I am currently living with my host mom and dad in the city of Bafia with no running water and inconsistent electricity. My host parents, who do not speak any English, have agreed to teach me how to kill a chicken next week! We live in a cluster with three other large families and their Peace Corps children. I have been deeply moved by everyone’s extreme generosity despite their impoverishment. Cameroon may be one of the poorest countries in the world, but by no means is it defined by the images of famished children many of us see in Newsweek. Still, when the heartbreaking statistics taught in our technical training classes, such as an 88% unemployment rate, (95% in rural areas) do overwhelm me, and I am very grateful to have my host parents who constantly remind me that there is always laughter. And there is always hope.
samedi 1 octobre 2011
In Chicago, I would have never discussed bodily functions without a knife at my throat in addition with a pinkie promise that the conversation would never be made public. But in my short stay here in Cameroon, I have found that there are few things my fellow trainees love more than trading digestive discord stories. Getting sick is a rite of passage here for all PCTs, but I’m happy to report I have yet to join what my stage group endearingly calls “The Carlos Club.” I did forget to tuck my mosquito net in the other night, however, and am a little nervous about catching malaria. But sicknesses aside, Cameroon is everything I hoped it would be and more.