Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This is how we do it

I may have Internet, and I may be Posh Corps, but there are certain moments that distinctly remind me that I am indeed, still en afrique.

This morning, I woke up to Antoine beeping me and then banging on my door at 7:30am. In case I haven't explained the concept of "beeping", it's when people call you, let it ring once or twice and then hang up before you pick up. Purpose? So you will call them back and therefore it doesn't cost them anything. The practice is very strange for us Americans, since for some bizarre reason, we, for the most part, have to pay for calls that you make and receive.

Anyway, Antoine is the Peace Corps driver, also the chief of my quartier (neighborhood). In some ways, he is sort of like my dad in village. He's not here often, but when he is, he takes care of business for me. I went to the door, he wanted to know if people can still sign up for my business class. I said yes, but before Thursday afternoon. Also he wanted to tell me he caught the kid who stole my sandals and that he will bring the kid to come return them and apologize. Very cute. But was it necessary at 7:30am? I am not a Cameroonian. I do not wake up for no apparent reason at 5am.

Lately, my water supply has been running a bit low. Since the rain often comes in the afternoon now, the kids don't come by to get me water. But with the rain, I can just catch it with a bucket. Late afternoon rain came and it is absolutely pouring out. There is a spot on the side of my house where the water comes down like a faucet, but it requires me going around the house. So picture this, I am holding an umbrella, but still getting wet, hopping to the side of my house to catch water with this bucket. Return inside to empty water in the big bucket. Repeat. This happeend about 4 times until I had adequate supply of water. The whole time I was thinking, "The things I do in Africa. This is absurd but funny. And I will probably miss it."

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