As my 1 year mark quickly approaches, I decided to read how far I have come by re-reading my old blog posts. Let me updated my dedicated followers.
Fish. I am still not a huge fan of fish, but I will eat it. I will not eat the head, the eyes or the tail, but I want to try the fins because I hear that they taste like chips. I was at the US Embassy in Yaounde last weekend and I was offered fish and given a fork and knife. I tried using the knife and realized that I have only ever eaten fish with my hands. So I switched my tools for eating and was then called "villageois" by a gentleman from Nigeria.
Bush Meat. I found out 6 weeks after living with my Host Family what type of bush meat I was eating; hedgehog. It tasted like beef but with a lot of little bones. Right now is termite season, so I am trying to get the courage to eat some. People say that they are delicious. The next thing on my list, which is a huge honor, is to it Boa aka snake. Where I live, women are not allowed to eat certain meats, and boa is one of them. So to be offered a dish is a huge honor and I will not be able to say no.
Toilet Situation. I have a "Western Toilet" as they like the call it here and I HATE IT! A latrine, a hole in the ground, is much cleaner when you do not have reliable water. Sometimes I have dreams of having a latrine. Life would so much easier. But another I have learned along the way, is always travel in skirts. That is because when you have to go and there is no latrine your only other option is to ease yourself on the side of the road and pants would expose you too much, you can hide yourself better with a skirt.
Work. I am all over the place with work, but I have found that my favorite type of work is teaching groups how to make new things to sell or just to improve their daily life: lotion or American style cakes. Right now I am working on making soap and learning how to infuse oils to improve the quality of the soaps and lotions. My next goal for the upcoming school year is to do a training with Primary School Teachers who do not make that much, around $140 a month, on how to make their own products so that they can save money throughout the year.
I still work with my group in the next village over. In the next few months I am going to be working with their kids, about 30 kids or so, to introduce "Piggie Banks" to them. When I first explained the concept to their moms, their were shocked that kids in the States save money! They demanded, in a nice and enthusiastic way of course, that I teach their kids!
The most important thing I have learned with work is that things do not always go as planned. I was and still am passionate about doing the Women's Rights and Empowerment club to educate women of the community about issues going on in the world, but it just did not work out. I am sad about it, but I still have another year to see if I can do something with that project idea. Also, the kids candy business failed because the boys kept eating their candy. It was a good learning lesson for them about a business and for me as well: giving candy to 5 kids under the age of 15 and expecting them not to eat their candy was ridiculous on my part, but we had fun in the process.
If anyone has anymore questions for me shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you in emails and letter forms. It makes the bridge between Cameroon and the United States just a little bit smaller. Thank you for all of your support over this past year. I cannot wait for what year 2 has in store for me!