I grew up with the Texas two-step – here I’m learning the two-step Cameroon style:  two steps forward and two steps back.  I’ve been here for a month – prepping our program, expanding it, and trying to find partners.  I’ve had dozens of meetings – half of the time spent waiting for the meeting to actually start.  I’ve been out on wild goose chases and sent Walters on more than I’d like to admit.


It seems after a month of this what I have to show is a very long paper trail and a sustained relationship with the same school we’ve been working with for the past two years.  I’m not complaining too much – I’m ever so happy to be at Lycee; but I had hoped to expand the program into other schools.  Instead I’m going to have to focus on my paper trail and hope that it is sufficient.


We’re fairly confident on our end that the Principal of Lycee will be happy to sign an agreement with us for another year.  I am also very confident that all the running around I made Walters do will pay off big time in future grants and reference documents.  I’m also hoping that with all of this great stuff we could get a “sign off” from the regional delegate of secondary school in the Southwest region.  That would give us a lot of leeway with future principals – so maybe I’m not able to make the expansion happen myself, but with luck I’ll be paving the way for the next fellow.


This isn’t anything new – this is the work.  You make a plan – it falls through.  You make another plan and part of it bears fruit.  You take meetings and break meetings – you postpone meetings and hope you’ll get to meet sometime this week.  At least in Baghdad we had bombs and the discussion of potential threats and how potentially real they were to punctuate the malaise of this pattern. ;)


But, I’m making some headway personally.  I still complain about the rain, my toilet, bugs in my bed, and the limited social scene in Buea, but I am also getting used to these things.  I hosted a Mexican night last night with a few friends.  It’s amazing what you can whip up in Cameroon if you know what to do with the raw products.  We had a good time.


Moreover, it’s only rained for 4 hours today and just 2 yesterday – I can feel the dry season coming.  As my friend Margie said to me – aren’t you glad you didn’t take that job in Seattle?  YES, lady – this is a few months of rain – that would have been years.  I’m like a cat – I worship the sun and need it to feel sane.


Elections are coming up.  The Peace Corps people are on restricted travel for that period of time – mostly because the Peace Corps has to be overly cautious.  No one is expecting this election to be any different from previous elections.  The guy everyone expects to win, will win and very few people will vote – sounds familiar.  ;)  Last night while we were eating the mixed group of Ex-pats and Cameroon nationals discussed voting.  The Americans, as expected, were very open about how important it was to vote and that they themselves were not consistent voters.  Walters was uninterested and Andrea’s Cameroonian friends were excited to welcome another 10 years of their current President.


Who knows what all this means – I don’t.  I’m thinking it means very little and I don’t know whether I’m less interested in what’s happening here or if there is just very little happening here.  I’m getting to know life here and the people that make my own life here.  There are high points and low points, but mostly a lot of blah.  In the words of the Strokes….. I got nothin to say.