I'm currently in Yaounde, the capital, for some massive meetings. I've already been here for almost a week and I've got two more to go! I had a FS/EE (food security, environmental education) meeting (I'm part of the committee) and for the next two weeks I have TOT (training of Trainers) and TDW (training design workshop). Development workers heart acronyms if ya can't tell. Food security was pretty rad. We chatted a lot about a training some of us super dynamic put on in Ngong on nutrition, the benefits of soy and moringa, and fruit drying. We decided we're going to put on a similar training in March when it's hot as the seventh layer of hell here and there are a zillion mangoes. My other two workshops focus on design for the upcoming Peace Corps training. Yes, yes, it's hard to believe, folks, but I'm already a wizened senior volunteer! I'm so wise. It's also really bizarre because I'm on an intense 8 to 5 schedule, which is totally making my head spin. Yeah, so in a couple weeks I'll be heading back to good ol'Bafia to impart my knowledge on all the noobs. I'm signed up to give a presentation on soy/moringa and one of food security. I think I'll also do something on what it's like living in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, no electricity, and no running water.
The Peace Corps office has been totally insane with volunteers because 'tis the season for annual meetings that bring us all back to Yaounde. It's really grand to see some familiar faces I haven't seen in months, but the whole brospeh vibe of the case (the Peace Corps house that we all stay in when we come down for meetings...it's kinda like a mix between a dirty hostel and a frat house) kinda gives me social anxiety...also probably the fact that I'm used to chillin alone in the desert mountains fraternizing with donkeys and lizards and stuff. Did I tell you how I got in a staring contest with a white cow that was stuck in my concession the other day? I got real pissed at him because he was staring at me like all the Cameroonians stare at me--like I'm some kinda foreigner. I then got super irate because the cow was white just like me. I screamed, "you have no right!" and the stomped back in my house...the cow ended up winning the staring contest. It was a low moment for me...maybe I shouldn't be sharing these kinda stories on here to save some face? Yeah...I'm gettin' weird.
So anyway, where was I? Yeah, the Case..it's greeeeat. I have been able to eat some pretty delish meals and have cold drinks, though, which is a nice change from warm water and cous cous and sauce (although I love cous cous and sauce these days). My friends and I actually made lasagna the other day and mojitos! Uhhmazing.
What else? Oh yeah, I've had some really good meetings with the big boss, Sylvie, down here in Yaounde. S
I can't believe power is still out all over Wilton because of this hurricane! I was getting street fish and a beer at the bar last night with my friend and there was an electrical fire at one of the power line transformers right down the road from us. We both thought it was a pretty green firework for fete de Ramadan (the end of Ramadan party), but no, it was just a casual explosion. All the power went out for about ten minutes, but then surprisingly they got it back on. I can't believe Cameroon electrical is one-upping CT power haha.
Oh yeah, I'm also proud to say I fasted for a couple days in Mandama peops. It was pretty hard, but I got through it and ate probably 10X as much at dinner time to make up for my fasting. I have a lot of respect for everyone here that worked out in their fields all day sans food and water. They deserve to eat their faces off today. I'm actually a little bummed I'm down in Yaounde for fete de Ramadan since there's a massive rager in Mandama today...bouille cous cous and folore galore! I miss my buddies. I gotta get outta the south...it's too crazy down here. I miss my chilled out northerners.
Alright, I should probably work on some presentations right now since I've been sitting here watching French music videos for hours. Yaounde is like a big mind vacuum.
Miss everyone and maybe I'll see you at xmas! Yes, yes, I'll be home, so maybe I'll see yaz.
ps-My trip was Joc wuz aaawwwesome, but my hands are too tired, so I don't feel like writing anymore. Check out Joc's pics online, though, because she has a sweet camera. werrrd.