Thursday, August 11, 2005

Tomorrow, I move to Yaoundé, Cameroon! Cameroon is a country on the West African Coast. To prepare for this move, I have researched (with some help) what Cameroon is all about. With all of this information, I still don’t feel that I am aware of the huge experience I am about to take part in. I am extremely excited to be able to move to and live in Cameroon for the next two years. During the two years in Cameroon, I will teach Fourth Grade at the American School of Yaoundé (check the school out at www.asoy.org). I’m very excited about teaching Fourth Grade because they are older than the First Graders that I am used to. I will stay in school owned apartments in a nice part of the city. The apartments are fully furnished with utensils, bedding, and living room arrangements. And the best part is I don’t have to pay rent or utilities!

Each time I tell someone that I am moving to Cameroon, they ask me why I chose Cameroon. The main reason I chose an African country is because I have heard so many positive and negative statements about the continent. I decided that I want to make that judgment myself and form my own opinions based on my experience there. I am expecting a totally different way of life from the one we live in the United States.

I leave tomorrow, August 12 for Yaounde. My plane leaves from Charleston, to Atlanta, to Paris, and then down to Yaounde. The plane ride is going to be so long! There are so many emotions associated with this move including excitement for such a change, nervousness about the unfamiliarity, and slightly sad because I am moving away from the wonderful time I had in Long Beach, CA. It is kind of a bittersweet time. I still have packing left to do. I am not sure how I will fit all of my things in the suitcase. About two months ago, I shipped 13 boxes to Cameroon! Although I’ve shipped boxes, took seven shots, applied for a visa, shopped for school items, and gathered paperwork, it still hasn’t completely hit me that I am moving to another country. I assume it won’t feel real until I step foot on Cameroonian soil.

I decided to keep this blog so that people are able to share in my experience in Yaounde. In this journal, I will write down everything that happens to me during this two year journey. I will also post pictures of all of the sights of my travels. I am unsure how often I will be able to post, but I will try to post as often as I can. My hope is that you are able to come visit my site once or twice a week to read about my life in Cameroon. There is also a portion where you can post comments, so feel free to post your ideas. Also, I know many of you love travel, so if you get bitten by the travel bug, feel free to come out and visit me! Come back again because my next post will be from Cameroon! Talk with you then! In the mean time, you can check out info on Cameroon at this site: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/destinations/africa/cameroon/index.htm

16 Comments:

Anonymous Jennifer said...

THIS BLOG ROCKS!! It's the best i have ever seen.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

My Sweet Daughter,

Your father and I will miss you so much. We will keep you in our prayers. Please be careful and safe. We love you and we are so very proud of you You are such a wonderful daugther.

Love,

Mom and Dad

11:12 PM  
Blogger Branka said...

Dear JENNY!!!!!!!
Good luck! I hope you had a good flight.
I am leaving to Kuwait on the 22nd. Let's be in touch!
Looking forward to read your next post.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Steph said...

JK,
Although I still can't believe that you are leaving the LBC (and me - its coolest resident) I wish you all of the luck in the world for your next two years. Make sure to leave some space on your couch between the clothes for me to sleep on when I come visit next summer.

love,
Steph

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Cesar T said...

Ciao Jennifer,
The blog looks awesome, very mid-century retro cool. Though, I met you for such a short time I hope to know more about you though your blog entries. Wish you truly the best of luck in Cameroon.
Ciao Jennifer,
(I just love saying Ciao it works for good-byes and hellos. That way it feels like if you are not really leaving rather I am just greeting a good friend).
Take lots of care, look forward to my post card.
sicerely,
Cesar T

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Earlier today, Aug 12, 2005, Diane and I watched our daughter pass through security at the Charleston Airport as she began her new adventure. She waved goodbye to us about a dozen times until she turned around the last corner. At that moment, many different emotions washed over me. Perhaps the strongest emotion was that of pride. Pride, because it takes a special person, at the age of 25, to embark upon a solo journey down what Robert Frost called, "the road less traveled by". While this is not Jennifer's first big adventure, it most certainly is her boldest one. Diane and I have no doubt that she possesses the requisite tools to thrive in this new adventure, and that she will make a positive difference in the lives of the young, and not so young, people that she will encounter in Cameroon.

Little P, enjoy your "new road". The pride Mom and I feel for you knows no bounds. We love you!

Dad

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Colleen said...

Hi Jennifer!
I'm so happy you're doing a blog, what a great idea! I will definitely stop by often. I'm sure you're in Cameroon now and I can't wait to hear how it's all going. Even though we've been waitinig for this to arrive since Feb. 4, I still can't believe it's here!
Best,
~Colleen

3:02 AM  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Hey Jen! I love your idea of keeping a blog to record your experience. I will definitly will feel closer to you by reading it. I hope you have fun and enjoy your time there, take lots of pictures! Talk to you soon!

Love,
Veronica

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Nice pictures Jennifer. You will get used to the lizards. On Guam, they're called geckos, and they were in the house all the time. Mom and I got used to them, but it did take some time.

Dad

1:28 PM  
Blogger claire said...

When I remember you, Jennifer, the first thing that pops behind my eyes is you smiling, or laughing, or being excited about SOMEthing! You have always had such a wonderful, rich perspective of yourself and the limitless opportunities that can carry you the world over.

I know it probably sounds pretty funny, but just like your parents, I'm really proud of you. There is no other way to describe what I feel when I consider the choices you're making.

I am proud of the life you have chosen: molding and caring for the minds of the young is a great and noble profession (practiced in my family for generations). To those you encounter along the way, you will build in them a gift that will change their perspectives on life and most importantly, themselves, forever.

I am also proud of how independent, courageous and confident you are (just as I remember you). It takes a strong person with qualities such as these to make such a big change in their life - even if it is only for two years.

I'm really excited for you and even more excited that you've decided to keep this blog so we can follow your experiences. I've been checking every day since you sent me the link. I can't wait to hear all about Camaroon, and have really enjoyed the pictures so far.

(I must admit, though, that I'm a little jealous you have geckos in your apartment. I think it would be pretty cool to have geckos. My mother had an albino gecko in her classroom once - it lived behind a cabinet for almost two years.)

Take care, Jen!

Much love,

Claire

P.S. If you have any word processors available you can write your daily blog on them then paste to the internet when you're done, so you don't lose info every time the internet cuts out.

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jennifer,

I have enjoyed your comments and pictures of Cameroon. Please be careful with your driving, you know I worry to much. Dad and I miss you very much. Be careful and safe. We love you.

Mom

5:37 PM  
Blogger EARL K said...

WELL I JUST WANT TO POST THIS AND SAY I AM A VERY HONORED PERSON TO HAVE MEET A LOVELY YOUNG LADY LIKE YOU WHO WANTED TO GO SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN ANOTHER COUNTRY. AND I AM VERY HAPPY AND PROUD THAT YOU CAN TELL OTHERS THE TRUTH ABOUT LIFE IN LONG BEACH AND OTHER PARTS OF THE UNITED STATES .

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AN I ENJOYED LOOKING AT YOUR LIFE AND ADVENTURE THERE IN CAMEROON .

12:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi, i am moving to cameroon for the next 2 years, is it nice there?!?
my mynewmsn1@hotmail.com

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jen,
millie,
I now know where you are from, God bless your heart dear thank God for what you are doing over there.I am sure you have started counting the months to come back home.well be safe and have fun.I am so proud of you i do think everyone needs to try do what you have just done.I read your blog everyday.Have fun and be safe.
millie

3:19 AM  
Blogger Lemnda said...

I am originally from Cameroon and stumbled across your blog while checking out the 2006 Fashion week in Yaounde. I am happy you availed yourself to a new experience. Thanks for the pictures....oh my....it was pleasant seeing pics of Yaounde again. It looks sooo much different from what I remember 15 years ago. I know most of your experiences where unique but I believe that you got to taste the warmth of the African culture and enjoyed it. Your life will never be the same. You rock!!!

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Ian Thompson said...

Hello Jenifer,
Are you now back in the US or still in Cameroon? Your blog has been so educational for us. My wife and I are hoping to bring my penfriend here to the UK next year to stay for a while. I say hoping because it seems that we are hindered by the lack of a permanent address for her since she has just finished at Univ and has yet to go home. Any way I hope you are well and still full of the adventurous spirit that you showed early on. Thanks Ian

11:48 AM  

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