Sunday, April 22, 2007

A week attempt ...

I've sat and waited for what seems like a lifetime for this page to load up and so I must apologise if the forthcoming entry is little more than a Kerouac-esque stream of consciousness drizzle through which you are wholly at your leisure to wander although I would suggest a sturdy mac and a decent pair of wellies. Should there be any deluges of cranial excrement that threaten to innundate then I will try and stem the flow but as it is I've reached line four and I'm not entirely sure what is going to come out I think it best to warn you. Pack your waders and a brolly just in case, but if it looks like it's going to get nasty I can recommend a hot buttered crumpet and a cup of tea.

Week one of term three has evaporated in a manner in which I am almost wholly unaccustomed. Quite what happened to it is neither here nor there but then I don't have the pressures of exams or courses to keep me on my toes. The first day back was largely spent fawning at the feet of the intellectual juggernaut that is the school's director. He's a philosopher, you see, and being such he asks an almost endless stream of questions that seem to have little if anything to do with the realities of running a school. The existence of god is his current favourite, itself usurping the anglo-saxon work ethic. Fascinating in many ways, particularly in a second language, but is it going to get another classroom block? Spent the day observing the biology teacher and learnt, once again in a second language, just how many types of worm I am pretty much guaranteed to play hostelry to during my time here. Fun comes in packets of all shapes and sizes, one just has to hope that it's not 80cm long and wrapped in paper fitting my description. It's not all doom and gloom though; I just have to be careful about what I eat, drink, where I walk, who I talk to and generally avoid fruit, vegetables, uncooked meat, cooked meat, fish, dairy products, cereals, pulses and tubers and whatever I do try not to touch anything.

Tuesday came and went in a blur of almost comatose inactivity on the part of CES de Godola. Lessons didn't really seem to happen and I was given the rare treat of ignoring the threat of gastric guests and dining with the Director. Wall paper paste with shredded nettles and the remains of some long-dead animal, helped down with balls of gloop all to the aurally anaethetising wail of the director's youngest spring-off who is absolutely terrified of me. The small fry over here generally are, although strangely enough if they're crying when they see you they stop, but if they're not they start ... hmm, he says, stroking his chin pensively. Did though manage to organise a meeting with the elite of the school where I can pick their collective brain and see what they do, for one, want, for two, and expect of me, for three. I suspect the answers will be along the lines of not a lot and money. We shall see though ... I bet you can't wait for the next installment!

Wednesday's a half day that singularly fails to do any justice to the nordic deity after which it's named. The afternoon saw a visit to a fellow vol in Kaele to see things from a different point of view. The bus was a white-knuckle ride of terror across Diamare and into Mayo Kani, past rock stacks with rocks, surprisingly stacked ... quite something to see. Off revisiting the rockstacks this week so will take phots and see what happens. Wednesday eve was spent feeding and watering and generally chewing the cud of life. The undoubted highpoint was having Mama Flo (the owner of the bar), having her daughter drop her shopping indecorously on the floor of the bar right next to our table then proudly stand up and announce to the bar that that is what she had done. Not sure what she was expecting but the stick and shouting that ensued was a little shocking to say the least.

Thursday saw a visit to the Lycee de Kaele which puts little old CES de Godola to shame. 1800+ students and a library that would contain our entire school. They even have a swimming pool. It doesn't have any water in it, but that's beside the point. Was hoping to observe a class but alas they were all cancelled because of mocks which having seen the question papers is a frighteningly fitting adjective. Scuttled back to Maroua squeezed between the collected buttocks of a villages worth of people and was decanted unglamorously at the side of the road at prayer time. Just as a matter of interest, does anyone happen to know what's on the flip side of the 72 virgins? What's the alternative?

Grilled fish and a spider-ridden room constituted the evening's entertainment and then while the sparrows roused I hot-footed it back to Godola for a day of educational pleasure. Or not. Exam invigilation ensued. 2 hours it was meant to last, it perhaps took the students an hour at most. Geography was the subject and I don't think I've ever seen an easier paper and this is bearing in mind that it was in a second language and largely on the topic of Cameroon, whose geography I know like the back of someone else's hand

A wild afternoon of domesticity and then a Saturday spent being seminared on how to take excellence into the classroom. Free food and accomodation and a chicken fest last night so can't all be bad. And so another week passes. This one went faster than the rest which has to be a good thing. Got more plans for visiting this week and so it should scuttle past too ...

Not the most exciting stream of thought perhaps but there we go ... it can't be all excitement. Lunch beckons and it would be rude to ignore it any longer. The beast within needs satiating.


  1. Anonymous6:59 pm

    At last the drought ends. That incredible fine mist that only Scotland can do, caresses the face gently and moves on to wrap the landscape in a cool shroud. Sadly that only lasts about 5 minues - then it's business as usual for the next fortnight - as an Island based firmly in the Gulf Stream demonstrates the clear difference between " Climate" and "Weather"
    At least the grass seed will grow - if it isn't washed away!

  2. I believe I am the only member of the family not to have spoken to you on the telephone. I did infact spend most of yesterday either sitting or calling down the big white one but to my joy today I was sitting at a desk.

    Will call you soon. I believe a text, followed by a wait, followed by a call is the preferred technique. sometime between 5.45 and 6.30 is best so that you get back before day is ended...correct me if I am wrong.

    Did the post card arrive? 1 fullstop for yes; 2 for no; 3 for what postcard.

    Was at Mr buchanans 30th/engagement party at the weekend. great fun and we excelled in the dressing up department.

    Glad you have seen a few classrooms even if teaching is not the reason for being there but from the last news I heard that is progress.

    Bed time.

    night night



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