27 November 2009

New Address

Bonjour tout le monde!

Happy Thanksgiving one day later. We had our own little holiday here at our training center with a melange of Cameroonian and American food. It was a great night to spend with the whole stage community. I also just want to say that I am really thankful for my family, friends, and everyone else who is supporting me. I miss the tradition of saying what everyone is thankful for one by one around the table. But anyway...THANK YOU for everything!

I have a new address for the next two years of my life. So please send me letters because I love having paper and words on it from all the people I care about. Here is my new address:

Christina Stegura
Peace Corps Volunteer
Corps de la Paix
B.P. 39
Mbouda, Cameroon
Par Avion

A few updates

I placed into the needed french level finally. Officially I am at an advanced low level in french! Who knew? But actually my french is getting much better and over the past week things have just seemed to click finally. I feel like I can talk to my family and my community in french. I am quite enjoying franglish - basically adding lots of french words into my normal english vocabulary (ex. Oh they are just kids, they derange. Which essentially means that they annoy.) Side note, children here are all considered to derange, it is a fundamental part of being a kid.

Stage is basically almost over! Hooray for that. We have a technical test on monday to review all of the health information that we have learned. Then we swear in on wednesday. That is when I will officially start my service as a volunteer. Thursday I will leave for my post and move into my new place. For now I will be staying at the health center, but looking for a new more permanent house.

14 November 2009


It has been a while since I have been able to post. So much has been happening so quickly in the mean time. Some key highlights from the past few weeks:

Cooking dinner
I made dinner for my family. Imagine being in a dark smoky room with no lights - because of course the power cut that night – and three big rocks with a fire in between them. It is harder than you would think to cook with smoke filling your eyes and then inhaling it all as you are coughing and taking in more smoke…needless to say, not that much fun. But actually the dinner was a success and I had so much fun doing it. On the menu:
• Guacamole sandwiches (to keep everyone munching while I cooked everything else)
• Pasta primavera (an alfredo sauce with green beans, tomatoes, and onion over pasta)
That was exactly what I needed that night. My family loved it too. The only complaint they had was that the green beans were too crunchy. One thing you need to know is that here they overcook most of their veggies and like it very mushy. I am hopeful that the dinner might inspire them to try more fresh veggies, but that is having high hopes.

Site Visit
The next thing really exciting thing has been our site announcements and site visits. I now know where I will be living for the next two years in Cameroon! I will be in Bamboué, it is a small village about 2-3 hours from where I am in training now. So I will still be in the Western province. It is a lot like where I am now, except more mountains right by me. If you want to try and find me on a map:
• Find the provincial capitals of the West (Baffoussam) and the North West (Bamenda). About half way between them is a town called Mbouda (pernounced buda). Then about halfway between Mbouda and Dschang is a small town called Bangong. This is my main market that I will be walking to regularly. It is about 5 k away from Bamboué. I do not think that you will find my post on any map, though.
I absolutely love my post. It is with a private health center – called CAPCEPV – that has been integrated into the public system. We have twelve health areas that we are responsible for providing care to. As a result there are outreach vaccination days each month to visit the health areas.

I feel like I have so many things that I want to say so I will try to list them and elaborate a bit on each thing that I did on site visit:

Peanut Butter with piment – a father makes spicy peanut butter only a few houses down from my future house

No reception in my compound – unfortunately I have to walk up the hill in order to get reception on my cell phone

ACREST – a local appropriate technology NGO near my site. I am really excited to work with them because they have interesting projects like ameliorated cookstoves, solar power dryers, etc.

Bororos – there is one small village that I will be working with that is an all muslim herder village

Pool in Dschang – I was able to go swimming in a refreshing pool in the city of Dschang (pernounced chang)

CDC/CTE - The Cameroonian Tea Company very close to my post. Its acres upon acres of tea plants. It is very beautiful, but controversial. Is it a good thing or not? For a long time it was owned by the British, they employed Cameroonians on a salary and had a great hospital around to care for the workers. New it is owned by a Cameroonian, but there are no salaried workers and the hospital has been closed.

I have finally been able to upload some photos on Facebook of Cameroon. Sorry that I do not have more right now, but you can see the photos by going