Thanks to the invention of batteries, I am able to type in my mag lite lit room. The past few days have been full up, downs, and in betweens. The ride from Yaounde was a hoot. Megan and I had quite the time discussing car crashes, cruises/anticruises, along with determining how to pee alongside the road among 12 other PCV’s. Now I can truly understand why wearing skirts is so handy. It was quite the trip, about 5 hours in a hot, sticky bus of love/Pringles and melted chocolates. Upon arrival we all stood with baggage and tow waiting for our families. I have been adopted by family “Toukam Otis”, consisting of my Maman, Papdre, sister Nina, sister Marian, and 2 brothers…which I am currently determining their names without seeming rude. Language barriers pose quite the evenings. Luckily Marian speaks spots of English aiding in my Francais adventures. During the tour of my new home she showed me the freezer, which is pretty impressive. As she opened the lid I noticed a pair of chicken feet and made the mistake of poking at them. Consequently, Nina grabbed them and pulled out a fully plucked frozen chicken…welcome to Cameroon. The home of Toukam is beautiful, more than I ever expected. Running water, electricity (most of the time), a television and full stove. They are very welcoming, patient, and gracious people.
Our crash course in PCT is busy. Classes begin @ 7:30 AM and we’re home by about 5 pm. Language is pretty much the only thing I care about at this moment. Most of the time I feel like that foreign exchange student from American Pie…remember that scene….”Chester cheeto…would you like to…?” uggghhh well that about where I am. Everyday I find small improvements to build off of though. Today I went to lunch with some friends, came home and filtered h20 (yea!), and went to the boutique. My family owns the store downtown in a pretty hoppin’ area. The Saturday market is nearby where you can find almost everything you’ll need in Bangete. The town is situated in a lush green area, which allows for awesome thunderstorms that brings buckets of water from the sky. I was never a fan of cold Oregon rain but there’s something I enjoy about short bouts of warm Cameroonian rainshowers. I’m looking forward to getting thru training and finding out where I may be posted. Though in the meantime I’ll continue to enjoy avacado/laughing cow cheese/eggs sandwiches (400 Franks/CFA…roughly $1), walking to school among beautiful Cameroonian children as they stare at me, learning more essential verbs, and the application of bug spray.
Too good too be true moment: After dinner and “chatting” (mostly one word babbles from me in French/English) to my Cameroonian parents my host Papa offers me wine. I accept. He pulls out a new bottle of vin rouge from the cabinet opens it and we enjoy a glass over photos of his election as mayor of a neighboring village. As I stand to go to bed he tells me to take the bottle Spanish wine, keep it in my room as a gift. Cameroon is that awesome. Abiento, or as a one from Bangante would say: Aleonda!