As you may have noticed, dear readers, the Peace Corps Peach blog has taken on a new look. I could say it is inspired by new beginnings, or by a change in outlook, but those would be lies. You’re better than that, reader. In truth, the change is linked to the fact that the old lay-out was givin’ me crap with some of my posts and I didn’t know how to fix it. It seemed easier to just change the style.
I’m now officially in the North West! I’m not a resident of Bali yet, my soon to be village. Instead I’m at the office for Peace Corps in Bamenda, my regional capital. The move went pretty well– I hardly lifted a thing thanks to my wise choice in befriending a former Marine (thanks, White Chocolate!) Together, he, I, and three others managed to make it from Yaounde to Bamenda in good time. It went down as the nicest ride I’ve had in-country on public transport. When traveling from Nguti I often fasted the night and morning before traveling. Having to pee on the road isn’t fun. I did like the locals and just held it. The sooner the eight plus hour trip was over, the better. My current record stands at 5.5 hours of really having to pee, but instead sitting on a bumpy bus with three dozen other people (and usually a few goats, crying babies, bags of fish, squawking chickens and/or really, really fat mamas who insist on elbow-room). On this trip I drank and ate with abandon– scheduled bus stops at food and clean bathroom awaited me and I planned on taking full advantage. Coconut? Bananas? Pineapple? Soda? Throw it down the hatch, I’m going to Bamenda!
Lucky for me, Bali is a mere 20 minute ride away from the internet, light, refrigeration, paved roads, peanut butter, copiers and printers, nice bathrooms, and fireplaces of Bamenda (most doesn’t work, but their existence is exciting enough to entertain me for the next several months). Oh, wait, except that Bali itself, while being technically classified as a village, has all those great things I listed above, too.
Yes, that’s right, I’ve somehow transferred into a dreamland. Being up here makes me realize that either life in the South West is really hard or life in the North West is really freaking great. It could be both, who knows. In the South West a good day meant that I didn’t lay on the floor trying to escape the heat, or that goats didn’t show up in my house while I was napping and ate part of my dinner, or that light came on at 6 instead of …well, never. Market had pineapple? Awesome day. Puff puff was crispy? You lucked out. A store had bread? Girl, you need to play the lottery with all that good mojo.
Up here I feel like a little country mouse who accidentally ambled into the big ol’ city. My clothes alone serve as a waving flag that a bumpkin is near- they’re sleeveless in an environment where the mean temperature is in the low 70s. They go down to mid-calf in a place where booty shorts have made a comeback. They feature an awful lot of satin, much more than city folk dare wear. I talk too much in taxi cabs, I know pidgin in a place where people speak real, true English, and I gawk at all these white people we keep passing. (Where do they come from? What the heck are they doing here?)
Some people have asked how I’ve navigated the last month of being homeless. I decided instead of boring you with details of my daily schedule, I’d post pictures– they’re worth a thousand words, after all.