Last week marked 10 years since I left the comforts of American suburbia for a different life. It was 2008. I packed up two massive bags and flew to Philadelphia to meet a bunch of strangers, some would later become lifelong friends. From there, we got vaccinated and were inundated by information. Within a few days, we were shipped off on a plane to Cameroon. I was a bright-eyed and … Read more
The long-awaited Peace Corps reunion weekend happened a few days ago. This is the 50th year of the Peace Corps and this was the weekend that loads of events took place in DC. My stage (training group) took this opportunity and organized our own reunion on top of it. Somehow, we managed to get people to fly in from all over the country. Nearly 50 people showed up at the … Read more
I left Cameroon just a little over a year ago. This year went by in a blur. Swoosh! and it was gone. As I reflect upon this past year, I begin to realize the impact that reverse culture shock had on me. People always say that it’s easier going into a new experience than coming back. I never really had too much difficulty with past international moves, so I wasn’t … Read more
I’ve been back for 7 months now. The more I try to move on to the new phase of my life, the more I find myself wanting to hold on to my service and share the experience with others. I think it takes being back to really cherish those two years. Everyday, I appreciate that time of my life a little more. So, in honor of this big milestone, I have created a short 5-minute video to sum up my experience. It’s much shorter than the previous one that I posted. That one was much more personal, but this one highlights on the experience.
I’ve been home only just a little over a week, and already, that life in Cameroon seems like a very long dream. It’s surreal. The reverse culture shock has been interesting, but I am adapting quickly into the American way of life, albeit for a short period before I jet off to London for graduate school.
I woke up after a restful sleep around 8am, without an alarm, of course, and put on my running shoes for one last jog down my favorite path. The crisp air made for a comfortable jog. I took noticed of each house that I ran by and took in each rolling hill that I passed. I will unlikely to have a regular running path this beautiful for years to come. I waved at villagers along the way that I often see; likely the last time I would see those faces again.
Tomorrow is my last full day in the village. I am nervous and am not sure that I am ready to leave. Though I am realizing that perhaps one is never ready to leave a situation as this. I just simply gotta “pull the band-aid off” so to speak. So many emotions. It has been a wild ride. Try as I may, words are simply insufficient in describing how I … Read more
Few weeks ago, Antoine, a driver for the Peace Corps who happens to be the chief of my neighborhood threw me a going-away party at his house. True to Cameroonian form, I was unaware of the time and whether I was suppose to invite people myself until the day before the event. I was running all around town on that Friday prior, contacting all my friends and people whom I’ve … Read more
I’m in the process of making a slide show with pictures from my two years in Cameroon. I realized I had never written about my trip to the Extreme North. While looking at these pictures, I was amazed at how surreal that trip now feels. It was nearly a year and a half ago, and the vast differences between the North and the South makes that voyage seems like a … Read more