Thursday, March 24, 2011
See post from March 5th for more info!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Saturday, March 5, 2011
The Moloru, a traditional 3 string lute
Friday, March 4, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Of course first and foremost, I am so excited about spending time with my family, and after that, my friends. I will be home in Charlottesville for the whole summer until the fall, and I am looking so forward to living with my sister, and hanging out with my parents and just being with them. I do hope to be able to take a few road trips and visit some friends who are a little farther away from Charlottesville, perhaps to NY. And I am looking so forward to just being able to call up friends to chat for a few minutes.
Over the past year I have read some books and become very interested in permaculture. Permaculture is the combination of ideas of sustainable agriculture/livestock raising and design principles, so that one can design systems which are energy efficient and ecologically balanced. These systems may be on a home scale (i.e. architecture) or a farm scale, or even neighborhood or community/city. The fact that it combines art aspects with ecology and agriculture means it marries two of the major interests in my life. And so I am very excited about this idea. There are 2 week certification courses in Permaculture, given throughout the country. I am looking for one in the VA/NC area, and am looking forward to getting certification in permaculture, perhaps opening opportunities in permaculture consulting down the road. (check out the book Introduction to Permaculture by Bill Mollison if you're interested!)
I have applied to four graduate schools in the area of Natural Resources and Forestry for starting in the fall. I am waiting to hear back from their admissions departments, and am looking forward to starting work on a Masters. I hope that I might be able to take my experiences in Cameroon and translate them into research work, and perhaps return to Cameroon in the area of research a few years down the road.
I have really missed art while I have been in Cameroon, and that is one of the reasons I spent so much time at the Alliance Franco-Camerounaise. Still, I am so excited to be in Charlottesville, for First Fridays, for concerts, just for the art that is available. There is a new arts initiative, which some members of our church, Trinity Presbyterian are involved with, along with other artists in the community. It is called New City Arts Initiative and is made up of artists (and perhaps art lovers) in the community who are active in many mediums and genres, and who get together for converstaions, discussions, projects, art shows. I am very excited to get involved with this initiative! I had the chance to do some painting here in Cameroon and am going home with 13 oil paintings, as well as a few watercolors. I do hope to be able to show them at some point, maybe as a homecoming or Cameroonian themed party, especially in the hopes of educating Americans about Cameroon and Cameroonian culture and people.
Finally, I am hoping to help some musician friends in Cameroon release their first album. I may try to do some fundraising parties, or try to sell some Cameroonian themed paintings in order to help them raise the money for the release. Look for more news down the road on this initiative! Im happy to have the possibility of staying connected with my friends and the culture in Cameroon as well share my experience in Cameroon through a project like this. Please ask me for more information if you are interested!
I actually haven't written much lately at all, on the blog or in my personal journal even. Probably because my emotions have been so rollercoaster, so much has been going on in my head, that I haven't even attempted to try to write about it. Maybe I'll regret it later, but I think it has allowed me to be a little less frazeled and get on with the packing and trip. A few things I have noted, mentally: looking forward to the future, and what comes next has helped me not dwell on the past and present and things I will be leaving behind. Having a feeling that I will be back to visit in the not to far future has helped it be easier to leave this time...although this could be an illusion, as I may find the road back here to be much longer or more difficult than I am imagining right now. And finally, the extra three months here, allowing me to finish up a few projects, and moving from the village to Garoua, helped in leaps and bounds. I don't feel rushed leaving, I don't feel like there are loose ends I'm leaving behind. Everything seems completed, and I feel as ready as I could feel I think. What's important is that even if there were things I would like to hold onto, the lifestyle in village, my friends here, my work here, I know that I wouldn't want to continue on in this manner (as a Peace Corps volunteer). I can't stay a volunteer forever, nor would I want to, though it has opened up wonderful doors of opportunity, skills, and relationships. I have finished being a Peace Corps volunteer. It feels completed, full, and a great experince, and also something I don't want to prolong. Thus, knowing that, that I am finished with this life in the context of a Peace Corps volunteer, I am happy to move forward to what comes next, what will open up the doors for the future, perhaps landing me back here down the road, in the same lifestyle and work and endeavors, but a different context, of studies or NGO work, or something else entireley different. Thinking about this has also helped it be easier to move forward, be ready to go home, looking to the future, and not wanting to hold onto the present. Perhaps other volunteers, or workers abroad have felt similarly. So it is I am having one more night in my village, hopefully not the last visit in my life!