Monday, October 23, 2006

Daily Drive to School

If I leave for work early in the morning, the drive is usually uneventful. This morning, I surprisingly got up and left earlier than normal.There weren't too many cars on the street. If I leave after 7am, I am usually swerving past cars and waiting for traffic. And, I'm always mad that I can't get anywhere quickly.

These pictures were taken on the hill that leads to the American School. I have also placed a picture of one of the Cameroonian schools that is around the corner from ours.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Main Bastos Road

Twice a week I go to a friend's home to workout with her personal trainer. He is really good. Well, I judge that based on how sore I am after his workout. One morning, we decided to take a walk around Bastos (the city area where I live). I took this picture while we walked down the main road leading into bastos. This is a great shot of the crazy taxi drivers and one of the water drains that are frequently seen on the sides of the roads.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nachtigal Falls

A few weekends ago we took a nice drive out to the Nachtigal falls, which is about one hour northeast of Yaoundé. I enjoy taking day trips outside of the city. Too often you get caught up with the hustle and bustle of the city that you oftentimes forget the beauty that surrounds it. Our trip down was fairly uneventful minus a minor road blockage that caused us to wait for ten minutes. Eventually, we arrived at part of the Sanaga River where we caught a glimpse of the river barge that takes cars back and forth across the river.

A few of us daring folks decided to take a piroge (canoe) ride across the river to get a close up view of the waterfalls. Initially, we were quite skeptical of the ride, but it turned out to be quite a journey. I rode in the canoe with Claudette. Within the first few minutes both of our behinds were soaking wet from the water that was seeping through the boat. At one point I even saw water spouting out of side, at which the canoe owner’s response was to use a machete to stuff the hole with cloth. So, Claudette and I took it upon ourselves to shovel out water as we road closer and closer to the waterfalls. This wasn’t an easy task because we were surrounded by mosquitos and bugs which people call moot moot (I know I’m spelling this wrong). So, as we are shoveling water out we are also slapping away bugs and trying to stabilize the boat. I know we were a funny site. Once we got to the falls, we were met with a great close up view. We stopped off on a bank to take in the site before our ride back to shore. The following morning, my back was itching like crazy. After a few minutes of confusion, I realized that I was itching due to those bugs that were swarming the canoe.

These are the canoes that we took out to see the waterfalls. They are very simple, yet sturdy (although ours did have a leak in the side).

Our group walking down to the river so that we can take the canoe out to the waterfalls.

Traffic jam (due to the construction of a bridge) along the road to Nachtigal Falls. We ended up parking behind a few large trucks for awhile. Afterwards, to pass we had to drive around the construction site.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Darrell and I had a great time in Ohio. We met up with my friend Amber. There is always a good time when Amber is around.

My friend Stephanie and I at the Dubliner!! We had such a fantastic time hitting our old stomping grounds. And, the picture looks great doesn't it?!

The 10 months I was living in Cameroon was the longest I had been away from my parents. So, after such a long stretch, it was great seeing them again. While in South Carolina we visited many places such as downtown Charleston and the Tuskeegee Airmen monument. And, I'm very excited that my parents will come visit me in December! I can't wait to show you around.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Back in the kitchen.

I really wanted to have a Cameroonian feast for my parents. So, before leaving, I tried to learn how to make ndole. It seemed rather easy while I cooked it with a friend named Edwige. However, it turend out to be a whole different story when I got to the staes. Oh, I forgot to tell you, just to bring the green leafy vegetable to the states, I had to have it inspected at the agriculture table in the airport. That was a strange feeling, because I felt like a criminal even though I hadn't done anything wrong.

It took longer than expected to cook the dish. My mom and I began cooking it early in the morning. We had to clean the shrimp, wash and peel the peanuts, soak the nodle leaves, etc. The fact that my mom had an electric chopper helped us to save time. I can imagine how time consuming that must be for the women in villages who cook the dishes for their families without electricity.

After all that hard work, I don't think it turned out too well. It was too bitter and next time I will have to boil the leaves before cooking the ndole. But, I am determined to cook it just right next time.

Zurich, Switzerland

Before returning to Cameroon, my boyfriend and I spent four days in Switzerland. Since our time was limited, we only visited Zurich and Lucerne. I have posted a few pictures of our time in Switzerland and can honestly say that the pictures don't accurately capture the beauty of the country. Darrell and I enjoyed a great time in the city of Zurich hopping from one train to the next as we toured mueseums, cathedrals, and shops. Anyone would have had a great laugh at us if they would have seen us trying to speak Swiss German. We ran into a few tough times because of our lack of German (I accidently forgot to bring our phrase book along). But, of course we got through it. We then took a day trip to Luzerne where we rog a cog-wheel train up the side of the Rigi mountain. The view was absolutely amazing. We also enjoyed the Picasso museum, which featured photos from the painter's life. We pigged out on chocolate, fondue, and beer. We stayed at the Hottinger Hotel (which I would recommend to anyone who visits Zurich).