My diet here, post moving to bandenkop, has turned very similar to how it was at home—lots of vegetables balanced out with baked goods and chocolate candies. Because of the cold and constant raining, soup has been my big experiment these first weeks. I’ve made a creamy potato veggie soup, and after having it for the next 3 meals and after eating out most of the potatoes, I added some cooked spaghetti and a can of tomato paste and voila! A new meal for the next day and a half—creamy “alfredo” pasta. The next soup I made was a lentil veggie stew. All it was missing was big chunks of roast. That also made 6 meals, but was really good! I splurged on the imported bag of lentils at the supermarche. 2 whole BUCKS.

Yesterday, Charmayne made the hour walk to Bandenkop from Bapa, and for the first time I got to give the tour of my house. I still don’t have the key to the main part of the house, but I did get to show her the room I sleep in and around the inside barrier that I’ve grown so fond of these past few weeks. She brought over cinnamon and baking soda so we could make cookies. We baked them inside a pot, and they turned out awesome. Mediocre at best in the states, but sooo good in Cameroon! I ate about 8 in one sitting, and dipped into the batter from time to time, since only 6 cookies can bake at a time.

Today marked the end of the first week of school! Monday, I arrived 25-ish minutes early to school, which is laughable now and probably was then, too, but I just couldn’t help it. I was too excited. School begins at 8, but you have to wait for the proviseur (principal) first, before you can begin. Monday, he was over half an hour late, along with the majority of the teachers. The censeur (vice principal) assured me they’d come within the first hour, students too, and that it was just first day normalcy. I went back to reading my book, while my teaching time slowly dwindled. Another thing that is different in the cameroonian school system is that the students have a classroom and the teachers are the ones who move around to teach their levels and classes. I make an appearance to almost every classroom, and the teachers have no teachers lounge, no class to call their own and also to be noted, no bathroom. I wonder if this is one of the reasons why the american system works like it does—getting kids literate and off to college.. They have a problem with getting qualified teachers, but there really are no benefits; no money, no classroom, no coffee, no bathrooms. Just a good name in the community and kids that all say they want to be teachers when they grow up, which makes you feel like you’re doing something right.

My Schedule:
Mon- 2h computers Quatrième (8th grade) 2h computers Sixième (6th grade)
Tues- 2h english Sixième 2h computers Cinqième (7th grade)
Wed- 1h english Sixième
Thurs- 2h computers Première (11th grade) 2h english Sixième
Fri- free

My sixième english class grew from 20ish the first day to over 60 today. It also started raining really hard right before I was leaving to teach and the proviseur made me wait so I wouldn’t get wet. 20 min later another teacher showed up with an umbrella and accompanied me. I didn’t give the kids their allotted break in-between the hours so I only lost 5 min. It’s good to know I haven’t completely lost my American punctuality and sense of accomplishment in efficiency.

During my free time I’ve been designing logos and day dreaming about the restaurant/coffee shop I may someday open with Katie. It’s inspired by a dish here, that I can’t get enough of. I’m going to Bangangte tomorrow after I draft up some lesson plans for next week. I hear there’s a bunch of mamas who make spaghetti omelets, so I’ll get to try all different kinds for “research”.