Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter break

The Easter holidays (which finished the week before Easter bizarrely enough) were spent travelling round different villages visiting friends. Three of us volunteers took the trek up to Pouss, a large village where another volunteer is based, about 3 hors drive from Maroua (add a couple of hours waiting on the side of the road whilst the driver attempts to repair the tin pot bus). The beautiful thing about this village is that the inhabitants decorate their houses with amazing drawings, using a mixture of mud and water as their paint.

The fact that the village is next to the River Logan (the river that separates Cameroon and Chad) means that there isn't exactly a problem with finding water, unlike Moutourwa! Fresh fish is also readily available which is great until you decide to bring some back for your friends and neighbours in the village and the fish turns into some mushy, smelly substance which leaks blood all over your knees in the bus on the way home. Fantastic.
Apart from those minor hiccups however, the trip to Pouss was really good and I even got to go swimming for the first time since leaving the UK (fully clothed of course what with it being heavily Muslim) No signs of Bilharzias disease as yet but I'll keep you posted.

The second part of the Easter holidays was spent with my principal's wife and son in her village, Lara, about an hour and a half west of Moutourwa. Unexpectedly I ended up staying for five days, rather than the one day I had anticipated.... Apparently they had invited me for the entire duration of their stay but clearly there had been a miscommunication somewhere along the line, therefore when I rocked up at my principal’s house in the morning before we left with only my wallet in toe, they presumed I had changed my mind and didn't want to stay! Fortunately, the clothes in this joint are kind of a one size fits all policy considering they are just bits of material that you wrap around yourself, therefore I managed to stay relatively clean! Lara was actually really beautiful and the four days were possibly the most relaxing I've had since coming to Cameroon - I did nothing but eat, wash (there's LOTS of water in Lara), eat (including a hideous experience of goats head for breakfast at 6am in the morning - yuk), sleep, play with the kids, and go on donkey rides - very scary.

We were back at school for four days before another mini holiday for Easter. Unlike Christmas, Easter isn't really celebrated here so it was just spent with a few friends in having a drink, before making dinner with the neighbours in the evening. Lest I forget the 7 big fat chocolate eggs I scoffed. I wish.

Now back at school for three weeks of frantic lessons to try and finish the programme before the mock exams which start in May. After the mocks the teaching is basically finished and the kids no longer really come to school - we don't even take the register anymore. The school year is practically over and the time for coming home is edging ever nearer....!


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