Thursday, April 16, 2009

Happy Easter! Here's a monkey...

Well, I just started back teaching after 2 weeks off for Spring Break. The break was wonderful and it was so nice to have a little time to relax and catch up with things. The first week, I traveled to the East Province to see a little more of Cameroon. We went to provincial capital, Bertoua, and got to visit with some other volunteers that are posted around that area. It took awhile to get there, about 2 days of traveling on a bush taxi…not the most fun, but it was nice to see new places along the way. Bertoua was a lot hotter than where I am posted in Lewoh (Southwest province). It is actually pretty cool where I am and I even have to wear a sweater in the morning and use blankets at night. In the east, I was sweating all the time and definitely did not need a blanket to sleep. We spent a lot of time at a pool in a hotel though, so the heat was not too bad. I had a lot of fun and it was so nice to catch up with volunteers I haven’t seen in awhile. I am sure I will visit again when I have more time and hopefully be able to see the other smaller, more rural villages too.

The second week I just spent time around my village. My friend Stanley told me about this place where you can hear water but you can’t see it and said we should go there. I told him that the hike to the waterfall a couple of months ago kicked me ass and I def could not do something like that again. He assured me that the hike was only 45 minutes and was nothing like the waterfall. He lied. The hike took about 2 hours and the terrain was pretty steep (again). It was definitely not as hard as the waterfall, but it wasn’t super easy either. I am glad I went though. The place was pretty cool. It was really just a river bed full of HUGE boulders. The water ran under the boulders so that is why you can’t see it. Apparently starting about the middle of the rainy season, the river bed fills up again. We are just at the very beginning of the rainy season so there bed was still pretty dry.

For Easter, Stanley and Rasking came over to my house for dinner. We made homemade egg rolls from scratch, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and bunny cake. It was a very hodge podge Easter dinner, but delicious. They said they liked it better than my birthday dinner, so that’s good. I had an unusual visitor while we were preparing the food. A local hunter in the village came to my house and knocked at the door. He had a bag with him with something in it that was screaming. Then he pulls out a baby monkey and says he wants me to have it. “I dash you, I dash you!” he says. This means he just wants to give me this monkey as a gift. When I was little I did kind of fantasize about having a monkey as a pet, but I am older now and when he showed me the monkey, instead of having flashes of it sitting on my shoulder and helping me with chores, I had flashes of it giving me the Ebola virus. So, I said thank you very much for thinking of me, but I am going to have to pass on the monkey. Later, I retold the story to Rasking and he told me I should have taken it, he has always wanted a pet monkey…oh well. Next time.