Sunday, January 17, 2010

Moving and Movies

This morning I watched Julie and Julia. After two minutes I thought that I was going to get very tired of Meryl Streep’s Julia Child impression, “oooohh… Bon Appetit,” but I settled right in quickly. I can imagine sitting in a Parisian restaurant with Julia Child and being embarrassed at how loud she was, but her enthusiasm for life and delight at all things would more than make up for it.

I’ve become a stronger cook since being here: out of necessity, since I don’t like being hungry, and the practicality of filling a few hours in the kitchen. (Which, since moving, my kitchen is just another room with my stove and shelves in it… dishes are washed in the shower). The drawback of trying to improve my chef skills in Cameroon is the unavailability of ingredients. I keep watching Julie and Julia both melt butter and whip cream, which is impossible here. (Truth be told, I can get most ingredients like that in Ngaoundéré, but the cost is prohibitive). My consolation is eating homemade birthday fudge for breakfast while viewing the film. I brought half the ingredients back from my stateside vacation; the reason for my long hiatus from this blog. This is the most decadent thing I’ve eaten in Cameroon, though fudge would be a contender for the most decadent food anyone has ever eaten.

So, as I’ve already mentioned, I’ve moved! I’m still in my original city, but on my third house. The new house is actually one big house that was divided into three apartments, one of which is for me and Honey. We have a bedroom, a living room, a modern bathroom (running water in sink, shower and toilet… though no water heater), a third room which is the kitchen/sewing room, a great porch, and big yard. I hired a guy to build a small piece of wall to cut off my section of yard from the rest of the compound. A twenty foot high concrete barrier walls off the house and yard from the street. There’s a couple living in one of the other apartments with their toddler, and the other apartment is rented by a man who works somewhere else and keeps it to stay in Ngaoundéré occasionally. We also have a guard, who lives in a single room with his family at the entrance to the compound. He has a young male dog, which has fallen in love with Honey. It’s good she has company, but she’s used to playing with Buddy, who is twice her size. She is twice this dog’s size, so she wins and knocks him down the steps. He also chases her around the yard, but she’s built like a greyhound and wins that game too. His name is something like Matson, but I’ve just been calling him Pup.

Since my new house is a bit of a walk from downtown, where I used to live and still work, I’ve been biking in to use the internet and see visiting volunteers. I’m really enjoying the added exercise to my routine. I’m here en ville at the moment posting this blog, but next I’ll bike home and try to poach an egg, since they are so cheap here (75 cfa or 15 cents per egg) and I won’t feel guilty when I screw up a few times.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Carol! I'm glad you're blogging again. I just had to comment this time that it is very eerie that we both blogged about "Julie & Julia" this weekend. I just saw it on blog is "" if you're interested. Keep writing and safe travels! :)