Sunday, September 18, 2011

FIRST there are kids outside the internet cafe singing Rude Boy by Rhianna. Except I doubt they
speak English so they dont really know the words and are most just making the sounds. hahahaaaaaaaaaaa i love it!!

I decided to add mom and dad to this email so they can see whats going on and so I dont have to repeat myself; sorry if parts of it are confusing!!

The food is good; pretty oily, but weve found some good places to eat and I cook for myself a lot. The big thing here is grilled fish. There are literally women on every corner grilling fish over coals; you pick
out the piece you want, she brushes it with some oil and serves it with pimont (spicy pepper condiment) and baton du manioc if you want.The baton is really crazy, its manioc rolled inside a banana leaf and
steamed. I equate it to eating bread or rice with your dinner because it doesnt really taste like anything but its good to dip in the pimont or to eat if you need to cool your mouth down from the spice! There is a market near my house and you can buy fresh produce, we go there everyday to get veges for the day.  For instance, this morning I bought tomatoes, an avocado, and some mandarins before I bought a breakfast sandwiche. Which was delicious, even more so after I added sliced tomato and avocado. The big thing here is also bean sandwiches - straight up red beans cooked with spices and oil and slathered on the inside of baguette bread. I dont eat it every day, but this morning I went for a long run so I was faaaaaaaaaaaamished!!

Its so cool here in Ebolowa, I know it will be different when we leave for the other training center in Bafia; that is in the Savannah, whereas now we are in the jungle. This morning I had a running buddy, he actually ran the whole run with me. We ran up to the top of this mountain where there are really nice views of the city and also some of the surrounding mountains. Ive been running up it the past week - since I discovered how the route to the top. Except Ive been running without glasses and contacts so i cant see too well; but I carry my glasses with me but I think Im getting used to it.

Its pretty interesting because there arent many Amercians in Cameroon, so people are really excited to find out that we arent European. Apparently, the French are pretty rude to the Cameroonians, and they dont like each other too much. The beaches probably have a different dynamic, because that is where the majority of tourists visit here, but there is also a huge game reserve in the North where you can go on Safaris and see the Big Five African animals. Im not sure exactly what those animals are... my guess is Lions, giraffes, um.... hippos perhaps... ?

Keep writing me emails! Im sorry I can only get here once a week - things are so busy around here! We are leaving Ebolowa for Yaounde on friday and then heading to Bafia on next Monday - week from now. Things are happening differently for us than for other trainees because the program I am in is a pilot language program soooo we spent the past four weeks only learning language and then next Friday, the rest of our cohort is arriving from the US and then we will all go together to the training center in Bafia to begin ACTUAL pre-service training. Sometimes it feels a little overwhelming because its not even REALLY begun for us! So a week from tomorrow, i will meet my homestay family and all the trainees will start our technical

OH and we think the goats were killed or sold. There was a soul one hanging around our house the past week, but I think he got bit by a dog because hes really been limping around and no one has seen him the
past few days. Sad.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Our house! The African Assae is paid by Peace Corps to guard our house aka chill with us

My bed! The right one is mine. Like my giant stack of French books to the Left of my canteen?

Our Next door neighbor!! GO COCKS!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy College Football Kick-off!!!

We've been working on french lessons from 8am to noon, taking a lunch break until 1;30 and then more class until 4;30! But its truely amazing how much french you learn with both many hours of instruction and total immersion! Ebolowa is a very pretty town, I think. There are some hills in the distance and because it is the rainy season, the weather has been beautiful!!

We met our neighbors, and played soccer with them today. I was definitely the worst player on my team but I am determined to get better! There are also some goats and chickens that are always wandering by. The billy goat makes really strange noises, at first I was pretty scared when I woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of something shouting/groaning, until we realized it was just the billy goat trying to get it on with a female goat...

Today, my fellow trainee, Ashleigh, and I picked up our dresses from the tailor!! Its so exciting!! I got a long very flowy dress made out of the traditional Cameroonian fabric - it is green, orange, and black in some ziggy wavy pattern. Ill post a picture soon - I forgot to bring my camera with me to the internet cafe!

The rain has been off and on since we arrived here in Ebolowa. It actually really reminds me of Seattle... its pretty much cloudy all the time but its nice because it keeps the temperature so nice. This is the petite rainy season; there are three seasons in this part of Cameroon - a petite rainy, petite dry, long rainy, and long dry.

I am also excited because we met our program trainer, Tiki, who made an EXCELLENT first impression by bringing us chocolate bars (I nabbed a dark chocolate one!) and also buying our beers last night. Oh, and the PCV in Ebolowa showed us to our new favorite bar - Play Boy. How chould it not be the best bar ever? I think that the owners just found a sign from a toy shop that sold Play Boy toys (because the font looks just like Play Dough or some other major toy company in the US).

As for the title of this post, I am so excited for college football even though I cant watch any of it and I probably wont read about it until long after the games are played. I contemplated making Sunday my internet cafe day BUT Cameroon (or this region of Cameroon) sellls their electricity to Eq. Guineq or Gabon on Sunday so the internet wont be on (far worse is the fact that we will not have running water all day) but.... GO GAMECOCKS!!!!