Saturday, February 27, 2010

Favorites from 2010 So Far

My new bunny! Isn't she adorable? Her name is McRabbit. We were at our friend's bar a while ago and some guy was going around selling them. I'd had a couple beers and it seemed like a very good idea to get one. The next day, I realized it wasn't. Unfortunately she didn't lead a long life.

My new favorite thing to read is The Pioneer Woman I'd like to be her when I grow up. Grab some wine and read the "Love Story" - of how she and her husband met. It puts most of my romance novels to shame

International Women's Day on March 8th is the best day of the year. This year the fabric is ugly but Elyse and I had a few beers with the ladies in our neighborhood and it was really fun.

It was raining at the time we took these pictures, also raining in the bar hence the head scarf. I know why people do rain dances now. After weeks without rain (I shouldn't really complain because people in the northern part of the country will go a half a year without rain), temperatures hitting a 100 and humidity, I'm just about ready to do a rain dance myself. The rains that come are few and far between since its the dry season but when it does rain... its really intense. And I run outside with every pot and salad bowl I own to collect it. Here's a picture of my buckets getting filled up!!

Mary Poppins in French makes everyone happy!!! And it keeps the neighbor kid entertained while her mom helps me clean the house and do laundry.

Books have arrived!!! I wish I could easily sum up the entire process but I still wouldn't do it justice. THANK YOU to everyone that helped fundraise, I wish you could have been in the storage room to see the boxes and boxes of books and how excited these schools are to receive them. Here are a couple pictures, and for more visit Wendy's blog at

It's volunteer's favorite season right now... MANGO SEASON! I bought a small bucket full of them for a dollar on the side of the road and I didn't even have to get out of the bus. It's wonderful. Favorite dish right now: Black bean mango salsa with avocado. Soooooo good.

This is called mbool. NOT a favorite. The sauce is made of mbools- no idea what that is and other spices. It has the texture of slimy elastic snot and you eat it with a ball of sticky flavorless manioc. I think i've mentioned manioc before- there are dozens of different ways to prepare it but essentially its a nutritionally void carbohydrate . Its popular here because a four year old could manage to grow it, has a long shelf life and its got 3 times as many calories as an average starch. Mbool is not my favorite.

But we're at a friend's house for dinner so I'm going to pretend that I love it and eat it all. *choke*. Our friend's kids are pretty cute though
Hiking up the tallest Mountain in Western Africa is, well, not exactly my favorite thing to do I found out. The hike took 3 days and covered about 26 miles. Before this, I couldn't remember the last time I went up a set of stairs (It's not that I prefer escalators, multiple level buildings are not common here). And here I was CLIMBING, not even just hiking for a good part of this excursion. Good thing I went with an amazing group of people and we had porters carrying our bags, in flip flops and jelly shoes. We camped out and cooked 2 nights. Thankfully we brought tents to sleep in because the rats were huge. I fell a few times on the way down the mountain, got up and reminded myself that at the bottom was a new dress waiting for me. But I made it!!! with all my toe nails in tack. Do you know that happens to hikers?? I decided I like hiking and I like camping, but I don't like the two together. After 6 to 9 hours of hiking I do not want to collect water, make dinner and figure out the damn tent. Oh and next time, i'll start of with a smaller mountain.


Ending the hike and going directly to the black sand beaches of Limbe was a happy ending. We ate so much fish, calamari and shrimp that night. This is the hotel's swimming pool which also has fish in it.
I'll stick to the beach thanks.

Lastly, what we've all been waiting for.... Close of Service Conference. Peace Corps puts up our entire training group- all of us who came in at the same time, at the nicest hotel in the capital over looking the entire city. We spent 4 days eating amazing food, hanging out at the pool and having a great time. Time well earned I must say. Myself and a couple other people put together a funny slideshow of pictures with some fun facts from our group collected in a survey we gave out. It was awesome, thats all I can say until I get home and can show it to you.

During the day we filled out piles of paper work and learned how to get out of this country in one piece. Most importantly we found out when we'll be leaving. Well almost all of us. I'm looking into the possibility of staying another 6 months to a year, still under Peace Corps but also partnered with a large international organization doing development work here. It would be a BIG boost in my career and maybe a foot in the door to the organization. It's not without downsides though. It's another year away from family and it might be the 3rd Christmas in a row I would miss and all of the other holidays, weddings, time I can never get back, etc. It would also mean another year of volunteering. Money is not a priority, but some is necessary.

Whether I'll stay or go, hopefully that will be decided in a couple weeks. My next blog will either be about my date that I leave this country and travel ideas/plans around afterwards OR it will be about my new exciting position with ________ organisation. You're going to have to wait and see!