Life in the Peace Corps

Chronicles life in Cameroon as Small Enterprise Developer in 2008-2010

Mourning the Loss of a Village Friend

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Life in the Peace Corps | 2 comments

Mourning the Loss of a Village Friend

Today was a sad day full of tragic news. I woke up to my NYT alert on the San Francisco plane crash, and made a mental note how spooky it feels that I am due to take a flight on a similar route in a few weeks’ time. You just never know. Then, I ended the day with a devastating news – my dear friend Victor, who was my guardian, student, teacher, and so much more during my two years of life in Cameroon, was killed in a tragic moto accident two days ago. I found out the news via email. I was sitting at a bar here in Shanghai on a relaxed Sunday evening. My friend and I were just having a conversation about the SF crash. I saw a message on my phone, and I...

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Letter from Village

Posted by on Aug 19, 2012 in Culture Shock, Life in the Peace Corps | 1 comment

Letter from Village

It’s rare these days to receive a hand written letter. Once in a blue moon, I will receive a postcard from a friend traveling. But a legitimate hand-written letter? I haven’t received one of those in a long long while. But today, I received one. It was written in French, from my Cameroonian friend, Victor, who lives in my village. It was, incredible. I left Cameroon two years ago, and in this past year, I have finally felt “normal” again, free from those severe bouts of reverse culture shock. And as such, I haven’t been nearly as good at keeping in touch with my village friends as I had been during the first year back. Time is funny that...

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Reverse Culture Shock: one year later.

Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Culture Shock, Life in the Peace Corps | 1 comment

Reverse Culture Shock: one year later.

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 sure what to expect. And then it hit me. It didn’t take me too long to get over the potato chips incident, or getting used to the luxuries of modern society. Yet the other aspects of reintegration affected me in ways that I didn’t allow myself to recognize. I hate nothing more than...

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27 months of Peace Corps Cameroon

Posted by on Feb 28, 2011 in Life in the Peace Corps | 1 comment

27 months of Peace Corps Cameroon

Tomorrow on March 1st, Peace Corps will celebrate its 50th anniversary. What a milestone! There have been a flurry of activities to share experiences. It’s really incredible when you hear stories of the men and women that served in the early 1960’s. Peace Corps Cameroon has had its own share of activities. One of the RPCVs created an email list to reconnect volunteers who may not be as up with the technology. In just a few days, there are over 200 volunteers who share their PC experience in Cameroon, and that number is still growing. I love being a part of the Peace Corps family! I’ve been back for 7 months now. The more I try to move on to the new...

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Literacy for All

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Books for Cameroon, Life in Shanghai | 0 comments

Literacy for All

Last year’s International Literacy Day helped me spread an important message and bolstered support for the Books For Cameroon project. I received lots of positive responses on my post as to why I started the project and why I value literacy. Here we are one year later, and the project lives on. I could not be more proud of my replacement Cristina and the efforts of RIDEV and other Peace Corps volunteers for keeping it strong. As you probably could tell from recent posts, I already really miss Cameroon and my time there. I have been reflecting a great deal and today I thought about the what felt like an insane project at the time. We built or improved upon over 30...

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America, the Land of Plenty

Posted by on Jul 27, 2010 in Culture Shock, Life in the Peace Corps | 4 comments

America, the Land of Plenty

It’s hard to fathom that only 4 days ago, I was still in Cameroon. Despite how much I am trying to hold onto it, that life is quickly fading away into a surreal dream. I’m saddened and scared by that. Over the two years, that life in village has became my comfort zone, and for some reason having to leave that behind is posing more difficulty than I imagined. Only few days in, I already miss Cameroon, and miss that life that I’ll never get back. Despite of it all, it’s good to be home and to be pampered by my parents. The pampering is guilt-free since I already have the next step lined up and my parents are happy to spoil me knowing it’s...

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Peace Corps Loves

Posted by on Jul 23, 2010 in Life in the Peace Corps | 2 comments

Peace Corps Loves

In less than 3 hours, I’ll be on my way to the airport and begin the long journey back to the U.S.A.! This is the moment that I’ve waited for for two years, and as strange and sureal as it is, I am ready to begin the next chapter of my life! This last week was wonderful. I spent it in Yaounde with the last group of the 2008-2010 SED/ED volunteers. As it stands, Laura and I are the last two still hanging around in the transit house. Last night, we said a big batch of goodbyes. The end of one’s Peace Corps service is one of the strangest moments in life. It’s incredibly difficult to describe, but I was glad to have 8 other wonderful loves here to...

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Last Day au village

Posted by on Jul 13, 2010 in Life in the Peace Corps, Village Life | 3 comments

Last Day au village

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. Returned home and heated water in the small marmite for one final bucket bath in my latrine. I remember my very first bucket bath – in the same latrine, during site visit two years ago. Back then, I found it to be a...

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