It has been so long, I am sorry, as usual, for my absence.
Over the past few months so much has happened, I will try and cover everything that I can remember.
IST: In-Service-Training. This is held at the 3-4month mark for all stages (groups of volunteers that commenced together).
Ours was held in Kribi, this is in the Southern Region of Cameroon and happens to be on the coast; our hotel was literally across the street from the beach. As it worked out for me, it also happened to fall on the week of my Birthday which meant that I was going to get to spend my B-day on the beach with all of the people I moved to Cameroon with, a dream come true really.
Unfortunately, I was sick the whole conference with amoebas and malaria...just my luck I guess. I spent the whole time in my hotel room with 104`F temperature, chills, shakes, stomach aches, muscle aches, head aches, and loss of appetite.
But, overall, it was a really nice Birthday. Rose bought me a four cheese pizza, it was my first time getting to eat real cheese since I'd left California! They put candles in the top of the pizza box for me, it was pretty much a cake at that point, letting me make a birthday wish and everything.
Christmas: in Cameroon, oh shit look out, people like to fete it up (and drink a lot)
My friend Carmen took vacation after IST to come and see the Extreme-North. This worked out really well because we got to travel up to my region together, it is such a bummer to go it alone, it takes up to 3 days to make the trip.
This is Carmen:
We eventually made it out to my post which is just before Rhumsiki, a large tourist attraction due to the phallic stone formations that fill the region.
Carmen made it out to Rhumsiki with a tour guide from my village, he is also named Martin, he has decided, since he is older, he will be Martin One and I am Martin Two.
New Years: Uneventful...fun...different?
During Carmen's visit, I realized that I had been robbed! I was missing 50,000F of money from my lock box, which, as it turns out, is not all that secure. I also realized that, this wasn't the first time, but the third time I had been robbed. The first few times, I thought I was going crazy. Money kept disappearing from the house and i truly thought I was misplacing it. It took me being robbed three times to realize what was happening (I know this makes me sound like an idiot, but every time I was robbed, the robber always left me about 10,000F). The total money stolen was 100,000F which equates to about $200, this may not seem like much to Americans, but here, that was my rent money for 4 months!
Due to this, and other problems I was having at post, I decided to make some changes. I talked with our Admin in the capital and as of yesterday 31-1-2011, I am officially granted permission to move to Mora. Mora holds the largest cluster of foreign volunteers in the Extreme-North, with me, there will be 7 white people- 3 with Peace Corps and 4 with VSO. Also there are at least 4 Peace Corps volunteers within 30-45 minutes of Mora, that use Mora for the Market.
*I have been living at the transit house for just over a month. I am beginning to go a bit crazy, and not in the good or fun way.