I spent 20 minutes that night stomping on giant ants. Hundreds of them crawling under my door, attracted to the light from the dark night outside. My cat is only good for moths and skeeter eaters is what we call them in texas so it was my job to do some pest control. I followed the trail all the way up to my stand in kitchen. A counter with my cooking stove and stacks of pantry items, plates and utensils. I opened the box of sugar cubes and SCREAMED. Thousands of ants scattered to avoid the light and dig deeper into the new home they had claimed during my weekend out of town. In the morning, my floor that had been previously littered with little curled black insects was clean. Through the night i guess the ants had carried the injured back to where they came from, like the aftermath of a war, to give them proper burials. They only missed a couple that Bellatrix had tracked into my bed. grossed. out.

This was the final straw.

Shady Sam, the landlord, assured me the key was coming saturday because the mama with the key who lives in Doala was coming for a funeral. Hallelujah! After discovering the ants saturday night while Sam was helping at the funeral I couldn’t have been happier to know I’d be leaving the next day. Though, as you have probably already guessed, things didn’t work out and I’m still waiting for the key. Sam told me the mama was sick so she couldn’t come, and that her son would come with it but he doesn’t have enough money. I couldn’t even look at him for another second so i said goodbye and walked away. This was the first time i cried in Africa. I’ve been so proud of myself for my patience here and dealing with small issues, but I finally broke down. I’ve been waiting for weeks now with Sam lying to my face with no intentions of getting a key while I teach his children at school. I cried on my walk home hoping no one would see me. I feel like I have to keep a straight face, here. Always being happy and excited and up for learning and dealing with Cameroonian cultural intricacies. At least now, at the beginning. I don’t know how my community would take me on a bad or emotional day seeing as the people here are not really allowed to cry and deal with these kinds of things on a daily basis. At least sympathy is not my expectation. It’s simply results.

Francis, my APCD/boss came to visit yesterday and check on my housing situation. Thank goodness. When he called me to tell me he was on his way I told him I was excited to see him because I needed his help. With Francis here I had muscle. I took him to the market (every 8 days theres a “big” market in my village where you can by vegetables and used clothes and shoes and jackets, handmade straw baskets and bags, and plants. We grabbed some pommes pillĂ©e from the mama who fed me last market day and sat at the bar drinking fanta and discussing how I’m doing so far. It was nice to have the feeling of support from the admin. I like Francis a lot, too. He’s new so little things don’t always go according to plan, but it means he’s fresh and trying really hard to adjust to the demands of his boss and his job. He also reminds me a lot of the character in Shantaram, the funny indian man with a full mustache you would expect. He’s always smiling and speaks very good english, and likes to joke around. We talked and went in and out of french and english while we finished our meals. I showed him my house and my barrier, everything I have access to. He met bellatrix/petite chauffeur as she hopped up on his lap and left little red dirt paw prints on his nice city slacks. He wrote down necessary notes, and then it was time to find Sam. We stopped first at the proviseurs office. Francis needed to meet with him about me and was hoping he’d slip the hint to the proviseur to pressure Sam as well. We continued to the market where Sam can usually be found walking around or sitting outside of a bar. He came up to the car after someone told him we were looking for him, and i stayed in while Francis worked his magic. They talked for a good amount of time and I pretended not to listen. Francis gave him an ultimatum to give him information by wednesday, or I’d be moving. He wants the amount of rent, when the key will come, how we can get the key, etc.

I’m still waiting for the news. Francis said he would call me Monday. It felt really cool driving around in the Range Rover with the big peace corps logo on it with Francis as my muscle and waving to my students and village through the window. I hope it works. I want to move in already. Oh, Francis also wrenched open on of the shutters so I got to see inside for the first time through the window! It’s so awesome! Couch, chairs, dining room table! It’s perfect for visitors and parties. I want to invite the teaching staff over, and PCVs. I can’t wait. I hope it all works out.