Yeah, it’s official. I’m in the Peace Corps. I realized it yesterday night when I got home from Pierre’s (a local market/bar where the PC trainees get drinks after training sessions) and jumped in the shower. Am I officially in the Peace Corps because I’m bathing out of a bucket? No. Is it because there’s no water heater and I shower in cold water? No. It’s official because halfway through my shower, I noticed there was a chicken and three chicks in the bathroom with me. Let me repeat that. I showered with a chicken. Somewhere between lather and rinse, I hear a “BICKAWWW” from next to the toilet. Lo and behold, there is Mama Hen and three little babies. I just burst out laughing and started to chase them around the bathroom naked like a madman.
So as you’ve clearly noticed, I DO have internet access in Bangangte, even though I thought I wouldn’t. I should be able to update this thing and upload some pictures once a week or so, maybe a little less. But that’s good news. This village is so unbelievable I’ll have a lot to write about.
My host family is fantastic. My dad is an Economics Teacher, my mother sells phone cards, and there are four children that are unbelievably adorable and hilarious. They all love American music (Akon, Beyonce, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown) and they dance to the music DVDs that they have just about every night. My mother’s brother, Jacque, lives with us as well. He’s 20 years old and extremely friendly. Everyone, especially Jacque and Kevin (the oldest child), is patient with my weak French. We played Uno together the other night for like two hours and I’ve started to teach Jacque how to play chess. The latter was extremely difficult considering I know about six French words. Four of which being “Je ne comprende pas.”
Bangangte in general is gorgeous. It’s extremely green and very temperate. From about 11 AM to 2 PM every day it gets very hot but during the night its extremely comfortable. When it rains, the roads turn into EXTREMELY sticky red mud that sticks to your shows like glue. I’ve been paying the kids in candy to clean my shoes on rainy days, as its extremely important culturally to have clean shoes at all times. In fact, all of the Cameroonians dress nicely (think business casual) at all times. In the States, dress is about individual expression. Here, its about respect for others and your community. It’s a bit of a hassle getting ready every morning, but its kind of a nice feeling being well dressed all the time.
So I'll probably be updating this thing on Sundays or Mondays. So check back. Im about to try and upload some pictures but the internet CRAWLS here so I dont know if its going to work. Otherwise, I'll see you Sunday.