We touched down just as the sun was getting ready to go to bed.
In getting off the airplane, I said good-bye to any notion of familiarity, grabbed my guitar from the Belgian stewardess and walked toward my next adventure. We were met by the Peace Corps Country Director for Cameroon, Lahomma. Waving a huge Peace Corps flag, she greeted us as we walked down the steps onto Cameroonian soil.
The next five days we spent in Yaounde were a flash of culture shock, familiar things like internet and running water, and shots.
Lots and lots of shots.
Not the kind that get you drunk, but the kind that stop you from getting Typhoid.
I won’t go into the details since the time in Yaounde was simply in between time. Once it was time to leave the comfort of a western-style hotel in Yaounde, we got on a bus and rode an hour and a half to a place none of us knew anything about. When we arrived, we were greeted by about 50 or 60 people; people we’ve never met, but who would welcome us into their homes for the next three months.
The bus creaked to a halt and we had no choice but to get out. The next thirty minutes were full of confusion and chaos, which eventually culminated, for me, with meeting my host mother and her two grandkids, trying to spit out some badly worded French, and getting in a car to go see where I’d be living.
The first night in a mosquito net is an interesting experience. You feel like you’re trapped in a sense, yet the enclosure is for your own benefit. A strange reality.
Anyway, I quickly forgot about that and my focus shifted towards the searing heat. I thought the rainy season was supposed to be cooler, but enduring my first night in Africa without a fan and not even a remote wish of air conditioning was an adventure in and of itself. Eventually, I found dreamworld and woke up to roosters yelling at the top of their lungs and the family dog barking back in a different language. I don’t think they understood each other.