|View from the Bike Ride around Bokito|
This past weekend was great in an uneventful way. Saturday was spent at our Cross Cultural Open Doors session in Bafia. Basically what this consisted of was 10 stations around the Bafia training center where we received prompts and had to act out our prompts. For example, there was a hospital station where I drew a card stating I had to explain to doctors about my friend who fell off her bike, ask what treatments are needed etc. Another station had a motorcycle where one of our language teachers pretended to be a moto driver. I had to enact asking to be taken somewhere and to negotiate a fair price. I bargained for a fair price for a good while and the language teacher, acting as the motor driver, said that I was “relentless” and had “sass” so he eventually conceded. When it was Spencer’s turn, he did his reenactment and then when it came time to ‘pay’ the driver at the end of the skit, Spencer pretended he had no money. The language teacher played for a good couple minutes like he was going to beat Spencer up, but eventually Spencer gave up his ‘money’.
After the Cross Culture Open Doors our group wandered about town and then went to another volunteer’s host mom’s restaurant where this vegetarian sunk her teeth into a real cheeseburger - with real meat, real cheese, a real hamburger bun, and real mustard. It was heaven on Earth. After drinking, laughing, and eating too much, our group headed back to Bokito after a very eventual day in Bafia.
Sunday was spent sleeping in till 7am (yes, sleeping in) because I got next to no sleep the previous nights. I purposely went for a long run during the time that my family was gearing up for church (dodged that bullet again!). After a gorgeous run around Bokito and discovering some new areas of town, I came home and did the usual Sunday tasks of sweeping, cleaning my floor, and doing my laundry.
After the chores, Travis, Liz and I decided to go to the Bokito training center and grab our bikes to go for a ride. Me being me thought this would be a nice leisurely bike ride about town, so I figured style was more important than comfort and practicality. When I showed up at the training center, Travis and Liz were in workout clothes with water bottles, backpacks, and first aid kits. I merely had my camera, cell phone, sandals and my sunglasses. Clearly I missed the memo.
|Ludi, the always stylish New Yorker, |
and I at the Cross Culture Day
We set out west of town and found the Bokito health center. The health center lawn was filled with mint bushes so the surrounding area smelled like a Moroccan mint tea shack. It was awesome. We decided to get lost a bit and to keep heading west and - wow - what a good decision that was. I soon realized that my clothing choice was a big mistake as we sped down hills covered in orange mud from the previous night’s rain and up small mountainous hills which gave my legs more of a workout than I’ve done all year. The sweat, mud, and bumpy non-existent road was completely worth it. When we reached one of the many large hills we climbed we were all stunned by the unparallel view of the surrounding landscape.
In Sierra Leone I loved running up Candy Mountain just for the view of the nearby mountains (I have a thing for mountains). I thought that view was gorgeous, but Cameroon’s hills have Sierra Leone’s beat without a doubt. As we stopped for water I took in the rolling mountains around us covered in bright green grass and trees. As we took a small break before continuing up the other hills/mountains that were ahead of us, we marveled at the fact that this stunning landscape was being hidden behind the small village that we so often mock for being awful. An hour and a half later I returned to Bokito on my bike filled with a sense of wonder. This region is supposed to be the least prettiest of all the regions, so if this is Cameroon’s ‘ugly’ side, I can’t wait to see its ‘good’ side.
Naturally, after going home, showering, and washing the clothes that I had just managed to take a mud bath in. Before heading to the bar for the evening, those in my housing cluster had to practice our emergency action plan and we had to bring our ‘emergency bag’ with us. Of course I was too lazy to actually pack the items I would take in an emergency evacuation, so in a half-assed attempt I packed 5 pairs of underwear, two candles, and a box of matches. After our emergency action plan I went straight to the bar to meet up with everyone else - candles and underwear still in my purse. I’m relieved that nobody at Le Cordon Bleu saw in my purse that evening, because at a bar/club where prostitution occurs in broad daylight, I might have been mistaken for quirky prostitute.
|Liz and I Midway Through the Bike Ride|
Next Wednesday I will find out where I will be living for the next two years. I handed in my bidding sheet today which listed Lomie in the East as my first choice along with a ‘5 paragraph essay’, as some of my fellow trainees liked to joke, of my explanation as to why Lomie is made for me! I somewhat begged in my interview for them to place me in the East, and I finished the interview with putting a star and three explanation marks next to the Lomie #1 ranking on my sheet. If that doesn’t get me placed in the East, then I don’t know what will. Since nobody else ranked the East in their top three choices, I’m not too concerned about not getting it, but regardless, I’ll be relieved to find out for sure next Wednesday.
So there you have it, my uneventful recent days which have just been quite perfect. Now, there is no better way to finish this evening than by doing some yoga, listening to good ol’ American music, and listening to the rain outside. I’m peacing out for the next week - so until next Tuesday…much love from Cameroon!