e 1 juillet 2006
And for once I write this real-time. As you're reading, France may
have claimed victory over Brazil...or not...I don't care, I'm still
riding high on Tuesday's beautiful match against Spain. Nationalisic
(**edit, 16 July 2006 - so France lost to Italy in penalty kicks, and Zizou lost control of his head (literally). I'm still exuberantly proud of the matches vs. Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. Vive la France!)
Months march on without regard to days. Travel could be a part of
that. And...no more snakes.
Last week was a PC collaboration in Makak (yes). The PCV there
held a sports camp for 35 kids, ages 10-18ish, and the South, ever
eager for work, went to help. It's a curriculum, Sports for Life,
that uses soccer (*real* football) o teach about HIV/AIDS -
transmission, prevention, goal-setting, stigmatisation, etc, etc.
Then every afternoon there was a match. ..The week was good, hard, exhausting, frustrating, and rewarding. And I will write more but I've completely lost that train of thought.
Le 14 juillet 2006
Afternoon of indulgence and one froisséd piece of paper. Three errands – strike 2 – and enough deranging to make me want to start elbowing the men who touch me. Basta.
Off to the salon de thé (dit "la France") where I bought Skittles (but there are NO M&Ms in this country), Trix, cat food, and pears. Now for lemonade (1500) and a crèpe (vive la France!) On my own national holiday – in honor of which I decided to go register to vote – I forgot that the Embassy would, of course, be closed.
Middle American family one table over – mom, dad, 3 kids – missionaries?
Yaoundé needs to be more than grocery stores and DVDs. A lot of work accomplished ce matin, though – starting at 7:30 am. Yesterday, 6:30.
The waitresses here are dressed much like they would be at Sonic (took me 15 minutes to remember the name).
Waiters are wearing bow ties and black vests. Amazing fresh lemonade. Everything fresh here – we made hummus, tabouleh, salsa, and tortillas last night.
In the States, will I go back to buying tortillas, pita, salsa, guacamole, hummus…well, it's cheaper. Here I can get a few avocadoes for 100F (20 cents).
There – well. People tell me sodas are better here – real cane sugar, as opposed to high fructose corn syrup – but I don't remember.
Anecdote, appropriate. A PCV friend recently went to Paris (where she incidentally saw my aunt). In a nice restaurant, she ate fish with her hands (it makes so much more sense! Can't go back) and spit the bones on the floor.
PCVs aren't uncouth, we're just…integrated.
This family could be at Denny's. It's weird.
Saw the new PCTs yesterday. So young (ok most older than me, but young in Cameroon terms), fresh, enthusiastic. And
clean. They are also Ed/SED, or PCVs with "jobs."
This might be the best club I've ever joined (PC, then RPCVs).
A list of observations, as I'm not
pose enough to write linear narrative.
gas here is the equivalent price in USD. Now compare average Cameroonian salary to average US salary.
Now imagine gas costing $20, $25 /gallon. Taximen turn the engine off when doing downhill.
World Cup/Olympics should be in a developing country. This was discussed last night, and I think it's intriguing.
Outside sponsors would be needed. But it would force corrupt governments to improve (create?) infrastructure, roads, electricity, water, etc. It would help the economy and boost tourism.
And make the 3rd world more part of the world. And Cameroon has mountains, rivers, ocean..
South Africa is hosting the 2010 World Cup (to which I was invited by one of my neighbors) but we here in PC Cam mockingly refer to South Africa as "the Western world."
There is Peace – harder – Corps than this. But not by very much.
Need to buy a phone card sometime. It gets tiring to be contactable.
The 15-year-old daughter of a family I know well is pregnant. I found out a month ago from a list of absences/pregnancies posted outside the lycée—I was afraid to go see her to confirm it.
And it's true, it's true. I don't know how she managed to –not- show in her tight jeans and shirts (she's beautiful and she knows it. This is something I've feared happening for awhile.
In the States would I hate myself for assuming that someone's appearance could cast aspersions on their behavior? Maybe. But here, there seems to be more truth to that.
And the consequences are a hell of a lot more dire). She's huge now. Her mom – a colleague of mine at the hospital, said she's taught her to calculate her cycle.
She brings home condoms and has taught her how to use them. And yet.
She – the daughter – is smart, dynamic, and eloquent. She recited a poem about SIDA (AIDS) at the fête de la jeunesse, in February (was she pregnant even then? Maybe).
I just got undercharged by 1500 for the first time in my life here (undercharged). Happy Bastille Day, indeed. The manager/owner – Greek guy – just came over and asked me for suggestions, how I liked the place, what he could change, do better, etc. Did he come talk to me because I'm young, white, and female (and alone)? Yes. Did he reduce the price? Wondering. Ahh…Greeks in Cameroon. There are a lot, for some reason.