One thing that I did not anticipate when coming here is the shear amount of isolation involved with being a PC volunteer. I mean, sure, I live in a village of thousands of people, have both Cameroonian and American friends, and am able to travel to see people when I bank or do combined projects. Yet, I have never felt more isolated in my life. It is both good and bad; I’ll give you a rundown on some of its aspects:
-I have found that I am not just talking to myself, but having some of the best self-conversations of my life, with most of them ending in either satisfying compromise or punches (not the most stable relationship)
-I have read over 30 books so far, which I am very proud of (especially since I am not the fastest reader). If you want to know background information on Benjamin Franklin or just where that Red October ended up, I am your man.
-I have spent afternoons lying on my couch thinking up ways to freak kids out here (the disappearing thumb trick does wonders in Cameroon)
-I have invisible conversations with people back home. That’s right, I have probably had a stimulating discussion of art or politics with YOU at some point here and you found me both charming and imaginative.
-Can you point to where Easter Island, Uzbekistan, and Lichtenstein are on a map? In less than 10 seconds? I can. Boo-ya.
-I bought a radio thinking I could listen to some news. Instead, I have convinced myself that if I listen to Chinese pop songs for two hours a day, I will come out of this place with yet another language under my belt.
-Who knows all the words to Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”? This guy.
And people said I wouldn’t gain any valuable skills here…