Monday, November 26, 2012

Cuff, pants, and other phrases

Is it "I'm flying by the cuff of my pants"?  No, something about the seat of my... and the cuff of...  Right, so it has been awhile.  I've been busy.  Quite.  Incredibly even.  And this is not prepared.  A target of opportunity at best.  And yes the words appear a bit blurred at the moment.  Haven't the faintest idea why.

I'm a volunteer!  Official and sworn in and the like.  If you happen to have access to Cameroonian newspapers you can find my picture there.  AND the celebration even made the front page.  Mostly (entirely) due to the fact that a Mrs. Biya, aka the president's wife and most popular woman in this country, came to our swearing in.  If you have facebook, you have seen the photos of our matching blue shirts and my ascot to represent Sante (health for the layman).  It was a fun day.  We sang Michael Jackson's "Man in the Mirror".  They stuck me in the back far from the microphone; haven't the faintest idea why.

Busy, busy, busy.  That's all I can say.  I haven't had much time in front of a computer, much less with one that had internets.  We had tests and exams and celebrations.  Plus I've been on the road.  I am far north.  The EXTREME north now.  The capital called Maroua.  I thought that being in the Peace Corps made me far away from civilization, but now... Well first they stuck me on an overnight train that left Yaounde to Ngaoundere in the middle of the country.  Twelve hour ride.  It was a blast though as we just turned it into a last night going away party.  Got in trouble for the booze, the stowaway, and the fact we converted the beds to seats.  No one seemed to care about the kitten we brought though.  After that another nine hours in a bus before I finally arrived in my regional capital, Maroua.

I love it here.  Really.  Surprisingly, the weather is magnificent.  It's not the hot season yet, so the sun may yet kill me, but the weather has been better than Bafia/Bokito.  And this is a real city.  The market here is unimaginably huge.  Today I spent an hour wandering around the section with hardware.  It was like being lost in Lowes Home Improvement (though less power tools).  It's like a city.  Just alleys upon alleys of different sectors.  There was a place with 30 plus tailers working away in shops on sewing machines.  The point is this is a real city.  And they conveniently stuck the case or PC house on the main bar drag.  I've been enjoying it.  Oh, late night snacks?  They come to you.  Just hollar from your seat and, tada, munchies arrive.  Good meats.

Tomorrow is the big day.  I move to Bogo.  I see my house for the first time.  Well I think.  The negotiating a car to take me and my things there was... ambiguous.  I'm under the impression it will all work out for the decided upon price, but there was far too much confusion on what I actually wanted in the talk.  Language hurts, but culture too.  I have to explain why I want things that no other Cameroonian would ask for.  Why would I want a car all to myself and my things instead of just piling it in with a dozen other strangers?

I owe you many stories.  I owe myself more.  I've had trouble even keeping up the journal.  Life is moving too fast.  So much has occurred and I haven't had a moment to myself to capture it.  I've ideas of tales to tell and you will get them.  Soon enough, I hope.  I miss you guys.  And rest assured the next post will give you an address to send goodies.  I'll list the goodies you need to send too.  Much love.