Since I last wrote I’ve managed to not only get sick again (this time it’s a cold) but I also celebrated the big 2-2. Or, as I’m insisting on calling it in French, my big ol’ double-deux. I say ‘insist’ because I answer double-deux every time someone asks how old I am here, and nobody has yet to get it, Anglo- or Francophone.
My 22nd was fantastic, to say the least. I got a wake-up phone call from the Boyfriend that started my day off right. At school I was given a crown (including a drawing of a rhino on rollerskates) and a list of tasks to complete. Some of the highlights include:
Showing my belly dancing skills to my PCMO
Asking my training director if I could borrow a female condom
Getting ‘iced’ (or Booster-ed, since we had no Smirnoff) but the local goat
Taking a sip of Booster everytime someone called me ‘La Blanche’
Getting serenaded by one of our language trainers
I’m happy to report that I completed most of them, and even added in a few extras. During a language class we decided to play Truth or Dare, Cameroonian style. One of mine was leading one of our higher ups in a rendition of ‘It’s Raining Men’, dance moves included. Luckily for me he was an excellent sport and now when we pass each other we do jazz hands as a symbol of solidarity. Right on, Gaston. Right on.
Getting Iced by the goat went remarkably well. His name is Chevy and he lives at the local boutique. As soon as I took a knee he walked right over. He even did a wee bit of a jig on his hind legs while I downed what can only be described as a frat party in a bottle. Booster, while better than any other mixed drink here, is the worst whisky with the worst cola you’ve ever tasted. Okay, maybe second worst, and that’s the only thing that keeps us drinking it.
After my Booster, I sat down to enjoy a gateau chocolate, or some bread with knock-off Nutella. This is a food that most of us subsist on here. My friends had adorned it with two lollipops instead of candles. To round out my birthday night, I was serenaded with a custom rap, sang by my Y-D gentlemen, or as the rap called them : YD Mafia. It’s currently at home, so I can’t post it right now, but just know that it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever heard. I could not have been more tickled by all my amazing friends and fellow trainees coming out to celebrate lil’ ol’ me. For any of you guys reading this (stalkers…), thank you times a million! I love you dearly!
After I headed home (the beginning of my cold was starting to get to me) my host parents told me to get in the car for a surprise. We head to a house and I’m gifted with a dress. It looks like cotton candy and it is fantastic. It will be a one a week staple in my wardrobe, for sure. I cannot wait to start making more dresses here out of pagne, the fabric you can find here.
So all in all, it was an AWESOME birthday, quite possibility the best yet. But, now it’s coffee break at school and I don’t want to miss that soooooo… later!