Saturday, January 15, 2011


My countdown clock is dwindling and my empty suitcase will soon be filled. Before I go, I hope this answers some of the questions about what I'll actually be doing in Cameroon.

A street scene in Cameroon, picture from the SIT website.

It is called study abroad so there will be some schoolwork involved in my semester. Through the School for International Training my main course will be a thematic seminar focusing on topics like women, minorities, and religion in Cameroon. My other traditional course will be a French language class. The rest of my credits will come from an independent research project during the last four weeks of the program. Based on my major at Hope, I have chosen to research primary math education and I look forward to spending time in a Cameroonian school.

While I am in Cameroon I will be living with three or four different homestay families as we move around the country. The opportunity to live with families (as opposed to in dorms) was one of my favorite aspects of the SIT program and many returning students cite their homestay experiences as the best part of the semester.

Me, my personal mosquito sleeping tent, and all my luggage. Packing light!!

From what I've heard, meals in Cameroon consist of ___________ and sauce: rice and sauce, yams and sauce, couscous and sauce. Despite the possibility of breaking my "I don't see it before I eat it" rule, I'm looking forward to entering a new world of cuisine.

Ndolé, a bitterleaf stew that is the Cameroonian national dish.
I have gotten a lot of questions about how I will stay in touch during my semester abroad. Of course, the whole reason I started this blog was to create a convenient way to share stories and experiences with friends and family at home. I'm relying on this to be my main form of communication and can't promise prompt attention to facebook/email. I will have some internet access and students from previous semesters say Skype is a life saver. If you want to send something to me I will have a snail mail address in Cameroon (shown in right sidebar). I love receiving letters at home and I'm sure that feeling will be multiplied overseas, just be forewarned that mail can be slow and unreliable so don't send anything valuable.

That's about all I know right now. As much as I've researched the program and stalked the photo albums/blogs of previous students, there is an element of uncertainty about what I'm walking into. Right now I'm living in a state of eagerly nervous anticipation. Sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy for signing up for this, but at the same time I can't imagine doing anything else.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! You are so thorough in your descriptions. Sounds like it will be a great semester, and I'm excited to hear stories. Are you REALLy packing in just that duffel bag and backpack? Yikes!