Thursday, October 18, 2012


When I had my first interview for the Peace Corps, I remember thinking when hearing about the lack of privacy I should expect that it couldn't possibly be true. How is it acceptable to have kids just look at you through your windows and stare? Or if they are even more annoying yell your name constantly until you respond or they get tired; the latter of the two is normally it.

I feel bad for celebrities and zoo animals because that is my life. People gawking at you all day or if they get enough courage actually coming up to say hello. The worst is when people touch my hair or stroke my arm. Its weird, but in an even weirder way I understand. I look different; I dress different; I act different. 

Some days it gets to me more than others. It doesn't bother me when I get invited into a "hair salon" and the hair dresser just wants to touch my hair or when little kids exam my hands and are puzzled by the freckles. I am still not a fan of kids staring at me through the windows though. 

I was traveling back to Meiganga and my car stopped to pick up passengers in this small town in the middle of nowhere Cameroon. It was market day there which happens once a week. As soon as I get out of the car to stretch my legs, almost instantly a group of 15 young boys crowds around me. They sat staring at me with their jaws dropped saying nothing; no hellos, just stares.

As I am writing this and reflecting on my first Peace Corps interview I am laughing inside. I now understand what it means to have no privacy, people searching through your trash to find what the white has thrown away, or having a group of kids join you on your run. 

On va faire comment? What are you going to do about it?