4.21.2014

Food Security Committee and Eating in Yaoundé

While I was in Yaoundé on med-hold, I had my first meeting for Food Security Committee, which I was selected to be a part of a few weeks back. Members on Food Security from my stage include me, Spencer, Sarah Edwards, Alizabeth Potluck, and Will Godfrey. The meeting lasted all day and we discussed ways to encourage food security-related projects, successful past PCV projects related to food security, and how to better incorporate food security training in PST for the incoming stages. Oh, and during our meeting we found out that a new post got closed – Guider, in the North – now Spencer is the furthest north volunteer as more and more volunteers get Boko’d, as my friend Jack delicately puts it.

The Food Security meeting was awesome. I had turned down HIV/AIDS committee to be a part of Food Security given my longtime interest in all things related to food. I had no idea what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. The small group of PCVs that are a part of the committee are hardworking, good-humored, inspiring, and with a wealth of knowledge. The topics we discussed, ranged from tofu promotion, to at-home plumpy’nut creation, to moringa growing, and beekeeping – and I want to dabble in all of them!

At the end of the meeting, we had elections and I got elected as Vice Chairperson and Spencer got elected to Webmaster with Will being elected as our new Chairperson. To celebrate our new positions, Spencer and I celebrated by spending the rest of our time in Yaoundé securing our own food needs – including eating Chinese, Lebanese, Turkish, gelato, burgers, fresh salads, and a few real cocktails to seal the deal. While I sincerely hate Yaoundé, namely the hectic-ness and expensive taxi rides, I cannot deny that I love going to Hilton Happy Hour and eating out at the many delicious, Westernized restaurants, especially now that so many of them are close to our new case.

While eating out in Yaoundé is never cheap (most of it is equivalent to American pricing), it is often a well-deserved treat, especially after perhaps starving in village for a bit too long and lacking necessary nutrients (or should I say, lacking all nutrients) – or sometimes just lacking decent alcohol. On Saturday, a large group of us went to a new Labanese place, owned by a really cool Lebanese-American, for drinks, falafel, and hummus and to have a bit of fun in the hours before Val, a fellow health PCV from my stage, left permanently for America. We drank, ate, and laughed with Val as she drank an impressive amount of margaritas while working up her excitement for all things American she was about to re-encounter.

After our Food Security meeting finished and after I was released off med-hold, it was time for me to leave Yaoundé and all its glorious food options and to go back to the limited food options in my village. Our next committee meeting is in August and I can’t wait to see what projects and ideas everyone has come up with. I know I’m looking forward to using the vast wealth of information to create a few meaningful projects, especially given a recent change of events which will let me focus more on food-scarce populations…but I’ll leave that explanation for my next blog post. 

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