Just a quick update before heading back to the bush tomorrow morning. I'm actually at the Peace Corps office in Yaounde after an amazing trip to Italia with Brian. I've never eaten so much cheese, pork (yeah I live with all Muslims), and gelato in my life, which is saying a lot beacuse I'm obsessed with food. Obh yeah, I also drank "vino de la casa" whenever I had the chance...which was about every five minutes. The art was also super sweet. I mean, Italy is like an outdoor museum, so I feel like I got my culture on even out on the streets. Venice was by far my favorite part. The city reminded me of a mix between Nantucket, New Orleans, and the video game Monkey Island. It has this kinda sweet creepy Halloween vibe because of all the crooked streets, old awesome buildings, and murkey canals. It also smells like the ocean, which was indeed a treat for my sea faring senses. Bri and I found our new house down some back alley that I am going to buy on my super comfy Peace Corps salary. Keepin the dream alive. Oh yeah, we also randomly saw John Malcovich and Rick Stevens strolling in Florence, which was pretty rad. Yes, seeing John swagger down the cobblestones with his cane was pretty unreal, but Rick Stevens was even cooleer because we were in the midst of studying his tour book on Italy when we saw him. We even got his signature in our travel book and I got a great picture of him with Bri. So hilarious.
I'm in a serious state of culture shock right now, but I'm not sure if it's because I am still soaking in the fact that I was in the developed world where literally everything is at your disposal, or if it's because I'm back out of it so quickly. The trip just feels like an awesome methloquin dream at this point. It is kinda cool, though, that when my plane landed back here in Cam I felt like I was coming home...I feel like my vacation is over and it's time to get back to work. I guess that means I'm really starting to get used to my new life here. Apparently, I'm also getting used to the oppressively hot climate since I found Italy to be insanely cold. All I brought were tank top dresses and sandals. Thank God, Brian hooked me up with some of my old clothes, which were mucho needed. I also realized while in Euroland that my Cameroonian money is like manopoly cash; aka worthless outside of the boardgame my life has become. I couldn't find anywhere to exchange my billz in Italy, except for with some sketchy Senegalese dudes selling fake Prada on the street, which Brian luckily convinced me not to dabble in. I mean, I'm used to bargaining on the street at this point. Thatz how we do here in Africa.
So yeah, I miss the developed world and I really miss Brian, but it's time to get back into the swing of things. I'm hoping to get a well built at the health center in my town and a basketball court built at the high school this year. I have to somehow write another budget and find a geologist to help survey the lands where I want to build, which should be pretty entertaining. More stories to come I'm sure. I'm also going to continue work on my soy and moringa stuff and focusing on the importance of good nutrition. I actually got elected for the "food security" committee, which meets a couple times of year here in Yaounde to discuss best practices. I'm going to Bamenda (a city in the English speaking part of the country) in August to help with a camp a fellow volunteer is putting on sustainable energy and food, so that should be cool. Apparently, there are also strawberries in Bamenda, which is something to look forward to.
Jocco is coming in June too, so we'll have a grand old time. It'll be hilarious to see how she reacts to this absurd land.
Alright, I gotta get packing for my massive trip back up north tomorrow. Stay classy, America.