Meals (Saturday, 2010 Jun 5)

June 17, 2010

We’re still in Yaoundé. We go to another region for pre-service training proper on Tuesday. Every meal is cooked by the hotel chef, who is marvelous. We sit in the dining room and hang out and eat and talk, or sit in the bar and watch soccer and play games. Or, you can think of it as a class of 45 who is living in the dorms and eating in the dining hall. I think people are getting bored — they’re making noises that mirror the way I felt at the start of my last job, like "I’m ready to get to work". Conversely, our colleagues who are running this event, who are basically the same as us only a year later, say "Tomorrow we’ll try to get you some free time." There is a little paperwork but that is all.

We went to see a "concert" today. Tickets were 1000 CFA, about $2, and came with two drinks (a local beer called 33, I think). The concert was a dance performance of Baka tribal drumwork/dancing. Fun stuff, and plenty of audience participation. It was encouraged that attendees get onstage and dance, and when something impressive happened, notably when the female dancers jiggled really hard, people would go up and press CFA to their sweaty foreheads (some of which would stick, but mostly would fall).

I rode up front on the van ride back with the driver and Rose. (The van seated 15 "comfortably".) I asked her if things felt real to her or like a museum to her too, and she said "Or like a movie. Maybe things will be different when we move in with our host families."

People still look like other people. We ran into some colleagues going to Sierra Leon in Brussels and one of them looked utterly familiar (I finally placed her as looking a little like Gus’s roommate Katie). Elizabeth G. here looks vaguely like VY, particularly with particular facial expressions, and Martin looks a whole lot like David from IB’s circle. Jessica W. reminds me of Terry from upstate. A few others look familiar too, but I can’t place ’em.

Lastly: no culture shock yet. I couldn’t decode the majority of the things said by the emcees. Treehouse is pretty goddamned playable. Still running out of shirts; think I’ll have to repeat on Tuesday. Woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp. And apparently it’s pretty common in the Organization for people to feel like they "aren’t suffering enough".

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