Work Never Stays Behind

June 2nd, 2015 by | Tags: , | No Comments »

My work has never left behind since I departed Cameroon three weeks ago.  The spirit of Peace Corps has been following me everywhere in America.

New York City

A view of New York City from the airplane

“What are food like in Cameroon?” said my dad.

“What kind of work are you exactly doing in Cameroon?” said my grandmother.

“Has it been hot in Cameroon?” said my aunt.

“Have you seen any gorillas?” said a 14 year-old neighbor.

“Do you have electricity?” asked the dentist’s assistant.

Since I landed in the United States, I have been asked so many questions about my life in Cameroon.  I have been undeniably and unconsciously working with Peace Corp’s third goal which is to educate the Americans about the host country, everyday and everywhere I was going.  Thus, I have still been working as a Peace Corps Volunteer everyday even though I have not been in my designated Peace Corps country.

Americans have been showing me how so little they know about Cameroon by asking so many questions.  It’s a country where so few Americans think about visiting, especially when there is no direct flight from the United States to the country.  Their curiosity has allowed me provide them with invaluable education and give them new insights about Africa.  Those who thought electricity is almost absent in Africa and it’s hot there now know that there are many people like myself living with electricity and cool temperatures exist.  They were surprised to learn that where I live is so cool year round that I never felt a moment where I longed for an air condition and also the fact that I live in the mountains.

Thanks to the power of internet, I have been able to remain connected with people in Cameroon on daily basis to continue to work on both Peace Corps’ first goal which is to promote peace and friendship and second goal, which is to teach the host country nationals about my country.  Ruth, my counterpart, I have talked almost everyday on Facebook to keep each other updated on our work and my medical progress.  I helped Ruth work on her proposal for an upcoming project.  I’ve been in touch with other work partners and Peace Corps Volunteers through Facebook – they all have been checking in on Facebook on regular basis and leaving comments under my status updates about my recovery and life in America and sending messages.  I’ve also been FaceTiming everyday with Alex who has been keeping me updated on the life of Peace Corps Volunteers in Cameroon.  Then I also worked on my Volunteer Reporting Form (VRF), a lengthy document that I’m required to do every few months to monitor and evaluate my projects, and submitted it by e-mail to my program managers.  Imagine 20 years ago, the days when Peace Corps Volunteer had to travel to a big city just to be able to use a pay phone and the internet barely existed in most countries!  I have been really taking internet for granted.

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On another note, my recovery has been going very well and my dental work is just about done.  All three of my teeth has been successfully repaired.  I should be back in Cameroon very soon.

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