9.15.2013

Day One - Yaounde. Vomit Included.

Well, Bonjour from Yaounde! I have two blog posts written for both our orientation in Philadelphia as well as my travels to Cameroon, but alas, my posts were written in Word on my main computer and that is…well, deciding to not turn on. I will see on Tuesday when I get my regulator if that is because I am out of battery or if it is indeed because my computer simply dies every time I arrive in Africa. I’m crossing my fingers for the former!

You’ll have to wait for my first posts for another day!
Anyways, updates on day one and day two in Yaoundé! We arrived via plane at around midnight on Friday and were driven to the Felydac Hotel in Yaoundé where we had a delicious dinner at 2am which consisted (for me, Miss Vegetarian) of rice with a vegetable sauté, a salad, a some watermelon. I had my first taste of pimont which is a (Really) spicy red pepper sauce. I love spice and can handle spice but OH BOY was this stuff hot! So good though!

Perhaps related or unrelated, I woke up on Saturday morning vomiting. I took my hot shower and had a nice breakfast of croissant with a side of baguette (yes, bread with a side of bread!). After breakfast I got up and began walking the stairs to go to one of our orientation meetings to fill out paperwork and, what do you know, I vomited on the steps in front of my fellow 54 volunteers. Modesty and privacy goes out the window! Glad everyone got to know me really well immediately! But being the awesome people they are, I don’t think anyone judged me - at least not that I know! After that I had to be taken to the Peace Corps Medical Office in Yaoundé which is really just right down the street. I must be able to win some type of award for being the first to vomit and the first to visit the PC Headquarters in my stage.

Anyways, after taking some anti-vomit pills and begrudgingly drinking Gatorade I was feeling much better! I headed back to orientation to fill out paperwork for my national ID, to exchange money and stuff like that. We had an emergency French lesson and then had some down town. At night we headed over to a quasi-bar which was actually super nice. At the bar we watched a dance troupe perform and sing. Many in our group, including me, got up on the dance floor and danced to the music. I shook what very little my mama gave me, and very poorly danced might I add!

This morning I woke up vomit-free and had more bread with a side of bread (I really should just turn down breakfast if I hope to not weight one million pounds - but hey, French croissants!!) . After breakfast I had my French interview to decide which language group I’ll be placed in. I talked the whole 15 minutes so I think it went well! I believe someone said they saw I got placed in the intermediate group but I should find out in a day or two. We had a safety and security briefing for about an hour and then we had some more emergency French lessons and then we broke up into groups. A current health volunteer named Laura who is placed in the North (she is super cool) talked about the regions and her work and health and the like. Pretty informative. I then went for a short walk to the national football stadium and back.

Tomorrow is apparently filled with meetings with my health boss, immunizations, and the like. Internet is super sporadic and my internet is not really connecting on my computer. On Wednesday I move to Bokito to my host family. Internet there will likely only be accessed twice a week. Anyways, until next time! Au revoir!

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