I've really been derelict when it comes to this blog. First post in 2 months and first post with any real substance in 4. Sorry about that. I've been wildly busy over the past three months or so. Organizing the new Peace Corps Trainee training program at TOT/TDW, travelling to Yaounde for mid-service training and health check-ups, three week European vacation with the family and some friends, and then traveling to Bangangte to help train the new class of volunteers. I feel like I've been in my village for 20 minutes for the whole summer.
Where to begin? Well, my trip to Europe was fantastic. I got to see my friends and family for the first time in over a year and obviously that was special for me. I'm glad we did Europe instead of having me fly home because I think it would have been too difficult for me to re-adjust to the United States for a few weeks only to have to re-adjust to Cameroon after I got back. Meeting on the continent was a nice middle ground.
Mom, Dad, Jessi and I hung around London and Paris for 10 days or so. Doing all the touristy stuff like the double-decker red bus tours and such. I had a blast. Dad put us up in two of the nicest hotels I've ever seen. Going from tiny ass Babadjou to 4-star hotel living was such a welcome shock. I forgot how clean life can be. Spending time with the family was perfect. Lots of drinking and eating and arguing: Business as usual, exactly as I'd hoped. It was sad saying goodbye for the second time but it's only for another 10 months or so before I'm home for good, so that tempered the emotions a little.
After the family left, Billy, Kunal, and I went from Paris to Brussels to Amsterdam back to Paris. My lawyers have informed me that it's in my best interest not to discuss Amsterdam in any form that can be catalogued and used against me in future litigation. Sooo... Man, Brussels was awesome! What an underrated city. Quaint and clean and oh-so-cheap after a week in Paris and London. I tasted a beer there that was advertised as having won an international competition as 'The Best Beer in the World.' Obviously, one's a little skeptical after reading such a claim, but I gave it a try. I'm no beer expert, but I can tell you this: It definitely isn't NOT the best beer in the world. I recommend giving Delirium Cafe's 'Delirium Tremens' a taste if you're ever in Brussels.
Oh, another funny thing about Brussels. The metro system is on the honor system. You buy a ticket, but no one checks it. Apparently sometimes they have random inspectors come through and check to see if you have one, but thats it. I love Europe.
- Back to Africa -
Helping with the new training group has been a lot of fun. The new stagieres are incredibly hard working and really make our Ed/SED stage look like a bunch of drunks. They take their work seriously and I have no doubt that they'll do great things for Peace Corps Cameroon. It's sort of funny being in the role of teacher/trainer since I've only been here a year and I'm just now starting to get a grasp of things, but I hope I've been able to give some good tips and make some stagieres feel more comfortable teaching/living in Cameroon. I remember how stressful stage was and in 2008 we were lucky to have some great PCV trainers who were hugely helpful in getting us through the whole 13 weeks in one piece.
Getting ready to take the LSAT at the end of the month in September. This is take two, as last time we tried things sort of fell through on the Cameroonian end so they cancelled the test. With any luck I'll be applying to schools in October and I'll know where I'm going by the time I get home. I'm applying mostly in NYC, but I'll probably also apply to George Washington,North Carolina, and maybe some others depending on my LSAT score. I'll keep you all posted.
Sorry for the long break between posts, I'll try and get back on here again sometime soon. Thanks for reading... and Go Yanks!