Sometimes, I just don’t know how we manage to pass so much time. Last week we weren’t necessarily busy, but now I am realizing we haven’t written a blog post about the day to day in a long time. So, here it is, a long and overdue update.
Last week, our week was mostly centered around the election. We had a smaller group of friends over for a results-watching night, and we very much enjoyed ourselves, and the results! We managed to find a projector, and streamed NBC’s coverage onto the wall to watch the results come in. We had made our own state by state map of the electoral college and enjoyed coloring in the states as they fell red or blue. To top it all off, we had red and blue jello shots (thanks Mom and Dad!), and it was quite the patriotic night. We got a few good laughs every time the NBC anchors were saying how it was going to be a long night, as for us, results didn’t start coming in until 2am and Obama’s reelection wasn’t announced until 530am. We went to be happy, as the roosters were signaling the start of the next day. We are pretty sure it is an election we wont soon forget.
After recovering from an all-nighter, the rest of the week was spent pretty low-key. We had a lot of loose ends to finish up, Peace Corps project proposals, working on our Community Needs Assessment, and sending off some overdue emails. The week managed to escape us, time in Cameroon seems to be both slow and fleeting at the same time.
This last weekend we traveled to Batie, a small village in the West region, the post of one of our friends and fellow PCVs. It was her birthday last week, and she was having a wine and cheese party — friends from our training group, wine, and cheese, all somewhat of rare items! We had a great time chatting, sitting around a fire, and of course, indulging on red wine and blue cheese. The unfortunate part of the weekend, although it allowed for another Cameroonian first, is Shaun was in a minor moto accident. Motorcycles are, by far, the most common method of transport and our friend’s house is about a mile form the main area of shops in her village. Shaun and another friend were kind enough to leave the party to go get spaghetti and tomatoes so we could throw together dinner, and on the dirt road on the way into the shops, the moto skidded out and Shaun’s knee took the brunt of the fall. Thankfully, it wasn’t much worse! (Mom and Linda, if you are reading this, he is fine, you don’t need to worry!). It was definitely a bummer, and he is hobbling around the house and will most likely be spending the week reading or watching TV shows. We got antibiotics today to stop any infection and pain meds, so hopefully the combination of the two will do the trick and it will heal fast.
While last week wasn’t that busy “work” wise and we had lots of free time, this week is looking to be the opposite. Today, we had a meeting with an association in town that we are beginning to form a strong relationship with. The purpose of the meeting was to figure out what we could do for World AIDS Day, which is quickly approaching on December 1st. Her association works with women and children on the poorer and under-resourced side of the scale, so we are going to organize a day camp of sorts for the kids on World AIDS Day — we’ll chat about AIDS, HIV, how its contracted, and play a few games that we learned in training to enforce the lesson. It should be a good time, and we are very excited to have plans for the day. Shaun was supposed to go, and of course when Madame Claudine, the president of the association who we are working with heard Shaun was MIA due to the moto, she offered a million and one things to try and help him.
Tomorrow, Tuesday, I am co-leading a training on how to make soap at the hospital with a group of HIV+ patients. Soap, a necessity for dishes, showers, and laundry, is pretty expensive for the average Cameroonian budget. Making it, like making dinner at home vs. eating out, saves families a bit of money, so I am going to show them how to make soap, either to sell to friends to earn money or to use as a cost saving measure for their own families. Right after the training, I am learning how to dye fabric with wax stamps, I am so excited! Pictures to follow on that one for sure!
Wednesday, my Peace Corps program manager is spending the day in Nkongsamba, seeing our post, the sites, and hearing how we are doing and what our “work” is like. Thursday, as always, is Shaun’s Business English class at the university…so, for having ample free time and no scheduled meetings or plans last week, this week is quite full and busy for us!
While this blog post was long, thanks for hanging in there and reading it! This week, we have heard from a few different friends, that they enjoy reading our blog, and it is nice to know that our ramblings are being enjoyed. It is also a great outlet to be able to share our thoughts, project hopes, and daily life here. We so love getting emails and mail, so keep it coming! We are doing well, trying to find a creative way to spend Thanksgiving (waterfalls maybe!?), and are enjoying the busy-ness of this week.