Okay, year two. I’ve realized I have been slacking on the blogging front for the past half year, but I would never forget my Cameroonaversary and in order to celebrate: here’s another interview with myself! (Also I need the practice with a future job hunt looming around the corner…)
How do you handle stress and pressure?
Lots of tea drinking. Running and yoga. Reading. Coloring. Not much has changed since last year.
How do you handle failure?
Shrug. Followed by the classic “on va fait comment?” clap. And then some more tea.
Describe a difficult work situation / project and how you overcame it
In an incredibly feat of solidarity, my entire village decided to boycott our health center because prices were too high. Lacking a voice in the matter, I redirected my focus on relationship building and other projects.
Transportation: 1) Any coaster ride that I have been on that has lasted over eight hours (looking at you Banyo-Bafoussam road). There really wasn’t much I could do besides sit. 2) Also the train. I always thought it couldn’t get worse, but then it did. It always did. I think there is a lesson of gratitude somewhere in here…
Have you grown?
I hope so–I certainly feel older at the least.
Have you changed the world?
No, and if you thought that was my job, you have been seriously misinformed for the past two years.
That said, there have been plenty of small acts on both mine and my village’s end. Maybe one of them will reverberate–who knows?
Have you made any friends?
Yes, and once again I am at the point of leaving them again, but I have started to realize how meaningless the in-between times of seeing people can be once you are back together. Then again, reuniting with volunteer friends seems highly probable; however, I am still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of the much smaller possibility of seeing people in village again.
How is the second year different than the first?
Less trainings, more work (sometimes), a greater capacity to communicate in Fulfuldé and some Gbaya (tikiti tikiti). Also my emotions seem much more in check: things are less “new and shiny,” which can grant me less patience on some fronts and plenty of stir-craziness, but the flip side is that things are less drastic when they do go wrong.
Oh and I have finally figured out what exactly my family has been feeding me. (Not mentioned: the cow foot I ate a month ago.)
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Greatest is difficult, but here is a highlight reel of the past year:
–Painted a mural in Fonfuka (and have another one in the works–stay tuned…)
-Presented on my gardening project to the new Health stage at their IST
-Bought petite Jess her first pair of shoes (sorry no pictures)
-Studied for and took the LSAT
–(and then enjoyed Paris for a bit)
-Made it to COS conference in Kribi, a feat that seem eons away when I started.
What really drives results in this job?
Either the other participants’ goals are aligned with its goals or there is another form of motivation (be that money, food, or me bothering people with reminders).
Are you ready to go back?
Yes, but I am starting to feel less ready as the last several weeks are starting to slip by–suddenly, there is no time left.
Are you sad to leave?
Bittersweet would be a better word. To be very cliché, I am sad this chapter is ending, but I am excited and feel ready to start the next.
What are your goals for the future?
Some travel. Not to have to fill out SO many applications before I find a job. (This may be wistful thinking.) And to get into school.
What are your salary expectations?
Upward of 200,000 XAF/month.
What can we expect from you in your first three months?
Me eating lots of cheese.
Do You Have Any Questions?
What are you people doing over there? (RE: Trump, Charlottesville, DACA, Health Care, etc.)
And how am I supposed to live in it?
(BONUS: Why did I just learn about Ta-Nehisi Coates? Shouldn’t everyone be reading him?)