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In no particular order:

Christmas tree!

Cat shit on a toothpaste!

Willie building a porcherie, and modeling.

Melissa and Brell!

Madame Marie Noelle & Willie working on the porcherie!

My little pepiniere! Like my little pony. Get it?

New Years Eve emotional photo!

My little Christmas tree!

A dik-dik, I think, at the ag fair. I saw one of these running through my village, no joke!

Kelly and I got our pretty faces on! Happy New Year! Yes she is wearing a dress. Maybe.

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5 January 2010


I fail to understand death here equally as I fail to understand it at home. The way people mourn here is different. Mourning is public, communal. People gather to share in the grief, as if to say, you are not alone in this mourning. I am here to mourn with you, to witness your grief and your loss.

There is food and dancing at the funerals, is it a celebration of our life, or just a continuation of the community as witness? We are here to feed you in your sadness. Or perhaps, the mourner feeds the community in appreciation of their gathering. But celebration, community aside, the grief is real. Wailing in the middle of the street real.

Anyway. Death. Jane is home, and I thought I would sleep better, but it's not entirely so. We talked about the robberies and she is afraid as I am. She told me it's not like this where she is from (anglophone Cameroon), that in a village near her there were robberies and all 3 thiefs were caught and killed, 2 by burning, I think the other one was beaten to death. And no more robberies. Yesterday she told me one of the thiefs from here was killed, shot in a nearby village. A part of me felt relief.

Yesterday I read an article in the New Yorker about a man on Death Row who was executed, maybe innocent. It was physically upsetting to read about him going to his death, passed over, new evidence unexamined. (Should I mention I have always felt strongly anti-death penalty?)

I don't understand the criminal justice system at home or here.

And I certainly don't understand death.


Stay in your house, unless leaving to meet other Americans. Watch American movies & TV shows. Read American books & magazines. Listen to American music.


... Leave your house. Theoretically.

Turns out the anxiety, fear, laziness that kept me inside my room in Humboldt, Yosemite, Eugene, also keeps me inside my house here in Bamendjou. I think I'm only extroverted when I have a known and friendly audience.

Worked on my nursery some. Did some laundry and ironing. Worked on some agro-fo presentations. Don't know who I will present them to, or with what language skills.

It's harder than I expected, but for different reasons. Namely, me.

6 January 2010

SOrry if this date jumping is confusing. TOday I am in Bafoussam with Liz and Julie. We visited a couple NGOs and did some talking and today I am feeling incredibly motivated and excited about all the projects I want to do. ANd also like there is not enough time to sleep if I want to get everything done. But also like when I head back to Bamendjou I will still need to learn how to leave the house.

I've been working on my handstands. Against a wall. But it still just makes me feel good. Inversions for good moods, n'est-ce pas?

The dust on the roads is awful. Rode in a car to Baf today and was still enveloped in a cloud of dust on the interior, my hands orange when I got out. Last time I took a moto from Baf to Bam, the dust was so deep and slippery we had to get off and walk up a hill. I think I still prefer it to the mud, but I miss the rain. It was cool and humid this morning and it was nice change from hot and dry. It has been looking like it might rain, a little. I hope.

My supervisor came by last night. He is going to call me to go to some reunions. He also asked if I can maybe teach an English class because there is a school who can't afford a teacher. GOsh, what an overwhelming idea. I don't know where to start. We will see what happens.

C'est tout pour maintenant, mes cheries!

Love love love.