Trip Start Jun 05, 2004
12Trip End Nov ????
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I just remembered that no one I know has a link to this site. Anyway, this is my first post since arriving in Cameroon. Its been getting a decent amount of hits so I figured it would be unfair to not update it. I recall the days of checking cameroonian sites religiously hoping for a new post...
Well, gee its been so long since I've gotten here that everything seems so normal now. On the bus ride over to the capital this morning I was thinking about how easily humans can adapt. Or how easily peace corps volunteers adapt. Or how easily SOME of the peace corps volunteers adapt. PC is really survival of the fittest. No, Africa is really like survival of the fittest. Now if I were in were placed in a pygmie forest and made to fend for myself surely I'd be dead by now. But city life is different. This leads to my point. Cameroon is definitely livable, nothing too vitally different from the states. The only thing that's surprised me so far is that I thought the capital would be a little more "first world". We were joking today that Yaounde is like springtime in Paris. Far from it. Not the kind of place you want to visit as a tourist. White folk, err western folk are like walking ATM machines. Seriously, even if I didn't have any money on me you could still sell all my clothes and cheap jewelry and live for a month. Fitting in and adjusting is virtually impossible unless you're black and you speak W. African french. On the other hand, you can walk with confidence, try your hardest to speak the language and it will then soften the blow. Besides, most of the cat calls and harassment isn't malicious, in fact as far as I've been able to tell most have come from curiosity...Chose your battles wisely. Haven't fought too many so far but one has to be aggressive to live here. As a westerner one had to know how to say "NO" and be willing to bargain. Bargaining isn't so bad though because if a vendor or taxi cab driver refuses your price, you can always just move on to the next one.
We find out our post sites in two days, I'm crossing my fingers for the West Province, although it really doesn't mean much to me at this point, but I'd prefer the cooler province with the friendlier people.
Until Next Time!