Since I’m still in the midst of my semester in Cameroon, it’s hard to really step back and see the impact it’s having on me. However, there’s already some evidence that I haven’t been in Holland or Doylestown for the past two and half months.
Fruit Salad, Yummy! Yummy! For those of you who are unfamiliar, that is a direct quote from the Wiggles. However it perfectly describes the past few weeks in which I have discovered (maybe rediscovered) the deliciousness of both bananas and pineapples. Two fruits that I never would have eaten prior to Cameroon have become daily treats and I can’t wait to continue the trend at home. Although here I buy a bunch of bananas for 20 cents on the street; I think it’s a little different at Meijer’s. (Another food that has recently been removed from the Do Not Eat List: mushrooms.)
|It's hard not to love food when it's this beautiful. The squash type vegetable has become my favorite after school snack and/or breakfast item.|
Parlez-vous français? Oui, bien sûr ! C’est vrai que j’ai connu un peu de français avant d’arriver au Cameroun, mais au début du semestre je n’avais pas beaucoup de confiance avec cette langue. Aujourd’hui, même si je ne suis pas parfait, je m’exprime avec aisance et je parle couramment le français. Quand je retourne aux États-Unis, je vais manquer l’opportunité de parler en deux langues chaque jour.
(Do you speak French? Yes of course! It’s true that I knew some French become coming to Cameroon, but at the beginning of the semester I didn’t have much confidence with the language. Today, even if I’m not perfect, I can express myself with ease and speak pretty smoothly. When I return to the United States, I will miss the opportunity to speak in two languages every day.)
|I actually beat my brother at Scrabble in FRENCH!! But I had lots of help too.|
Brrr….It’s “Cold” in Here. It is a well known fact in Cameroon that Dschang is cold. During my first trip here I didn’t really believe that and found the climate to be rather pleasant. Apparently I have done a little adjusting to the heat since then; one morning last week I woke up and thought to myself “Wow, it sure is cold today. I’ll have to wear long pants and maybe even my jacket.” Upon looking at my travel clock/calendar/thermometer I realized it was 71 degrees. I don’t know what I’m going to do about Michigan winters next year.
|Another "cold" day in Dschang.|
It’s soooo far away. Last semester I might have used that phrase to describe the distance between Phelps and the Science Center. Now I have to walk around the corner to get bread for breakfast, up the hill (which I previously classified as a mountain, in another perspective change it has since been downgraded) and into town for internet access, and at least 45 minutes to get to the school where I want to observe next week. None of those distances seem far anymore and I actually appreciate that a pretty decent about of walking is an unavoidable part of my day.
Married with Children. Since arriving in Cameroon I have received several marriage proposals and countless cat-calls, the same as any other white female. Most recently, I was approached by a prison guard who apparently has been watching me walk past on my way to/from town every day. He “declared his sentiments” towards me and wondered if I would be willing to stay here in Cameroon with him. Now that I’m by myself most of the time proposals have increased and it’s become easier to just tell people I’m married, especially since I wear a ring on that finger anyways. When having a husband isn’t enough sometimes I throw in a kid or two to make things more legitimate.