I think for the first time in the 10 months that I have been in Cameroon (I know, 10 months!), I can honestly say that I am truly happy here. My happiness is not due to new surroundings and influx of new adjustments that lead to temporary excitement. Instead, the bubble of joy is a result of finally finding my purpose here in village and really recognizing and appreciating the supportive community that surrounds me.
There has been more than once over this past week alone when I was walking down the street with a big goofy smile and thought, “I see why volunteers extend a third year now.” Don’t worry, I am not extending. I need extreme efficiency and crazy Excel spreadsheets in my life after 27 months here!
I am in a really good place. Last night marks the halfway point for my first series of business classes here in the village. For the past three classes, I’ve had to teach them alone since Nura had other engagements. In the beginning, I was quite frightened by this prospect, but they turned out marvelously.
For some reason, I think I connect better with my students when I teach alone. Maybe they feel less intimidated when there aren’t two white girls teaming up. Each session that I taught alone, I had many students stayed after class to ask me various questions, and also to propose new collaboration opportunities. In the last week alone, I was asked to teach the class again in a neighboring village and the community will pay for my transportation, also becoming a project advisor for a local GIC, assist a student to launch his idea of bringing a cyber café into Batié and teach students Excel. I also received many requests to teach English, but I had to put my foot down and explain that it is not my area of expertise and I would like to focus my energy on topics that I am trained to teach. I think I disappointed quite a few with that announcement, but I have learned the importance of saying NO!
In addition to the business class, the library project is really rolling! We have decided to split the project into two phases. First to raise money so we can receive the 22,000 English books from Books For Africa, then phase two will be seeking book donations in French. The project has manifested into something quite significant, but all the volunteers involved are really excited and committed to seeing this project through. Let’s hope everything works out!
One month until vacation, and just a little over one year until the end of my service. Time is flying by! I am glad I’ve reached the state that I am in. I am happy and still have another year to really get work done before going back to nutty efficiency! Hurray!