Touchdown (Friday, 2010 Jun 4)

June 17, 2010

The flights were fairly uneventful; I got a couple of hours of sleep, which is apparently enough to keep my brain from trying to process the last 48 hours as one day. The airport if Yaoundé is fairly small, not ACed, and smelled fairly strongly of sweaty bodies. There was also a little bit of blood in a puddle on the floor, which Julia described as "questionable".

The country is in many ways beautiful. Even the parts that aren’t beautiful are sill fairly interesting. Buildings run the gamut in terms of materials but all look a little worn. Most roads appear not to be paved. The hotel I am in tonight has a shower and even AC (in which I am luxuriating now). But I am getting a little anxious that I’m about to have a massive dose of culture shock and be one of the ten percent who bail over the course of training. Mostly, though, I think I’m too stubborn to quit.

In many ways I feel like I haven’t seen real poverty here yet — just amazing amounts of entrepreneurialism and resourcefulness. And so far it feels almost entirely unreal, like a trip through a museum. When it sets in that I’m going to be here for twenty-seven months, then maybe I’ll really freak out.

We got a welcome pack which included a manifest explaining the function of such items as the pencil, eraser, and sharpener.

Lastly: I’m taking doxycycline (every night at 8PM) instead of mefloquine, so no crazy dreams for me. My Europlug adapter is working great. And I’m really excited to brush my teeth for the first time since Wednesday.

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