I sincerely apologize for all the mistakes I have been making on this blog. These include but are not limited to grammar, spelling, verb conjugation….and everything else you may have noticed!
Ok change of plans! I will not volunteer anymore. It is a decision based on credit transfer for my diploma. Otherwise I would have loved to. I will be reading 3 Cameroonian authors and discussing them with the language coordinator. 3 books are plenty for me. Hopefully I will have time for other stuff as well. We have another dance class today. I just found out. I am not wearing sweat pants so I will go home during break. My house is not far from the office. It is a bit cold today. For those of you who think that is is always hot in Africa….it is a lie oooooo! It gets really cold over here! I mean you don’t need winter jackets or anything but it gets cold. Today is going to be a long day because we have presentations. I forgot to mention that we went to different historical sites with our history class as well. We went to see the monument of one of the Cameroonian leaders who worked under colonizers. We also went to see the monument of reunification between the Anglophone and the francophone sides. I did not take my camera so I do not have any pictures. It was soooo hot that day!
My host brother is upstairs playing the wii with his friends…well I think it is the wii because the remote looked like a wii remote…anyways they are playing video games. I ended up not going to the club with them. I spent the club money on my preventive malaria pills today. I was unable to get some cloth today as well. But hopefully tomorrow my host brother will take me to the place. By the way I do not have anymore insects or mousses in my room but let me not talk to soon…LOL. I am doing more thinking about my numerous projects. I am in the group that will be presenting in a week. Our presentation will be on the culture and traditions of the Bamilekes people. While I am working on that I will be doing my interviews with my partner for another project on attendance in Yaounde and Dschang Lycees. Since Dschang is rural and Yaounde is urban, we want to analyze the attendance rate and see if there are any major differences and see what those differences are. While we are working on that we have to choose a previous independent study project for our project critique. We have to read and critique a past independent project to get us thinking about our independent project. While we are working on that, I will be working on my Independent project ideas and turning in outlines. There is so much to do but once I get home, I feel like I have soo much free time…
We had a very interesting lecturer today for out history class. He called the American Lottery visa human trafficking because it is draining Cameroon of its brains, its smart people. He gave the example of doctors being formed, here in Cameroon, on the government’s budget, but then making the personal decision to leave the country instead of staying to serve the people…I did not agree with some of the things he said but he got me thinking. Over all, he was very interesting.
I forgot to blog about our visit to Yaoundé I so here it is! It is the University where the two Cameroonians studying with us go to school. There is also Yaoundé II. The visit was very interesting. We met and talked with students. We also took a tour of the university. When you have class at 8am, you have to come to class at 5am to make sure that you have a seat. That summarizes the overpopulated situation of the university. I mush say everyone was nice to our group and was very open. When I told some students my story, they asked me about what life is like in Chicago for someone who grew up in Africa and then moved to the states. Whenever I say it is not easy, they ask me more questions and….well lets just say nobody really understands how immigrants struggle in the states until they immigrate themselves. At their dinning hall, they eat the same thing everyday. There is only one official menu. It is only the men who eat there though. The girls cook their own food. The dorms are very small…lol yes! Smaller than American dorms…think jail cells! Public toilets are not kept clean so most students, even girls, prefer to pee and poop in the bushes that are outside. There are many big holes and bushes on the campus. They are not supposed to cook in dorms but people do. Yaoundé II has building at Yaoundé I. When they have exams, the results are published on the walls outside, in a designated area on campus. All your private information and your grade is on that wall if you are a student in Yaoundé I. Grades are not confidential like they are in America. Their library is not well kept. The computers are not working. Everything is old and dusty but they are still useful. They do not buy textbooks because they are too expensive. They photocopy everything! From talking to different students, I realized that they all have this magical idea that the united states is so great and full of opportunities. So many people told me that if the visa process was not so intense, they would have gone to the states because even after they finish school, there are no jobs for them. Some students also complained that lecturers dictate instead of having an exchange with students. There is no such thing as office hours. If you decide to go see a professor after class, you happen to be a girl, and he tries to touch you inappropriately, you only have yourself to blame for going. The university pays people to come clean the school once or twice a week I believe. There is campus security but they are not paid so they are corrupted and do not really do anything. The dress code on campus was a mix of African clothing and western style clothing. When students are done with class, they have nothing to do but seat outside and argue about politics in Africa. We were introduced to the Sociology, anthropology, psychology,…and something else I cannot remember…club. It was a group of students actually headed by one of the Cameroonian students doing the SIT program with us. They finance and maintain a library specific to the club’s majors. They also organize study sections with students. They make everyone interested in their club pay an activity fee and make member cards. The library is kept with that little money and donations. The students are struggling….but people have made it out of the system successfully so even though things are not perfect, there is great potential!
I am feeling a bit sleepy but class is nowhere near over! I just discussed my French level issue with my academic director and she is designing a curriculum for my French credit. Without it, I cannot graduate. One of the girls in my group came to class crying today. I do not know what happened yet. But I hope she is ok. I should really start digging into my project because once I start my advance level French class, I will no longer have all this free time. I finally realized that my Internet key is only good for posting short comments on facebook. It is too slow to do anything else. So if you want to get an Internet key…I would hesitate about it if I had to do it all over again. Tomorrow is the day I am supposed to go out with my host brother and his friends. I found out I will have to spend some money, which, I am not that hot about. I know! I know! I am always complaining about money (LOL). I am going to go anyways. I hope it is a fun experience. I am also finding out that I cannot trust anybody. No matter how nice the person seems to be, I have to be careful. Even children are not to be trusted. My host grandmother warned me about letting the neighbor’s kids into my stuff yesterday. I was helping them with their homework and I realized that teaching in Africa is a different ballgame. They have a very funny way to teach the alphabet. When I say letters in English the little girl does not get it. Her brother corrects what I say in the same manner it is pronounced at school. The little girl is only good in math though. Nonetheless, I told her yesterday that I was very proud of her for trying to complete her homework as hard as she did.
We are watching a movie first thing this morning. It is about colonialism and the role of missionaries in Cameroon, Namibia, and the rest of West Africa.
Hopefully I will go to church tomorrow and get some work done when I come back. I have to figure out how to completely dry my clothes and iron them as well.
One of my host brother’s girlfriends asked me to serve her as I was eating in the kitchen after I cooked. She said she is used to being served by her maids at her house so I should serve her. If she had asked me to serve her because I was the one who cooked, I would not have thought anything of it. But she asked me to serve her as one of her maids! Tchayeee! See me see trouble oo!