Friday, July 11, 2008

Fission Mailed

So the trip to my post was less than stellar. That's not to say there's anything wrong with the village. I haven't seen enough of it to make any kind of judgement call. The school itself is nice looking, but I didn't really spend any time in the village itself. I left Bangangte around 8 AM and arrived sometime around 10:30. Me and my counterpart headed to the school, we met the principal and left from there. Then we met the Sous-Prefet of my village. Here's the thing about Sous-Prefets, though. I can't really think of a position in the united states that compares to it, really. It's sort of like a Vice Mayor, of sorts. But anyway they all look strike me as Bond villains. Super well-dressed, very soft spoken, and very intimidating. You'd get what I mean if you met one. The Sous-Prefet was, in fact, very friendly and helpful. When the principal told him he wanted help finding me a house, he sort of laughed and said that was going to be a big problem. As I've heard from others, there is very little housing in my village. Pretty much everyone that teaches/works there lives in Mbouda (very large city about 15-20 minutes away) and commutes to work every day. I was under the impression that I was going to do exactly the same thing, but apparently not. Anyway, they said they'd do their best to find me a house with running water (very rare in my village) and that they wanted to furnish it for me. Hopefully that'll work out. After that we met the head of the Gendarmerie (sort of like police, but military). Then we were supposed to meet the Chief but he was out of town. All of this was finished by about 12:30. After that, we did NOTHING. And by after that, I mean until Friday morning when I left. My counterpart left for Baffoussam to take care of some things, and my principal was very busy. I basically spent 80% of my time alone in my hotel in Mbouda, alone. Not exactly super fun. Hopefully once my housing arrangements get squared away, I'll be able to go back for a day or so and give things another look. We'll see.

Travelling to and fro in Cameroon is hilarious though. There are a few formal transportation companies where you can go to an office and buy a ticket, but that's kind of expensive. Basically what you do is strap on your backpack and stand near a gas station. Within 2 minutes 10 different guys try to drag you into their random cars telling you they'll take you where you want to go. You just pick the one that looks the least drunk and jump on in. On Wednesday I drove in a van the size of a Windstar. The driver was going roughly 140 KPH. I have no idea what that is in MPH but it felt fast as hell. It wouldn't have been as frightening if there hadn't been 23 people in the van with me. 23. That's two football teams and a referee. The first day, I had an elderly woman sitting in my lap. Sweet lady, smelled of palm wine. Two days later I rode in a civic-sized car with 12 people. For that trip, I had a middle-aged man sitting on my lap. Not as friendly, still smelled like palm wine. Whatever, don't be a b*tch about it.

I'm back in Bangangte now, and its wild how I've already started to think of this town as home. I was so relieved to get back here. Hopefully after a month in Babadjou I'll feel the same way about it. We'll see though. Sadly I have no pictures of my trip, as I was too bummed out to take anyway and also I didn't feel like getting mugged for taking out my camera in too crowded of a place. Babadjou and Mbouda are really gorgeous though, near the mountains and if you get a clear view the countryside is really breathtaking.

That's all for today. Lot's of lesson planning to do this weekend. Model school starts on Tuesday. We observe classes the first week, and begin teaching our own lessons on tuesday. I will be shaping the youth of a nation. May God have mercy on their souls.

PS - Jessi. I miss you. Come to Cameroon. You're small. Mom and Dad can ship you UPS. You might want to get some shots before you leave, though. There is all kinds of ridiculous crap here that can/will kill you. Seriously, Jess. I miss you like crazy and I don't know why I'm using a public forum to say it but whatevs. Tell Mom and Dad to get ready to take you to France next June. I'm not kidding. We're all meeting there. Mom and Dad in Europe are going to be hilarious. I bet $50 Mom breaks something in the Louvre. Another $50 Dad beats up a mime. Love you, talk to you soon!


Anonymous said...

first: jeff feagles's son is going to come punt at carolina. thought you'd be interested.

second: i had a dream the other night that me and andres and kunal set chris up with a FAT chick and then i dreamed that i told you about it, so i thought i should anyway.

third: i stopped through chapel hill last night and got to go to monty's. we raised a glass to you.

fourth: i've got dc all explored and stuff. it's too bad i'm going to be studying every minute of my life forever because it's a cool ass town. i already signed up for a kickball team, which apparently is more of a drinking team with a kickball problem, so that should be awesome. speaking of why i love dc, try this one on- one of meagan's new roommates works for a non profit that promotes patrick henry's memory. that's someone's job! how awesome is that!? that's not a real job anywhere but DC, but they pay her to do that! hahaha, hilarious

i miss you dude, hope you're still havin fun

dabjrb said...

Jimmy, It's like you forgot everything we taught you!! You do not get into cars with strangers, especially 23 of them. The odds are pretty good one of them is a psycho! Can't you catch a cab or a bus?
What is it I am going to break, a bone or a piece of art work? WISE GUY!
Well it is 4:30 and I am going to call you at 5:00 so I will harrass you some more then.

Love and miss you, Mom

Kunal said...

ive been on the roof of a jeep for about a 30 min drive.

so i win...until you beat that... which i imagine you will very very soon.

tell me how your lesson planning is goin - remember the more you write, the more your gonna forget. thats something they never told me. keep it short, if you can't remember all your teaching wihtout writing it down then you shouldnt be teaching that much.

i got more tidbits of teaching advice, but it mostly has to do with rambunctious sixth graders.

Christopher said...

Billy, you didn't mention that it was Kunal that set me up with this fat chick. That makes a lot of sense.

cmox said...

European Vacation -- the Griswald's meet the Brownings :) Take Care, Jim xoxo Aunt Crissy

Anonymous said...

dude, your whole friday post thing is totally screwing me up

Christopher said...


dabjrb said...

Jimmy, Jessi and Justin went to see Dark Knight last night! She said it was fantastic! I might have a connection, you might be able to see it before you come home!!!!

Love, Mom