Monday, February 16, 2009

Conges de Noel: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I got to travel to Garoua, capitol of the north province, to celebrate Christmas with some fellow PCVs. We made some delicious food, and also enjoyed some treats that volunteers who recently traveled to the states brought back. We had the Christmas party at Stephanie’s house. Stephanie’s house is actually a room in the back of an école maternelle. So, we sat on preschooler-sized chairs to eat our sugary delights. Our Christmas tree was a brown paper cut out taped to the wall, with ornaments fashioned out of the same brown paper. They also had a white elephant gift exchange (yaannnkee swap!) but I didn’t participate. Some examples of things PC Cameroon volunteers give each other: whiskey sachets, soup packets, toothpaste, and flower pots. After Christmas, we got right back on the bush taxi and headed home to the Adamaoua. It made for a lot of traveling in a short time, and I was glad to finally be home.

For new years, we ate an American meal: cheeseburgers, beer batter onion rings, and green beans. Everything is a close approximation of what it should be. Baguettes stood in for cheeseburger buns. The beef here tastes different and cooks to a lighter shade. Processed cheese is the easiest cheese to find, so they look and taste like slices of Kraft American. The beers are not great, but made some delicious beer-batter onion rings. We had the green beans sautéed with garlic and onion. We could hear the band across the street at the Plaza restaurant, but decided to stay home and watch a movie. Midnight came, we heard some fireworks, and went to bed. Bonne et Heureuse 2009!

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