in my life you can laugh at:
The airline forcing you to check your carry on because it’s too heavy at the staggering price of $200. (I hate you Air Brussels)
Sitting at an outdoor police station for 11 hours to get your immigration papers (3 of which were spent sitting in the down pouring rain).
Frying your electric coffee pot ON THE FIRST NIGHT IN COUNTRY.
Your French teacher constantly reminding you that your French sounds like Spanish (can you blame me? I miss you Costa Rica) and you keep saying Spanish words as French ones and that’s not allowed.
Geese are the worst creatures to ever roam this earth. You think a rooster is bad? Get a goose and then talk to me. They bite and they crow all night. Every night.
Falling and eating it in front of a large group of school children. Fun fact, kids are mean and suck in all countries.
Caking mud on every single pair of shoes you own.
Suddenly trying to figure out this whole “no electricity, running water, clean water, internet, and cell phone service” thing.
The doxycycline you’re taking to prevent yourself from getting malaria simultaneously causes you to turn into a tomato after being in the sun for more than 5 minutes.
Making amazing friends on the first day. (Maybe this is just me here, but when your spirit animal is a house cat, making friends is a big deal.)
Being able to form sentences in French after just one week of language classes.
Bringing Pumkin Spice Latte flavored coffee with you so you can pseudo-celebrate fall even though you’re sweating profusely everyday. Oh. And convincing said French teacher to like coffee because you showed her what good coffee should taste like.
Sitting in training lectures and TOTALLY KNOWING HOW TO DO EVERYTHING THEY’RE SAYING. Winking at you Lynchburg College. Who knew my fancy piece of paper would actually be used?
Finally figuring out how to flush your toilet without running water. Trust me, it’s tricky.
Buying fabric and getting clothes tailored; All in French, might I add.
Not getting sick despite eating street food. **maybe my greatest achievement thus far**
The Silver Linings
Unfortunately Cameroon is a very, very patriarchal society. Women have little freedom to be their own person and men often don’t give them the credit they deserve. In my own host home, many of the girls don’t go to school. After talking to one of my host sisters she said, “wow. You have done so much on your own. I want that”. So here’s to all of us PC ladies being bad ass role models and showing every little girl we encounter that they can be more than a mother and housewife if they want.
While the HIV rate in Cameroon is 4.3% of the population, you are now equipping yourself to reduce that number, even if it’s just one person. HEALTH EDUCATION IS REALLY COOL GUYS.
While I may have little access to the internet, which sucks when I want to talk to people back home, I completely escape and skip political debates, celebrity gossip, unachievable body image spam, and general modern world garbage. Yes I am a melinnial. Yes this is possible.
While I’m quite tired of walking all the time, sweating profusely, and eating the same meal everyday (Cameroon is a wee bit lacking in food choice variety), this is the best diet I’ve ever been on. I feel so much healthier and that’s pretty cool.
I hope this update put a smile on your face, and also alerted you that I’m alive and well. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions! And if you’re feeling extra supportive, drop a post card/letter to this address:
Peace Corps Trainee
Corps de la Paix
B. P. 215