31 August 2010

Friends, Family, and Fun

A lot has happened since I have last posted. Lets see, I helped out with another summer camp in the West Region with some Agroforestry volunteers. It was in Baham, which is pretty close to Bafoussam. It was a girls camp, so we got to deal with reproductive health and girls empowerment. Our group of girls ranged widely in age so some topics were harder than others. Overall it was a great experience. I spent the whole week with other volunteers making great food and doing wonderful activities with the girls.

When that ended I got to visit my host family for the day. I have not seen them since the end of stage and it was a much needed overdue visit. I got to see most of my friends from Bamena, except for one of the other volunteer’s mother, who I was really close with. I saw Gambino – he has physically grown up a lot and seems to be doing well getting ready for the next year of school. My host uncle was sweet as always. He is now usually living in Douala working to unload boats for the World Food Program. He was back in Bamena to see his family. It was very nice to see him because we got really close running every morning. I know that if I ever need to go to Douala I will surely contact him to help me get around. My host mother was so welcoming and excited to see me. She made boiled peanuts as well as rice and peanut sauce for me. Then she gifted me more peanuts when I headed out. Most of the kids were visiting family in the South West Region for the vacation time, but I did get to see the youngest, Rickson. He was finally able to walk and even talking a bit now. Finally my host father drove down from Bafoussam to meet up with me and he is doing well. He has a new car and was very excited to take me around town to say hi to people.

Now I am in Yaounde in order to prepare for the next stage that is coming. It has almost been a year since I arrived in Cameroon and now we are getting ready for the next group; it is a semi-surreal experience.

On a completely different note I found out that my Mom is coming to visit me in November! She will be here for about two weeks. I am starting to think about the different things that we will do while she is here. It will be so nice to show her my home and how I live for these two years. We will also go around and see some other areas.

My parents have also booked me tickets to come and see them in January. We are going to meet in Miami and take a cruise to Aruba for a week. I was not expecting to come to America during my service, but I can not pass up the opportunity to see my family. It will be so amazing, relaxing, and luxurious.

It looks like another friend, Rich, may visit me in February as well. So much excitement in so little time. I know this next year will fly by and I am really looking forward to it.

10 August 2010

Milky Pineapples, frommage, plum cherries, evués, and cassa-mangues

There is a magical world of fruit here. You think you know about most of the fruits in the world and then you go to a city. I will try to describe the fruits that I have tasted recently.

The first one is called a sour sop. It looks green and spiky from the outside and comes from the hot humid regions (like the south). When you cut it open it begins to look more like a white pineapple with brown seeds in the pulp. I personally think it tastes like a milky pineapple.

The next fruit was called frommage in French. That word translates to cheese, but this is not cheese, it is a fruit. So I am not sure what the English word would be. It is small, like a tomato, with a top, as though it was once connected to a vine. You do not eat the thin layer of skin. Inside is a thick almost avocado-like consistency. It is much sweeter, though. Inside you will find a couple of brown seeds. I am going to try and plant some.

Plum cherries, that is the best way I can think to describe it. They are small like cherries, but have a hard skin. They might actually be a type of cherry. Once you take off the hard skin, it is a dark red, violet color and you can suck on the fruit until only the seed is left. The fruit pulp reminds me a lot of a plum.

The evué, is probably the most unique of them all. First you start off with this large lumpy type fruit. It looks like a big potato with four or so lumps in it. Then you peel off that brown skin and you see four whitish, transparent fruits. Each of them is covering a bright red seed. You eat the white part that is around the seed. The white part has been described as the texture of an onion and an apple combined and the taste is more like that of an apple and a litchi combined.

The last fruit is basically one type of bush mango. It is a round shape and I would liken it to a nectarine. It has a thin layer of skin that you can peel off and then eat the pulp. It tastes like a mix between a nectarine and a mango, but if you eat it too early it is very sour. The interesting part is that the seed is really spiky.

Sometimes I think I get set in my ways and end up eating the same things time and time again. But when you randomly buy the mysterious fruit instead, you never know what will happen. Bananas are my fruit of choice in village and papaya is my fall back fruit in the cities. I will be walking around and there are stands with cut up papaya, I love it. But thankfully I gave these other fruits a chance as well.
I almost feel like I am in Charlie and the Chocolate factory, except it is a fruit factory. I am licking the scratch and taste wallpaper and I never know what to expect.

02 August 2010


My sitemate, Ben, just moved to Bafoussam; so that was a sad good bye. Other than that things have been going pretty well. I am working on a water project for my health district. It would include reforesting the area near the source of water up in the mountains and then finishing a water treatment plant. So that is exciting, it will be a lot of work, but it will be great if it actually gets done; woohoo for potable water!

Also my counterpart is looking at starting an internet cafe in village. Right now it is all only in the planning stages, but personally I would love to teach the people there some computer lessons. I think I would start with keyboarding, because it is such an important skill and then see what else they want ot learn.

Ok but now to the title of my blog: recently I have been walking down to the market and there is a man about half way down who keeps yelling at me. He tells me that a white person is inside threatening his mother. And then the next day it is that a white person is eating him. He is begging for my help. Maybe if he wasn't yelling at me I would consider talking to him. So now I am pretty sure that he is talking about sorcery. The beliefs are that at night the sorcerer turns into a vampire, or another animal, and then sneaks into your house and starts eating your soul. Once they have finished eating it you will die. They can do this in one night ( a sudden death) or it can last for years (then you would just be sick).

I am not really sue how to respond and I just hope that he does not try to do sorcery to me for not helping.