Bringing sexy back (Sunday, 2010 Jun 6)

June 17, 2010

More hangouts, but today we got to walk around Yaoundé a bit in groups of 4. Saw a bunch of wildlife, including a lizard apparently indigenous to Cameroon. My group got hassled by some little girls looking for change, who enjoyed stroking my hair, and a gentleman who wanted to take our picture (and presumably exhort money from us for it later). It was pretty funny, but perhaps only because we were in a group of 4.

We’ve still been playing games (although mostly only us nerds who are teaching computers). Today we played Phase 10, and Jenny wanted to borrow my copy of Set while I showered for tonight’s soiree. She (and Peter, who broke out a suit) had already cleaned up real nice. The codephrase is "getting sexy". We had to look our best because an ambassador is going to be at the dinner, which is at the house of one of the Organization’s significant people.

Dinner itself was really fun. It’s the first time I really felt proud or happy to be in the Organization instead of merely anxious or ambivalent. Maybe we really are doing something that matters. Maybe we really are making a difference. I’ll have to keep that in mind when nothing ever changes and the two years just fly by.

The ambassador was pretty awesome. She said something like this: "When you think about it, Cameroon has every reason to be at the top of the list. It has a ton of smart people, it has a beautiful climate and it has lots of natural resources. But it seems happy with just being a C+/B- country, and our job is to push them a little harder, like ‘C’mon guys, you should really be B+/A-.’" She also suggested that one of the reasons the people here don’t push harder is because they value stability at all costs — and considering some of the neighboring countries, I’m not sure I disagree with them (let’s leave aside for now the discussion about whether our country is changing too fast, the singularity, etc.). She also said that they don’t love our diplomats encouraging them to be more democratic etc. but that they cope, like with a pushy friend, because they like us; that they say stuff like "You Americans have to say that sort of thing"; and that the Americans, the British, and the Dutch have the diplomats the most willing to speak their mind on these scores.

Lastly: Realized today that Allison presents an awful lot like KC (explaining another vague similarity). Drank some local drinks, including a soda called Femto or something. Failed completely out of a French conversation. And apparently the one thing ex-Organization travellers all say to bring is porn (please send help).

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