Have as much sex as you want!

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…just use a condom!!  🙂

December 1st marks World AIDS Day and the Westies got it on in style.  We marched Bafoussam, the Regional capital, on the backs of motorcycles, driven by moto taxi men trained in HIV prevention and condom use.  We tossed those rubbers to the people like they were candy.  We also had an information table at one of the busiest intersections in the city, did condom demonstrations, and informed people where to get tested, urging them to get tested, get the results, and accept their status.  Go West…we do it in the baf(oussam)!  We will continue our collaboration with the moto drivers in their villages, and hopefully this project will be around a long time even after Peace Corps presence.

If I had the chance I’d ask the world to Dance

I would bet that many of you, myself included, like to believe that you are good, moral people in our hearts.  The kind of person who would stand up against wrong in any form; would catch a bullet for a stranger if in that particular circumstance; would fess up for a catastrophe no matter how humiliating.  Yes, well, today I found myself in a situation and I reacted well below my own expectations.  And I am ashamed.  My perpetually pregnant cat, Pagoda, came in through the window with a lively, wriggly lizard and was playing with it.  Me (no longer a tom boy since the onset of puberty) was completely grossed out and squeamish so asked a neighbor girl playing on the front porch to assist (clue number one that I am not as noble as I’d like to think).  And here’s the whopper: not only did she come in to get that sucker, she came in and proceeded to beat the shit out of it with her legless, armless doll.  That’s right, a skinny young girl beating a lizard on my dining room floor with a Sally Talks A Lot who’s seen better days.  And what did I do during all this?  Stood on a chair and looked away.  Alas.  There it is, I am a despicable human being.  Not only an “animal lover” but stood by and did nothing as a lizard (a namesake!) was bludgeoned to death with a child’s toy–by a child.  This is going to do wonders for my karma.

In another somewhat related note: Perpetually Pregnant Pagoda has become a serial killer and I condone the behavior by cleaning up after her.  Most kills (small mice) are food and I think that’s awesome and nutritious for her, but lately she will bring in a dead rat (and I mean huge stinking rats), decapitate them, disembowel them, and leave the whole mess for me to find in always the secret and surprising location (i.e. bookshelves, under dining room table, etc).  It’s become a rather disturbing pattern, and I have been contemplating turning her in (for her own good of course).  Gosh I hope she doesn’t read this…

A bit o’ good news!  We got the deed for the adjacent parcel of land (finally!) and it’s off to get the plans and budget to post my PCPP and start begging for money.  I’m going to get the price down as low and reasonable as possible, but it’s going to be quite the challenge coming up with the money.  I’m anticipating (and hopefully overestimating) around 20,000 USD for the two buildings.  Can we build an orphanage in less than a year?  I say we can!  Stay attentive for new information.


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And finally I leave you with some pictures of a funerailles party in Dschang.  This was a funeral held on November 20th for a man who died in 1988.  Yes, you read correctly.  Always a good party! Cheers.

Orphanages, complaining, and honey

Rocking out to 80s Box Set.  Nice.

First off, some begging.  Please subscribe to my blog, send on to friends, save and read, read, read.  Thank you kindly.

That said, I have some good news.  Regarding my Orphanage/Center for children with Disabilities:  The prefet of Baham has agreed to hold a conference with the elites to give us the neighboring parcel of land.  Brilliant.  Not only this, we found an engineer who surveyed the land and sent his plans to an architect, for a much better price.  Zacharie (director) took out a loan to pay for it himself.  Sustainability.  By next week, could the proposal be sent to Peace Corps administration for approval?  Does this mean that in two weeks it will be posted on the website, open for all to send in what they will?  Let’s hope!  We have our work cut out for us to put these buildings up and children inside, but I have faith that we can do it.

Now for a little gentle bitching.  I work in a community of 50,000 people (at least) and this means that I cannot work with everyone all the time.   In my village it is normal to give someone a hard time if you haven’t seen them for a couple days.  For instance, you might say to someone, “You’ve abandoned me!  I never see you!”  Well, I’m getting sick of it, frankly.  I know they mean nothing by it, but how dare someone who hardly knows you to try to insinuate that you’ve abandoned your work, when you’ve been working on several projects like I have.  Well, I’m just going to start doing it to people myself.  Giving it out, instead of absorbing the negativity all the time.  Will I be a tougher, newer, improved Liz after this experience.  I certainly hope so!

And finally, I leave you with a photo taken this week during an apiculture class given to a group I work with by CIPCRE a pretty awesome organization in Bafoussam.  Go bees!

Alphonse and Jean Daniel demonstrate modern beekeeping with Kenyan Hives.