The month of September always seemed more like the start of a new year for me than the New Year ever did. This was because September always meant a change of scenery – from the pool to the classroom, or from New Jersey to Washington, DC. However, this January truly felt like a New Year. I rang in 2013 surrounded by friends in New York City and less than a week later, I enjoyed a cup of chai surrounded by friends back in my village, Lokoti.
The brief change of scenery, in the form of my (wonderful, amazing, delicious, cold, snowy, festive) trip to the East Coast for the holidays, was exactly what I needed for when I returned to Cameroon, for I was pleasantly overwhelmed with everything I have learned to love about this country. As my taxi driver, Etienne, drove me 40 minutes from the Yaoundé airport to the Peace Corps house, I was as smiley and content as my 6-year-old self in our family car as it crossed over the bay to Ocean City, NJ. Except instead of the smell of salt air, I smelled burning trash, instead of the sight of seagulls, I saw wild dogs and instead of the hum of 104.5FM, I listened to a mélange of P-Square and Lady Ponce blare from street bars.
I don’t necessarily love the burning trash or the wild dogs, but I love what they actors in: a hectic and gritty, but lively quotidian life. It was only upon returning after my trip that I realized how I revel in all the constant energy that surrounds me. This new outlook, combined with the familiar when I got back to my village. I was welcomed by the familial faces of friends and neighbors who couldn’t wait to tell me about the return (and improvement in quality) of the electricity! In return, I introduced them to their newest foe turned friend: Rosco, a dog I inherited from a volunteer who just completed her service. All of these things and more have proven the month of January worthy of its New Year status.
So in this New Year’s spirit, I was inclined to make some New Year’s Resolutions. Some of them have been going quite well (I’m becoming a Sudoku master with every daily puzzle I complete), others have fallen by the wayside already, such as: “Complete four workout videos a week” (how can anyone seriously stand to listen to that P90X guy?). Blogging is among these resolutions. I resolve to keep up with the blog for my remaining year in Cameroon. With that being said, I have three partially written posts that will posted, belatedly, in the coming weeks (I cannot guarantee that they won’t all end up being about Rosco).
Here’s to 2013.