Sunday, January 4, 2009

midpoint of training: site visit

19 July 2008

I won't be sending as detailed updates as I had originally hoped in these first few months. Once I move to my post and can set up house, I’ll try to get internet and you will be sick of hearing from me. Until then, I’m at the cyber cafe, getting all sorts of weird maladies from the public keyboard. Actually, I’ve yet to get sick here.

I visited my post last week. I’m in Ngaoundéré, the provincial capitol of Adamaoua. I’ve already gotten some mail here (thanks Mom, and Mary) but I received some letters out of order. I was able to see my house on my visit. I have electricity and running water, albeit cold water. Since I’m in the capitol, I can basically get whatever food I want. Adamaoua is known for raising beef, and most of the fruits and veggies of southern Cameroon come up on the train. (I will leave the train story for another time, look forward to it). So as far as Peace Corps goes, I’m living in the lap of luxury. I have three postmates--Sam (she met me and showed me around on my visit). Stacy lives at the Peace Corps regional house, which is a five minute walk from my house. Michelle is a small enterprise development volunteer from my training class who will live in Ngaoundéré too. In addition to the volunteers already at post, there are also four other volunteers from my class and program in Adamaoua, and six more throughout the rest of the grand north. Hence, I don't expect to be lonely for Americans very often.

I’ve started learning Fulfulde, in addition to French. It makes me miss cognates, but its fun to play with. I won't have to speak it much because the education system is in French, but I would like to use it in the market and on the street. The first word I learned in Fulfulde was "nasara," which means "la blanche," or "white girl."

My school is a five minute walk from my house too. They have a lab of sixty computers, which is amazing. It’s the basic equivalent of high school, and I’ll be teaching computer literacy.

I’m having a pretty awesome time, despite a few bad days. I do lack news: both the newspaper kind, and updates on your lives. Don’t forget to tell me when you get a job, etc. Once I take some pictures, I’ll send the choice ones along to you guys. So far Cameroon is a beautiful place, though it's the rainy season, so the mud is a little overwhelming.

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