Field Notes

Ngatt Newsletter: April, May, and not much of June

Maybe you noticed the two month hiatus I took from blogging recently? Or maybe not. Regardless, this is a brief list of recent-ish events in village.

  1. Dry season is over (FINALLY) and now that the rainy season is back:
    •  I no longer have to go to the pump for water. (Although it is a nice arm workout–try carrying two 10L buckets of water at a dead hang for 100 m–drawing water from the well or catching it from the sky is much easier.)
    • Mangoes are everywhere! Unsure as to why I didn’t take advantage of this last year, but this year I eat at least six a day. “Get’em before they’re gone” is my new philosophy towards the fruit.
    • Everyone is back in the fields, which of course means work has once again slowed down.
  2. Petite Jess turned one on April 14th! In order to celebrate, I bought her first pair of shoes. They were a bit big so when we put them on her she refused to move, as though glued or weighted down by the shoes.
  3. Ngatt has started receiving handouts from a refugee program. People are stoked. (Click here for more.)
  4. Ngatt celebrated an extremely belated Christmas when packages from some church group in the United States arrived for all the girls and boys. Unsure how or why, but it has been amusing to go around village and explain different objects to people. (I guess lip gloss, glow sticks and Happy Meal toys are pretty strange if you did not grow up with them. But then again, I was called a genius for explaining the game of Trouble to our village pastor, so maybe I am just really brilliant.)
    • My favorite object though, has been the Legos received by my friend’s five year-old, Ollie. He was absolutely ecstatic when I put together the Legos he received into a car (up-ing his total car count to 4). Since the initial time, I have had to rebuild it at least once every week because he wants it to be exactly the like the picture is and he doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.
    • I also have been trying to teach chess to my friend and her family, but so far it has been difficult for them to remember the allowed moves, so much of the game is reiterating the rules. Slow slow catch monkey.
  5. Eleven kids finished memorizing the Quran, which in a village of 2000 is a huge deal. To celebrate, we all ran around to each of their houses singing and dancing and eating rice and praying with the imans. In the words of a friend I told afterwards: “[I] just ran a 5k for Islam.”
  6. Scorpion season. (See more here.)
  7. Lastly, Ramadan begun. Mostly it means people are just chilling during the day, lots of 3 AM drumming (so you don’t miss waking up and eating before the sun rises) and lots of gari (bouillie) with my family.

 

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Story Problems

“Think Like A Lawyer”

While studying for the LSAT, my book recommends applying all the skills used in the test to real life. So here it goes:

(Answers at the end.)

Logical Reasoning Questions:

  1. Alhadji: I have always wanted to marry a white person and have white babies-we should marry!

What most weakens Alhadji’s argument?

a. I am not interested

b. But you already have a wife.

c. You already have children.

d. I have a rare medical condition that has destroyed my womb and cannot have children.

e. You cannot afford me.

 

  1. Alhadji: I don’t have 25 CFA to buy water-give me money!

All would weaken Alhadji’s argument EXCEPT:

a. He then buys a chicken for 3000 CFA

b. He is wearing a fancy boubu (~65000 CFA)

c. He owns multiple cows (~10000 ea.)

d. He pays to eat some fish for 2000 CFA

e. He is sitting by the side of the road.

 

  1. Alhadji: We should marry!

Me: How many wives do you already have?

Alhadji: 4.

Me: Ah! Ah! You’re finished, no?

What is the principle that best supports the above?

a. A Muslim man may have no more than four wives.

b. A Muslim man must have four wives.

c. A Muslim man can have four wives.

d. It is important to check for other wives before accepting a marriage proposal.

e. One should not marry a man with four wives.

 

  1. In order to justify asking for its annual budget, Peace Corps has recently focused on data collection and implemented new procedures. These procedures involve forms that collect participant’s name, age and other relevant information. With these sheets, data collection will be more efficient and accurate.

A flaw in the argument can be described as:

a. Presupposes what it seeks to establish

b. Overlooks the possibility that many people in village are illiterate and do not know their age

c. Relies on the ambiguity of the term “data collection”

d. The evidence undermines the conclusion

e. Mistakes correlation for causation

 

  1. Most cars seat only five people. Yet most cars on the Tibati-Ngaoundal route easily transport over ten people each trip.

What best explains the apparent paradox?

a. People do not use seats.

b. The cars drive really fast.

c. Most people sit two to a seat or on each other’s laps.

d. People are really skinny here.

e. People do not use seat belts.

 

  1. Man on the street, talking on the phone: “Madame! This man says he knows you.” *thrusts phone at me*

Me: Hello? Who is this?

Man on phone: Ismali

Me: ???

Man on phone: Ismali…we were in a car together in December. You do not remember me?

Me: No…

Ismali’s argument follows logically if what is assumed?

a. I was in a car last December with a man named Ismali

b. There is an Ismali in my region

c. I was in a car in December

d. I remember everyone that I meet on public transportation

e. I have a bad memory for names

 

Analytical Reasoning Questions:

PCV Jess has six activities that can be done today—laundry, cleaning, visiting Jeannette, meeting with the women, visiting neighbors, and eating lunch—within the following restrictions:

Jeanette will be visited directly before any meeting with the women because otherwise it will be impossible to mobilize the women.

If neighbors are visited third, they will give copious amounts of couscous and sauce and so she will eat lunch with the neighbors.

Laundry, if done, is always first.

If she cleans her house, it will be immediately after laundry.

  1. What is an acceptable order of PCV Jess’ activities?

a. LCEVMJ

b. EJMVLC

c. JMLCVE

d. LCEVJM

e. LCVJME

 

  1. If it rains, forcing PCV Jess to cancel laundry and the meeting with the women, what is an acceptable order of activities?

a. LCE

b. VEJ

c. CEL

d. EJM

e. CJM

 

  1. What order of activities CANNOT be true?

a. Jess does absolutely nothing all day.

b. She only visits Jeannette and eats lunch.

c. She only visits the neighbors and eats lunch.

d. She only cleans her house and eats lunch.

e. She only does laundry and cleans her house.

 

Reading Comprehension Questions: 

It is not uncommon to see women breastfeeding in public here in Cameroon. In fact, at this point in my service, it seems stranger that it is so tabooed in the United States, especially after knowing all its benefits.

Although some women do not start breastfeeding the day of birth, this is due to a misconception that is potentially harmful to the baby. The first milk of a woman produces for her baby, the colostrum, may be strange in color—causing some to think it is tainted—but is actually very rich in nutrients and antibodies. The milk is so rich, that some even call it the baby’s “first vaccine.”

 

  1. What can be inferred from the passage?

a. Breastfeeding is illegal in the United States.

b. Breastfeeding is mandatory.

c. Breastfeeding is better than vaccines.

d. Some women do not give their babies their colostrum.

e. All women breastfeed.

 

  1. What is the author’s purpose in including the quote at the end of the second paragraph?

a. To quote an expert opinion

b. To emphasize the nutrients in the colostrum

c. To emphasize the importance of the colostrum

d. To highlight the importance of breastfeeding

e. To highlight the importance of vaccines

 

Answers:

1. D; 2. E; 3. A; 4. B; 5. C; 6. D.

1. D; 2. B; 3. D.

1. D; 2. C.

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Field Notes, Photoggling

Painting the Town Red: HIV/AIDS Day Mural at Fonfuka

NOTE: Due to a lack of larger news sources covering the events in western Cameroon, I have attempted to provide a synopsis partly in order to provide context for my traveling adventures, but also just to let people know what is going on in my host country. 

Once upon a time, Britain decided that its Cameroon (a small strip on the western side of Cameroon, which includes today’s Northwest and Southwest regions) was ready for its independence and so it told the regions they could either join Nigeria or Cameroon. The British Northern Cameroonians decided to join Nigeria while the British Southern Cameroonians chose to attach themselves to Cameroon that had recently gained their independence from France and avoid the recent political crisis in Nigeria.

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However, the unification was not always peaceful. Originally a federal state (West Cameroon and East Cameroon) that assured a greater level of self-determination to the Anglophone regions, under President Ahidjo, there was a referendum on becoming a unity state, which passed. (According to Pa A——, Fonfuka resident, the two options for the referendum were “yes” or “oui”.) The two new regions were a minority, Anglophone in a Francophone country. Over the next few decades, these tensions rose and fell. (It does not help that most government positions are given to individuals from Douala or Yaoundé, which are both Francophone.) More recently erupting in the early 90s and in 2008 over poor working conditions and the re-election of President Biya and reports of election fraud.

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Once upon a more recent time, plans were made for me to head to a far away village named Fonfuka (another volunteer’s post) in order to help paint a mural for World AIDS Day.

And this is where the two stories converge: this past November the teachers and lawyers began striking in Bamenda. Since then, there has been no school in the Northwest and Southwest and once again (as in the 90s) Operation Ghost Town has been implemented, which means no one goes to work and no transport is running on certain days (Mondays and Tuesdays in this case), but people can still go buy food and other necessities the other days. Over the past few weeks the protest has grown from Bamenda to other big cities in the Anglophone regions: Kumba, Buea, Kumbo, Limbe. People have been arrested, beaten and kidnapped, which further intensifies the protests. (While traveling through the region a guy showed me a video he had of the BIR (the army, also the same forces that are up in the Extreme North battling Boko Haram) beating a man. I was told every bone was broken before they finally killed him.)

Meanwhile as a volunteer (as most of us are placed in small villages), it is fairly easy to be removed from conflict. Unless, of course, you need to travel through one of these big cities to get to post, which is needed to get to Fonfuka, located in the middle of nowhere, Northwest. Fortunately, now that ghost town has been implemented, striking is a tad more predictable, which means if you can plan your trips you are less likely to get stuck in Bamenda or another ghost town.

So as soon as I received a green light on still going to Fonfuka (obviously Peace Corps would not want us volunteers vacationing there at the moment), Jack and I hurried out of Yaoundé in order to avoid being stuck in Bamenda during Ghost Town.

Out of Bamenda, one could enjoy the scenery: mountains on mountains on mountains. In fact, going to Fonfuka involves going up and down mountains. First by car on paved road, and then, by moto on unpaved roads. After over twelve hours of travel, we finally arrived and work could begin.

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View of some of the mountains.

In some ways being in Fonfuka was like being in a different country. People speak pidgin, which when spoken fast, was impossible for me to interpret. (I was so excited to discover Fulani people living there because I could communicate in Fulfulde with them.) The culture is much more boisterous than in the quiet Adamawa, the food was different, the houses were more spread out, and everyone drinks sha’a. What is sha’a? Essentially a fermented corn smoothie that is extremely cheap. Fonfuka has around thirty(?) sha’a houses and people will spends hours sitting around and talking with others in them.

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Jack in his natural habitat aka a sha’a house.

Being there also made me realize the depth of the tensions in the regions at the moment. During the four days I was there the Internet was shut off in the Northwest and Southwest regions, but even in the middle of nowhere, more accessible by moto than car, people were still very aware of what was going on. Some even referred to themselves as Mbozonians (my apologies I have no idea how to spell that) drawing the name from the mbo people who lived in Buea and saying that they were “the people living behind the mbo people” (Buea used to be a capital city.) Others refer to the francophone regions as “La Republique.” But one sentiment is clear: Many want independence.

There are also many rumors. (Just last week everyone received a text from the government warning about spreading “false news” also many people’s MTN account stopped working temporarily, meaning people could not call each other.) My personal favorite? That France told President Biya to stage a coup in order to transition the power to the military and offered him sanctuary in France.

These rumors can make traveling more difficult. For example, when I was heading out there was word that there was another ghost town, which meant I had to spend an hour trying to figure out what the situation exactly was on the ground. (Spolier: I made it out safe and sound without any incident.) While the guard told me I was fine, a few hours after I had left, two other volunteers traveling the other direction were told to cancel their plans and stay in Bafoussam.

But of course, this post is also about Fonfuka and the belated AIDS day mural we finally painted. In three days we managed to finish the entire thing. I would like to give a huge shoutout to my dean for letting me count a painting class for my major senior year, which helped made this project possible.

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Huge shoutout to Jack for roasting, peeling and grinding coffee beans every morning so we could both start our day with a cup each.

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I still don’t understand how they make the roofs so tall.

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Gridding

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Small pikin doing their thing.

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The community was really great at helping out, be it finding ladders, holding paint, etc.

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Rough draft. End of day 2.

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Photo with a council member of Fonfuka.

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I jokingly told him he was too ugly for a photo and then snapped his reaction.

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Early morning underpaint.

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Lawrence, Jack’s counterpart, helping with the painting.

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The finished product. End of Day 3.

Following the end of the painting, there was a community sensitization on HIV/AIDS. The Northwest has the highest rate of prevalence in Cameroon. Posters about ARV adherence and condom usage were also hung up in almost every store and sha’a house.

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Fonfuka’s mayor presenting the product to the community.

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Sensitizing the community

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Laughing because the pidgin word for having sex literally translates to “slapping skin together.”

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Lawrence sensitizing on HIV/AIDS.

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Jack, Lawrence and the mayor. Fonfuka’s dream team.

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Photoggling

Fête du Mouton (Eid al-Adha)

Barka de Sala! Eid Mobarak! For the fête, after eating copious amounts of maroori juldé (“party rice”), we went up to Ngaoundéré to watch the fantasia. The fantasia starts with the Lamido, who is a traditional religious leader roughly equivalent to a regional king, leaving his palace and visiting the city. During that time, well-dressed men and horses take turns charging up with their spears and weapons, demonstrating their strength. After about an hour, the Lamido returns and everyone rushes up and dances.

Part I: Celebrating with the family in Ngatt

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Putting on “see-fah” with Hosseina and Fahti

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My mom here. Likes to feed me enormous amounts of couscous and rice.

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Rashida and Housseina

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Rashida, my favorite peanut-demanding petite, all dressed up. 

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I had almost finished eating and then they added more rice because they wanted me to take a picture.

Part II: The Fantasia

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The Lamido leaving his palace

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Children like to run after the procession.

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Charging up

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The Lamido returns

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The Lamido charging 

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Fun fact: Those umbrellas are never supposed to stop spinning

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Tomfoolery

366 Days of Summer: An Interview with myself

Here, it is always a different facet of summer: rainy summer days, sunny summer days, cloudy summer days–sometimes all three at the same time–humid summer days, early frigid summer mornings, chilly summer nights, miserable summer days, perfect summer days. 366 days of summer. And in order to celebrate this anniversary, I decided to interview myself since I already spend a lot of time talking to myself anyhow and that fact was bound to come out on the blog sooner or later.

Below, a blend of questions commonly received by peers, googled and asked by interviewers.

<<–>>

“Good day Jessica, to start this interview, let’s start with the classic question: Tell me a bit about yourself.”

Well I go by Jess (strange you haven’t realized that yet, being as we are the same person) and I am currently a health volunteer in Ngatt, Cameroon. Mosquitoes and petits really seem to like me and I am still unsure why.

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Me roughly pointing to my village on swearing-in day.

“What has most surprised you about being here?”

There is peanut butter. Homemade, Whole Foods quality, natural, delicious peanut butter.

“What is the weirdest thing about Cameroon?”

The disconnect between describing things here and how they are perceived back home. I have friends diminish their struggles believing that are less important than my daily “struggles” of no electricity, no running water and limited vegetables, which is not true. I signed up for this.

Or they think my life is much more intense and exciting than it is. For example, I told someone how I was upset because sheep ate my entire soy field and received the following response–Oh no! Will you have food for the year?–which is a gross over-calculation of how important this field was. Although I have a garden, I do not need to grow food for my own survival. Peace Corps Volunteers are pretty badass, but not that badass. (Or at least not in that way.)

Oh and we fit 9 adults in a car (not including children, babies, live goats, live chickens and other luggage). I guess that is pretty weird too.

“What has been the highest and the lowest moments in country?”

Lowest? It is a three-way tie between being stuck on the train for 18 hours, having scabies, and my most recent trip to Yaoundé: Riding second-class (already overcrowded) without a seat and sleeping with my luggage on the floor in a corner, surrounded by other Cameroonians eating fish. That was not a fun night, although, surprisingly enough, I managed to sleep through parts of it.

Highest? MONKEYS!, when it does not rain and meetings and work happens (for example, activities with my women’s group), discovering new ways to eat my staple ingredients peanut butter and onions (piment peanut butter fried noodles is my new favorite),  having a baby named after me, bonding with my health center staff, neighbors, and friends.

“Favorite food here?”

Haako folere bee niryri butali. (Peanut-y sauce with hibiscus leaves and other veggies, eaten with a giant glob corn flour couscous aka giant flour blobs that you make into smaller balls, which you dip in the sauce.) Also kossam, the local yogurt, milk and milk candies. (I like all three.)

“How would your boss counterpart describe you?”

It really depends on which counterpart. Here are a selected few.

Moussa, nursing assistant at Ngatt’s health center: “Strange, but kind, runs a lot, knits a lot. Does not stay on motos very well. Has a lot of ideas for projects. Hard worker, but seems to want us to implement most of her ideas.”

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Moussa and I meeting for the first time in Ebolowa during training last November.

Aï Jeannette, farmer: “Ah yes, the nasara. For some reason wants to work in the rain. Does not know much about farming, but took me to this awesome gardening training. She’s also pretty quiet. I always keep having to tell her to causer.”

Amadou Bello, tailor: “Quiet, but kind. Took me to the fanciest training in Kribi where I made a lot of money and bought a new phone and new clothes. Keeps pestering me about giving talks about HIV prevention, but the community does not seem too interested; however, I am excited for us to got out with HIV test, if she can manage to acquire them for the regional district hospital.”

Djika Etienne, nightguard at health center: “Kind, but does not seem to want to work with me. Was annoyed with me when I forgot to mobilize people for a meeting. She also was mad when I asked her for 100 CFA for food and then bought a sachet of alcohol instead. But she brings gifts back to the health center, so I guess she’s okay.”

Richard “Kumbo” Sodea: “Pretty great. Brings bonbons to the hospital when she comes back from trips. FINALLY agreed to teach me English in exchange for helping her with Malaria Skillz, where we work with small children and use soccer as a way to teach malaria prevention. Although we have not done too much because of the rain and she is always traveling.”

“How many days have you gone without showering?”

Three.

“How would you convince someone to do something they didn’t want to do?”

If they had already committed themselves to the activity? Pester them endlessly with reminders. Call them. Find them at home. Talk to someone who has power over them. Become such a nuisance they cannot forget.

If it is a positive behavior change? Education and encouragement.

If they don’t want to, there’s no previous commitment, and no negative impact from the lack of action?  Leave them be. I have better ways to allocate my time.

“What was the last gift you gave someone?”

Soup packets, chocolate, a dried sausage, and coffee to other volunteers. Laundry detergent, apples and candy to my landlord’s family and his brothers family. Candy to the health center workers, candy to my counterpart(s), candy to my neighbors. Not only is leaving village expensive, coming back to village has a price.

“Describe to me the process and benefits of wearing a seatbelt.”

Ha. Good one.

“What is more important – completing a job on time or doing it right?”

Doing it right? Not sure how many projects I have actually completed here “on time”…? What does that mean? You cannot plan for rain.

“What kinds of people do you find it difficult to work with?”

Close-minded people.

“Describe how you allocate your time and set your priorities on a typical day.”

I have a very strict schedule that I keep religiously (with plenty of time allocation for surprises). Tea is always a priority, work, less so. I wake up when the cock crows (the sun is rising, as opposed to the other times the cock crows). I then run. Next I bathe. Then I eat breakfast, drink tea and read for two hours. I then meander up to the health center where I knit for at least three hours. If there are enough people, we might give a talk on a health topic (but not on raining days-of course). Then I wander back to the house where I might visit a neighbor for lunch or cook lunch. This is followed by boiling another pot of tea, which will be drunk as I read or coloring. After I then start yoga and get ready for bed where I read until I fall asleep.

Oh and on Wednesday, if it is not raining, my counterpart and I use soccer to teach children malaria prevention. And on Sundays (if it is not raining) I meet with the women’s group.

“What type of tasks do you feel you cannot delegate?”

Um…communication with Peace Corps? As my goal is capacity building and sustainability, I feel the ideal is to delegate as much as possible.

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.'”-Lao Tzu

(“There’s a Chinese proverb that says there is a Chinese proverb for everything”-the Internet)

“Are you a better planner or implementer?”

Definitely a planner. Still haven’t figured out how to mobilize people in rain (see above), but my rescheduling abilities are phenomenal.

“Have you grown in the past year?”

I certainly hope so. I definitely believe my self-care has improved. If I am not feeling good, I have to confront why. I cannot avoid it through being busy with work and social life. I need to figure out if it is something physical (such as illness) or mental and if I can do anything about it or how I can live with it.

(Still haven’t printed it out and hung it up like I was planning to, but a reliable and familiar resource.)

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Self-care is important.

Additionally, I think I am more patient. Except when it comes to food. I want to my smoothie/spaghetti omelette/etc. now, especially after a long train ride.

“Describe your accomplishments over the past year.”

In no particular order:

Read 50 books

-Can now do headstands. Sort of.

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Unfortunately the ground was too uneven to fully stand up. Also apparently people attempt to do headstands in front of Mont Saint Michel all the time. No one seemed to notice anything unusual.

Successfully made tofu

-Can communicate basic things in Fulfuldé

-Moved halfway around the world

-Started projects in village

-Made jam

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Papaya-ginger cinnamon jam

-Can bake using a dutch oven

-Successfully opened wine using a shoe

-Built a sandcastle on a beach in Limbe with a Cameroonian who said he was an architect and an artist and was very invested in the aesthetics of the final result. (Sorry no pictures.)

-Touched a cow

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More difficult than it looks, as it kept moo-ving. (My ability for bad puns has only increased)

 

“Um. I see. Thank you for your time. We’ll check back in a year to see if your life gets any more interesting.” 

 

 

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Photoggling, Tomfoolery

Monkey Island

Like all good adventures, it started with a suspicious amount of good luck. The train left on time, we found our hostel without too much issue (considering it was our first time in Douala and it was midnight), we found a taxi driver who offered us a good deal on a depot to Edea, where there we found our driver to monkey island waiting for us. Quickly we drove around, buying copious amounts of fruit, gasoline, and bread, and then were on our way. Even with the rain, we made good time driving through the plantations of rubber trees that lined the road, pulling up to the shore where we were to catch the boat to the island only to find: there was no one there.

“Well his boat is there, so he must be around,” said our driver.

We scrambled back into the car to escape the downpour.

“What do we do?”

We tried calling, but there was no service.

“Maybe there is service over by that church?” suggested the driver.

But the service was not better there. Asking around, a villager told us to head down a muddy path towards the riverbank in order to find the best service.

“Hello? Hello?”

Service was spotty to say the least, but finally a call from an unknown number came through.

“Hello? C’est vous, M. Bosco?”

“Jessica!”

“Où êtes-vous?”

“Yaoundé!”

Something was not right.

“Quoi?!”

“Quand est-ce vous allez ici?”

And then it hit me:

“Dieu Donné?”

“Oui!”

Dieu Donné strikes again, but this time, it was not serendipitously. Realizing it was not Monsieur Bosco, I quickly excused myself and hung up. After a few more attempts, we resorted to a new strategy-asking the village if they had seem Monsieur Bosco. This proved to be difficult as most people were sleeping and avoiding the rain. But then…

“White people!” I shouted as a nice car drove by. What were the odds of a group of foreigners being here except for Monkey Island?

“Les blanches!”

We ran after them.

Introductions made, we learned they were a group of French people who lived in Douala and, as we assumed, they were here also for Monkey Island.

Even better, the guy in charge of boating us to the island materialized soon after. As it turns out he’d been hiding in a nearby house to avoid the never-ending torrent of rain.

We waited a bit longer, but upon realizing the rain was not stopping (and we were already soaked) we decided to head out.

This started with him bailing water out of the motorboat:

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We then loaded it up will all the buckets of fruit and bottles of gas we had brought and set off, with the rain pelting our faces.

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Our driver was not at all phased.

Upon landing we entered a house with a woman and baby monkeys. A hand reached towards mine…which I shook and soon ended up carting Tomate around for the welcome speech (of which I remember little–there was an adorable monkey on me!).

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Still an understatement on how excited I was.

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“Monkey see, monkey do”

The caretaker had lived there for many years and had a great relationship with the monkeys.

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Kisses with Chance

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Feeding time

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Then we got to feed and to play with the children.

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Monkey-ing around. In the background is M. Bosco, the other caretaker, who treats the chimps as family.

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Swinging around. (Not pictured: the shutter falling off due to the weight of the monkey.)

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Unbuttoning M. Bosco’s shirt

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Cuddling with a cold chimp. Turns out they weren’t big fans of the rain either.

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Monkey hat!

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After Guave jumped on me, nearly knocking me over.

We ended by visiting the islands, which house the teenagers and adults. Although we couldn’t go on the islands, they would come when M. Bosco called them each by name and would catch the fruit he threw at them.

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Gimme the fruit.

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Overall, it was worth the confusion, the drive, the rain (NOTE: the raindrops in the pictures are not some fancy filter, but the reality of the day) and the cold.

And you can read more about the organization below*:

Les chimpanzés de « Papaye France » vous attendent au Cameroun

Association Papaye France

(*If you understand French or Google-translated French)

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Photoggling

Paris

Photos from a brief interlude with my family in the city of lights.

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Institut de France

 

The Eiffel Tower and views :

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West: La Defense & Bois de Boulogne

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Northeast:  Louvre & Musée d’Orsay (& tiny bit of Notre Dame)

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East: Champs de Mars & Monteparness

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Southwest:  Parc des Princes & Bois de Boulogne

Mont Saint Michel :

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Chain used to pull water up the hill. 

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Wheel that the prisoners walked in, like hamsters, in order to pull the chain. 

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Sisters

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Contrary to popular belief, Mont Saint Michel is flooded by corn, not water, during the equinoxes. 

 

Notre Dame :

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Outside view

 

Saint Chapelle :

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Sacre Cœur :

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Versailles :

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Modern art exhibit in Versailles by Olafur Eliasson

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The Seine : IMG_7052

 

The Opera House  (or more specifically one room) :

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Most likely the location of the batcave in Batman the Opera

Kusmi Tea (aka loose leaf heaven) :

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