Monday, February 28, 2011

Dschang in Pictures

Basically, the internet was just really hard to deal with in Dschang, so here is a recap of what I’ve been up to since the last post. (Yes it’s long, but there are lots of pictures.)

Living with a fantastic homestay family.

Synthia (15), Guy (24), Mama, Me, Christian (21) and Papa

Pink Bedroom!

Due to frequent shut-offs of running water I also mastered the proper bucket drop required to get water out of the well.

Visiting a traditional Bamiléké Chefferie. This is the place where the traditional chief, his family (which can include many wives and hundreds of children), and his servants all live. This particular Chefferie was actually more modern than I anticipated and along with traditional buildings and art we saw televisions, satellite hook-ups, and a Toyota 4x4. Not to mention that the chief stopped twice during the tour to answer his cell phone. It was definitely a neat opportunity to get a glimpse into how globalization is challenging traditional societies.

Musicians who welcomed us to the chefferie.
All the doorways in the chief’s palace are short so that you automatically have to bow when entering his chambers.

Traditional hut used for ceremonies in a more modernized palace.

The Chief, his tunic is traditional, but his blue jeans and biochemistry degree hint that things are changing even here.

Baking a Cake. After hearing about how cakes in America come in a box, my homestay sister decided to show me how it’s done Cameroonian style. Those of you who have cooked with me know that I love to stir, but this was a whole new level. I’ve never broken a sweat making a cake before, but it was worth it!
The hardest part is keeping a good grip on the bowl with your feet.
Yes, that is a cake in a pot on the stove. Whatever works.
 My homestay sister, me, and two delicious gâteaux!

Visiting Fongo Tongo. After driving for 90 minutes down a road that I never would have predicted could be driven down in certain places, we arrived at a waterfall known for its powers of fertility and healing. It was gorgeous, and it took serious restraint to only post one picture. Later the same day we visited two caves, but couldn’t really go inside because of bats.
Some other SIT students near the base of the waterfall.

The view as we hiked to the cave, which is the dark spot in the center of the picture.

Taking other random pictures.
Cows on the road with the bus, no big deal.

The phone number of a particularly persistent young man after I told him I didn't have any paper.

My homestay brother who was kind enough to carry my EXTREMELY HEAVY suitcase to the bus. Don't know what I would have done without him.

After two weeks in Dschang, I also spent a weekend in Bamenda where the predominant language is pidgin English. I don’t really know much, but I can at least introduce myself. “Ma name na Rachel. I be school pikin for university."
Me on a hill overlooking the city of Bamenda.

Hopefully that was enough to make up for a long time without posting. Love and miss you all.


  1. Very cool! I love seeing all the pictures! Have you tried carrying your suitcase on your head? I want to see that when you return to Philly!!

  2. Hello My darling,
    ah every post is like Christmas! These pictures are lovely and I saw some more from one of your fellow students. Beautiful!!!
    You look healthy and happy. Wow your family is tall,,, kinda makes you the "baby" of the family.
    Only 6 more groups of 10 with a little left over.
    Can't wait to stay up all night hearing every detail. Love you Mom

  3. Rachael, Rachael and Rachael; oh how I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures; 16 to be exact. They are sooo bright, interesting and exciting. You are learning so much and I am quite sure sharing much. The 'breaking into a sweat stirring the cake" was priceless. I feel like I am reading a book with scenes and I can't wait for the next chapter. I love you; we love you and I am looking forward to the excitement when Ma and Dad knight visit the blog later today! Take care my wonderful niece and waiting to turn the next page! :-)