Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Om Nom Nom

As I have previously mentioned, Cameroonians love to eat. They also love it when their American students cook some “nourriture américaine.” And previous students have set the bar high with things like pizza, tacos, and hamburgers. So last night Rebecca, another American student in Dschang for ISP, and I took a stab at it. You might say that French Toast is kind of cheating when it comes to making American food, but everyone says it’s not actually French so why not.

Me and Rebecca manning the stove.

French Toast and a host of toppings, no maple syrup though.

Overall the whole event was a success, but French toast in Cameroon comes with some distinctly Cameroonian challenges.

#1) You can’t buy all your ingredients in one place, and once you have found them you don’t just walk to the car, you have to walk all the way home. It’s amazing how heavy two bags can feel 45 minutes or an hour later.

#2) Cinnamon is practically impossible to find. After searching unsuccessfully for days in stores all over the city, I happened upon a single bottle at the last minute. It was a tiny French toast miracle.

#3) In a country where people use the metric system and no one has measuring cups anyways, an American recipe really doesn’t do much good. Just keep adding until it looks right. (Makes me think of you, mom!)

#4) When the electricity is cut it gets dark pretty early in the evening and it can be hard to judge whether or not French toast is well cooked via flashlight. (Not kidding, this happens moderately often and last night there was no power from 3pm until about noon today. The pictures are deceptive because there was a flash, but we were cooking in the dark.)

Despite all this, it was fun to share a little cuisine with the family and to have a little taste of home. Plus it was super delicious!!

My host dad contemplating after his bite, I think he liked it more than it shows.
Best I ever had, wish I had more!!

No comment.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

At the Chalkboard

Well, it's probably better that I couldn't post pictures the other day, because now I have even more! In the past two weeks I have observed eighteen math lessons and taught one of my own. The teachers and kids have been wonderful and I'm so happy it all worked out. Now I just have to write 40 pages about it...

All the kids use miniature chalkboards. I bought one for myself and it might be my favorite souvenir.

One of the classrooms at the private school.

One of the classrooms at the public school. (They're not all quite this nice.)

That's me...teaching a geometry lesson!!

A shape for every kid, plus a silly band at the end.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go

Since the last post I’ve been busy observing in schools (no teaching yetL), writing my final paper, and trying to soak up all the time I’ve got left here in Cameroon. Here’s what that means in pictures.

Map of Dschang: Since I’ve been here for a combined total of a month now, Dschang is really starting to feel like home. I’ve discovered shortcuts and alternate routes, the best boulangerie, a nice supermarché, and a good place to buy souvenirs. The map I made probably won’t mean much to anyone else, but it’s a great way for me to remember everything I’ve seen here. 

Church: My Dschang family is protestant so I have been going to church with them. It’s a really sweet church and I wish I knew how to duplicate the overwhelming atmosphere of hospitality; it simply wafts over you as you walk through the doors. Last week was Palm Sunday and lots of people had actual palms to wave which was a colorful addition to the singing and dancing that already exists.
The church building. They are currently fundraising to put on an addition because it’s packed every week even with two services.
Inside the church on Palm Sunday.

Market: After church I went with my mom and host sister to the market. It’s a crazy place and you can find everything. Bras, tomatoes, shoes, pineapples, casserole dishes, jewelry, bedroom furniture, green beans: you name it, they’ve got it. (Well except peanut butter, Oreos, milkshakes, and a host of other American foods that I have been craving lately.)
A view of the chaos.

A woman selling spices. My mom identified most everything for me but I really don’t remember.
School: I finished observations in a private school last week, but didn’t get to teach because they were having monthly inspections. This week I’m in a public school and I’ll remain optimistic that all those shapes I cut out were not in vain.

(I had pictures of the school too, but I've been loading them for almost an hour and now I have to go. Blame the super slow internet because you're going to have to wait for another post. Sorry!)