Retourné (part 2) (Monday, 2010 December 27)

December 27, 2010

Back to post again. I’ve been here for 20 minutes and I’m already bored and morose. I’ve spent the last few days with other volunteers and a lot of time watching movies and TV shows. We deep-fried everything. I think I’m going to try not to eat for a day or two. Going out to […]


Christmas (Sunday, 2010 December 26)

December 26, 2010

We deep fried an avocado, among other things, and as we were lifting our glasses to a toast, we managed: "To surviving the holidays!" So far so good. It still doesn’t feel like Christmas; it’s still tropical, you still sweat walking up a hill. But to the Cameroonians, it’s definitely time to fête! We spent […]


Retourné (Wednesday, 2010 December 22)

December 24, 2010

[FB Status: And then I woke up in a pickup truck in a village called Makénéné with a film on my teeth and a clarity in my heart.] When I woke up on the car in Makénéné, I realized very quickly three things: I was lovesick. It’s one thing to have a crush on another […]


Déshabillé (followup) (Wednesday, 2010 December 22)

December 22, 2010

One other thing I forgot to mention: when we were in the water, it started to rain — really pour, the first time I’ve seen rain in weeks. Some people climbed out of the water and dashed away, which was confusing — are they taking shelter? ‘Cause we’re already wet — but then later some […]


Déshabillé (part 2) (Tuesday, 2010 December 21)

December 21, 2010

Apparently skinny-dipping in [this town at this training event] is a tradition at this training event, which is part of why we felt a need to go out and do that. But that it was just the four of us was disappointing by the standards of other, less inhibited stages. (There was also another group […]


Alien (Monday, 2010 December 20)

December 21, 2010

OK, great, right now I’m in the real throes of culture shock, which is where I wanted to be when I wrote this post. The combination of high-pressure sales tactics with outright theft — not the thing at training, I’ll write about that next — plus whatever other shit is going on in my head […]


Déshabillé (Part 1) (Sunday, 2010 December 19)

December 20, 2010

This week has been IST, for which I have had three vaguely-stated and simple goals: Make an utter mess of myself using recreational chemicals, preferably alcohol. Have sex with another volunteer [deleted: prioritized list of opportunities sorted by attractiveness and availability]. Recharge, somehow, so that I am willing to return to post and continue to […]


Côte d’Ivoire (Tuesday, 2010 December 7)

December 7, 2010

Just overheard some fascinating discussion in the teacher’s lounge at the Lycee. People are talking about the recent political crisis in the Ivory Coast, where the election somehow failed and produced two presidents. One teacher in particular made some very cutting remarks. "They’re crazy over there, to elect two presidents. Here in Cameroon, we vote […]


Reprendre (Monday, 2010 December 6)

December 6, 2010

I have been thinking lately about doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Motivation: imagine you are in class and you ask: Teacher: OK, class. What color is the sky? Student, raising hand and being called upon, says: Air! Teacher: OK, good, the sky has air in it. But what […]


Mariage (Sunday, 2010 Dec 5)

December 5, 2010

Exam week. Still have report cards to fill out, but I thought for the moment I’d write up the wedding I was at last week. It was the marriage of J-C’s daughter Solange and some guy I didn’t know. I later found out that the couple had been affianced for five years, and that they’d […]