Sunday, September 18, 2011

Engager La Communité

I realize that the Peace Corps is all about cross-cultural exchange. For example, I get a lot of shouts of 'Ni Ho' or of people saying I am Japanese or Chinese or even of kids acting out kung fu moves. Such is life for an Asian American volunteer in Cameroon. I realize however that I have to engage the community. So in the above example, I need to respond. Responses could be 'Pensez-vous que je suis japonais ou chinois' (Do you think I am Japanese or Chinese) ou 'Pensez-vous que tous les gens d Asie savent kung fu?' Its an opportunity for cross cultural exchange and to teach them about the Philippines and that not all Asians are Chinese or Japanese.
Another thing I realize about life in Cameroon is that one has to be assertive. Par example, I went to dinner with several trainees but the food they brought us was cold. Peace Corps has advised us to always make sure that the food we eat at restaurants is hot. It was especially bad for me because I had ordered pork which has the greatest risk of carrying parasites if not properly cooked. My fellow trainees ate only the rice and avoided the meat. Me and another trainee however decided to eat the food. We didn't get sick but others later told us that we should've said: 'Pouvez-vous réchauffer la nourriture, s'il vous plait? Si ce n'est pas possible, nous ne pouvons pas manger et nous devons laisser sans payer?. Translated as: Could you heat the food, please? If its not possible, then we cannot eat the food and we have to leave without paying.

Saturday, September 03, 2011


Its been a time of change for me. For instance, its been a change of location. I've been in Cameroon as a Peace Corps trainee now for about two weeks. We've all been working on our French and are starting to know our way around town. The place reminds me a lot of the Philippines:
View of our house in Ebolowa
Other changes include my Facebook habit. I haven't been on Facebook in more than a month. What's funny is that there's a lot of too-much-information info on Facebook, like people discussing their bowel movements. Yet in the Peace Corps, not a day goes by without someone discussing their bowel movements. Another thing I changed is the number of posts I show on my blog. I decided to remove the really personal and possibly controversial posts from my blog. I may repost them in the future, but I just want to make sure my blog is Peace Corps safe. C'est tous pour maintenant. A bientot!