One year ago I swore in as a Youth Development volunteer with the Peace Corps.
In many ways I’ve changed—I’m meaner, more straightforward, more patient, and more introspective. In other ways I’m exactly the same, still laughing at my own jokes, spending too much time on the internet, being a cheapskate, and making too many lists that I never actually get around to crossing off.
Though it’s been a whole year of volunteering, Cameroon still remains a mystery in some ways. Here are my Top 10 things I still do not get about Africa in Miniature.
1. Earmuffs in 80 degree weather.
2. How most people possess the physical inability to walk faster than a dawdle, yet the prowess to literally run up a mountain.
3. How 20 million people can simultaneously not have small change.
4. Their love for cow skin, but confusion at a sandwich.
5. The amazing coincidence that every volunteer in this country is either ‘too skinny’ or ‘too fat’, and can manage to be both in the same day.
6. Cars are washed every day. Clothes are not.
7. Lady beards.
8. The overabundance of men’s underwear, yet conspicuous absence of female undies.
9. Repairing a broken transmission with a stick and a cement block? No problem.
ATM at the local bank? Baffling.
10. Multi-colored, drawn on eyebrows being a ‘thing’ here.
Now I can say I’m truly over the hump, and that it’s all downhill from here, a day I never thought I’d see. Here the days drag on, but the weeks and months fly by at an alarming rate. Here’s to an even more excellent second year.