Monday, June 23, 2003

From one of my former college roommates, Matthew Rip, who is now with the Peace Corps in Cameroon:

I am doing well. The first week in country was pretty boring. we were staying in a hotel in Yaounde and we had meetings and shots and medical interviews at the peace corps office. We were not supposed to go out unless we were going from the hotel to peace corps or back theother direction. We did get an opprotunity to go to a soccor game. It was an exhibition match with the
both sides belonging to the cameroonian national team. we got special
seats on the side of the stadium reserved for special government
officials. toward the end of the second half the people on the opposite
side, in the general admission, got up and moved like flock of birds or a
school of fish towardthe exits. The game was called off and the players
were escorted off the field. Rumor has it that the stadium is built with
a certain amount of give in it and when the stands are full (it was free
admission so there were alot of people there) the staduim moves. The
other rumor is that the staduim is poorly constructed and that is why it
moves. at any rate the people on the lower deck got scared and left in a

I am now in training in Banjoun, it is just south of Bafusam. I am
staying with a host family. when I arrived the mother was in the hospital
and there was a sister and two highschool age brothers in the house. now
that the mother has recovered, the sister has returned to university in
Yaounde. one of the brothers is visiting another older sibling so there
are only 3 of us in the house right now. Many other trainees have
families with a lot of children and some extra adults as well.

Training is going as well as can be expected. I am learning some french
It seems to be a slow process to me, but when I stop to think that I
have had less than 2 weeks of lessons, I guess i am doing alright. I will
most likely be assigned to the southwest province, most of the available
posts are there. There are three math-science posts in francophone
areas, north and east provinces. since all but one of themath science
voluteers started at the "novice low" french level there is some concern
about who will get stuck there. I indicated in my placement interview
that i would be willing to put in the extra effort to learn french, but I
think he had other people in mind for those spots.

I did some laudry the other day. I washed two pairs of pants and a shirt
and that was enough. I gave therest to my brother to do. he did some
yesterday and finished to day. It is so humid here that things take aout
2 days to dry. I offered to pay for the laudry service but he declined.
although he did say he would like some cookies and apples from town,
since I was comming to Bafusam to the cybercafe.

No comments: