one year

We celebrated our one year anniversary in Cameroon on All Hallows Eve.  One year down.  One more to go.  Wondering what kinds of gremlins will be crossing our paths over the next 12 months.

Perhaps at this point we should look back on some of the things we’ve learned, some of the challenges we’ve faced, and some of the opportunities still awaiting us.   Here goes…

One year is more than long enough:

To think 4 grown men riding on a moto is just plain normal. 2 men and 3 goats on one contraption hardly merits a second glance either for that matter

To have thought of buying underwear from a street seller – but not actually done it … yet!!

To realize one is required to shriek when seeing a 2-inch cockroach in the kitchen sink no matter how often it occurs

To say things like “on fait comment alors” without a hint of sarcasm – for Anglophones, this fatalistic favourite expression of Cameroonians means, “and what can we do about it?”

To always, always, always remember to have handsanitizer on hand.  The day you don’t, kids who spend their days playing and pooping in the street (especially adorable 18 month-old Jasmina from down the street) will want to shake your hand (see reference to latrines below)

To think our daily hard work may – eventually – actually lead to some change

To learn that we have much, much more to learn

To miss our family and friends

One year is not nearly long enough:

To no longer be surprised by the great outdoors being used as latrines (even in the city) – and of men wanting to chat up white ladies while doing their business!

To convince our friends “back home” that our lives in Africa are as exciting as one would think

To be convinced that it is safe to drink the water

To stop being amazed by the volume of water that can fall from the skies.  Forget raining cats and dogs!   In Cameroon it rains elephants and giraffes!

To reconcile ourselves with accepting when we are being charged the foreigners’ price and that, through much arguing and cajoling, we may not be able to get the price down by the standard 50% locals can get

To know for sure our efforts and daily hard work will yield to change or positive impacts

To learn exactly what we still have to learn

To stop missing our family and friends

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~ by Caroline Spira on November 2, 2010.

One Response to “one year”

  1. I thought about you on Halloween and I miss you too, so much…
    Hugs and kisses from me and Léanne
    Zaz

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