Friday, July 30, 2010

A Day In the Life

Wake up – rooster(s!!) crowing at 5, 6,etc.

Turn over

Wake up – carpenter starts hammering at 7.

Turn over

Wake up –8 -  can no longer deny the morning light and the beginnings of a bustling day.

Peek out the window to see if Mt. Cameroon is visible – mostly cloudy, but sometimes quite the sight!  Mental note: “do not forget raincoat today”.

Go to shower.

Stare at shower knob contemplating the merits of shock therapy.

Cold rush!! Tense muscles! Icy goodness from head to toe!  Invigoration sets in and I splash around like a drunk seal!

A bit of tea, bread, and eggs, and I’m off to morning classes at 9.

Marvel at Brandon and Eric teaching, as I go between helping students on the side remember how to double-click and checking to see whether e-mail has loaded!

11 o’clock – class ends and we sort through which phase of the process each area school is at during the School PCs project.

Possible meeting with potential schools.*

I look outside and it’s raining… I regret not grabbing my rain jacket.

I daydream about my rain jacket dancing – playing maybe with the rain pants that I also left at home….dry.

The rain lets up, so I dash home – only a short walk from the center.

I pass a play yard where the kids finally shout my name instead of “white man” and I realize how much I love traipsing through the mud with the smell of something (anything really) burning in the air.

Spend the last few steps to the house comparing what I would “normally” be doing right now in the states.

Smile at the crazy wonderful contrast.

The sun shows promise of shining, so I collect clothes to do a load of laundry.

Check to make sure the water is on and not being rationed, and I’m good to go!

Throw in some powder and fill a bucket of water.

Realize I forgot to wear a long sleeved shirt to deter mosquitoes, but think, “eh, they won’t get me this time…” (Mental note: why, vitamin b?!?! why?!!)

A little plunge and scrub and I have something that resembles cleanliness that I can hang to dry.**

The smell of Maggi (a buillion-cube-like seasoning they put in practically everything) fills the air and I head inside to check out what’s for lunch.

3pm – Shovel in some rice and yummy Cameroon concoctions and head out to the afternoon classes at the center that have already begun.

5pm – Class ends – I wave goodbye to some of the very sweet students as they file out the door.

Return home to be greeted by our Cameroon family.

The girls’ giggles and general being make me feel close to the sweet, cutie nieces I left at home.

Smile again, this time for the similarities of children/humans worldwide.

Delve into evening/night activities – games with the other volunteers; soccer at the stadium; quick jog down a dirt road; soaking up the nightlife; live music with the neighbor; bootleg movie; reading (secretly crossword puzzles…); possibly catch up on work or plan for what more needs to be done during the week.

10-12midnight – I go to sleep to entertain Malaria dreams until it starts all over again tomorrow!

*Note that we have endearingly had to adopt/adapt to AST (African Standard Time, which means meeting times generally imply the “give or take an hour” rule….)
**Because it’s the rainy season, it can take up to a week before jeans are “dry” enough to wear, so they must either be supremely dirty or unholy smelly before you relent and wash anything.

Gratuitous pictures for the interested:


I always wondered how a washing machine works (it always stopped when I opened the lid...)

Some of us choose to get it all out of the way on laundry day...

 (Sorry kids, maybe another day when it doesn't take 15 hours to upload 1 picture:()


At 2:30 PM, July 30, 2010, Blogger The Poges said...

This made me so happy!!! I loved hearing about your daily life! It sounds rewarding, charming, relaxed and exciting!!

At 6:29 AM, July 31, 2010, Blogger Brent said...

"*Note that we have endearingly had to adopt/adapt to AST (African Standard Time, which means meeting times generally imply the “give or take an hour” rule….)"

Ohhhhhhh my. Half a world away and wholly unaffected by this, I'm still having a little nervous breakdown.

Oh, and I'll respond to your FB message soon.

At 10:29 AM, July 31, 2010, Anonymous Devon said...

Sounds like a good life! Glad to hear about it, thanks for posting! Love you!!!

At 8:50 AM, August 03, 2010, Blogger Lindsey Z said...

Great description, thanks for letting us in and painting a picture for all of us. Kristi, you should make Eric YOUR assistant for a few classes. =)

At 5:21 PM, August 03, 2010, Anonymous Linda Collins said...

Sounds like a wonderful adventure! Thanks for sharing the simple life and adapting to AST.

At 8:36 AM, August 04, 2010, Anonymous Melissa ;) said...

KRISTI, I MISS YOU!!!!! I loved reading your blog, it sounded just like you ;) Sounds like you are doing amazing things over there, you go be the mission, sister ;) Hugs


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