This morning I thought I would sit down with a delicious cup of coffee (the real kind, sent from the states) and finally catch you all up on my life since.. well since a while. Except i'm out of gas for my stove, as are many homes in the East due to a region wide shortage. So today I proved that even the city girl can split wood, splash some kerosene around and create a fire in her back yard. An hour later and I've got myself a cup of coffee and the start of more adventures with fire wood.
I've also tried out my plumbing and electrical skills recently which let me tell you... are pretty weak. I can only speak for cameroon, but it seems like this area of the world gets the short end of the stick on quality products. Or more stated more clearly, factory defects from the western world get sold here as brand new. So there has been some frustration with my "new" house. But i guess that's what happens when you decided to be grown up and switch from playing house to paying for the house.
On to other updates. My health project (community health insurance) is going pretty well. We've been progressing at a slower rate than I would like but thats okay. The best news is two large international donor agencies are coming this month to talk with us further about funding support! We started the group with our own money, taken time away from families and work and have not gained a cent so it will be really nice to get that extra financial support. It will also help the project advance and be more available to several communities and villages.
This is the logo design I thought of, Thryn created and our group decided on. We're legit.
Books for Cameroon has been successfully funded and we're in the preparation stage right now to receive all 22,000 of them. Hopefully the carton will be making its way across the Atlantic very soon. For a quick second I thought maybe it would be nice if it arrived with a pizza, you know for the kids.
Its hard to believe its the holidays again, especially with the start of the 90 degree weather and dust. My postmate Elyse and I have decorated the house and have been playing Christmas music to convince ourselves otherwise. Thanksgiving is something we do big in the East and this year has topped them all. There were 25 people all at one table it was awesome. We had two big turkeys- thanks to an expat who raised them. No I didn't kill them or clean them but I did brine them overnight in a bath of stock and seasonings = delicious. It was the first time I've ever cooked a turkey and I was damn proud! There was also apple sausage stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole with the crunchy onions and mushrooms, pumpkin bread, mashed potatoes, caramelized carrots, SWEET corn, creamed green peas and christmasy napkins. Thats not even including appetizers! We also had an assortment of bottled wine and liquor. Now this may seem like typical thanksgiving and thats the part that made it so amazing. Its so hard to recreate american food here so the fact that everyone agreed it tasted just like home, made me pretty happy.
Not really a surprise here, I kinda planned food for three times as many people. I could barely lift the potatoes.
Boxed wine + christmas music & decorating + elyse = greatness. She's still going to kill me for posting this one..
This time of year is by far the hardest to be away, again, from family and friends back home who are all celebrating together. So Elyse, Lisa, Tess and I are headed up to the Extreme North to spend it with a huge gathering of Peace Corps volunteers. We're also really excited about traveling up there because we've never been (a 3 day trip just to get there!) and because it is a completely different country in comparison to the southern part of Cameroon. I will take LOTS of pictures.
I did put up a random mix of pictures recently that you can see here Its been a while... here are some photos
And last night I went to a party so I thought I would upload those as well. Bandjoun Fete
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, with love, Siobhan
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!