adopting a motto

One of our trainers this past week shared his motto with us:  Let yourself be challenged, not frustrated.

Got it.  Will adopt it.  Will live by it.

I hope.

In those first few days in Yaoundé we learned a bit about the history, the culture, the work that VSO Cameroon has been doing, and most importantly for the day to day aspects of things: what to do and not do.  So in the spirit of this, I, personally, am accepting the challenges that are coming based on the tips we’ve been provided:

–       not crossing my legs for the next two years (at least not in public!)

–       answering to “Madame Greg” instead of my own name

–       bargain, bargain, bargain  – starting at 20% of the asking price, not accepting more than 50%!!!  (ok, that one will be hard for me!  Bargaining AND mental calculations – oh, brother)

Yet all of this is exciting.  Much like exploring the world around us.

Yaounde City Scape

Yaoundé from above

We did a tour of Yaoundé, including driving up to the top of one of the hills where the Palais des Congrès sits so we could get a 360 degree view of the city.  Large, beautiful, busy.

On our last morning in Yaoundé, we were taken to the market to get a “feel” for the place.  My, what a place!  There is nothing you cannot buy.  Need a new colourful bra?  Yup, you can get that right off a mat on the ground.  Toothpicks?  Try the guy walking with a tray of them on his head.  Hungry?  Any of the thousands of vendors can help you with that:  plantains, pineapples (oh, they are so yummy!), avocadoes, tomatoes, groundnuts, a whole bunch of veggies we couldn’t identify, meats of all kinds.  Then there are donut sellers, kebabs for a quick snack, and fried fish available everywhere.

Nothing challenging in the above… except for learning how to navigate it all!

Yaounde Market

Yaoundé Market - it's all there!

Then again, that’s Yaoundé…  we’re off to Maroua… Going North!

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~ by Caroline Spira on November 7, 2009.

2 Responses to “adopting a motto”

  1. Your Blog is great. The uncrossing of the legs is good for your health. Are men supposed to do the same ? Thanks for the great photos.

  2. Great stuff kids. We can’t wait to read more. Have fun with navigation the new world…or is it the old world. I dunno.

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