Saturday, December 01, 2007

Here be monsters ...

It’s Thor’s day once again; that’s to say it’s 7/8ths of the way through Thor’s day and Freya is warming up in the wings. At least it looks like Freya but if the king of the giants can be fooled by a bearded Thor in drag then how can we mere mortals expect to fare any better?

Weeks - that’s to say two - have passed since I last walked the well-trodden streets of this bloggerhood and once again it is the T word that has been the pebble in the boots in which I wander. If rumours are to be believed then the T word was struck down by a dose of dolphinitis. The story goes that Cameroon’s sub-atlantic fibre-optic connection to the outside world was attacked and severed by a dolphin. Surreal enough in many ways and met with something much akin to incredulity in many circles, and for obvious reasons.

Here in sub-Sahel-type places the reasons are less obvious. The logic goes like this: It can’t have been a dolphin because nobody’s seen one and therefore they don’t exist; they can’t exist because if they did someone would have caught one and eaten it, therefore, QED, seeing as no one has eaten one they don’t exist.

You can see the kind of challenges I’m up against.

It’s probably a good thing in someways as it means that I’ve got something more insightful to say than the usual stream of consciousness drivel that spews in an unending torrent from my heat-dried brain via my chalk-dried fingers. If only it were true.

So term one is almost done. In fact there are only three weeks twixt now and its much heralded demise; three weeks of ever diminishing class sizes and the joys of report writing. Three weeks of mounting excitement at the onslaught of the festive period and all that it holds clasped in its clammy grip. Three weeks to endure before another three weeks away from the desert sands and the sub-Sahelian heat, swapped indeed for the sea and greenery of the south. Bliss. There’s no other word for it.

I just know that the three weeks away from the noise will make the blink of an eye look positively pedestrian but then that’s always the way.

On that note it’s time to part once more. Short and sweet? Not really. The blogging equivalent to a “Wham” bar me thinks, albeit without the need for ext/pensive dentistry and the sickly after taste, but then again ...

Satur has replaced Thurs but as far as days go this one bears all the hallmarks of the 334 that preceded it although November has succumbed to the overwhelming and looming presence of 2007’s swan-song in the form of December.

Term, as I’ve said, has three weeks to go before it’s consigned to the “reduced to clear” shelves although for many of the students they’ve assumed that because the second mid-term exams have been completed there’s no more learning to be done and so have bogged off in an all too Cameroonian manner. Classes are emptying of bodies faster than rodent forms from scuppered schooners. Once again the good ship Cameroonia Educationia is listing although with the arrival of CES de Godola’s first government provided teacher, there’s a hope that it’s not terminal.

As for the Monthrufri’ety; The forthcoming Mon is going to be something of a watershed in many ways. Recent disillusionment at the worthiness of my being here has provoked a reaction of the ‘lay it on the line’ variety. There’s no way that I can do half the stuff I’d hoped I’d be able to do when I’m up to my oxters in teaching duties and so the D word’s going to be sat down and informed of my decision not to teach next year.

Whether I’m still in the ‘roon for ‘08-’09 is a little uncertain to say the least and if the current frame of mind is anything to go by then this country will be seeing the back of this Scotsman in the summer of ‘08. The proposal that I put together in an attempt to goad an element of longevity from VSO’s soon to expire stint in secondary education has been beset by what I suspect is an all to Cameroonian malaise. It’s gathering dust at the bottom of cupboard somewhere being reduced to such a state itself.

It’s hard to keep the motivation and enthusiasm going, and the cynicism in check when the harder you pound your head against the seemingly innocuous packed earth wall, the less effect you seem to have; especially when the local reaction is one of standing and gawping while pointing and invariably laughing at the strange white man.

Think I need a holiday.

P.S. I've started sticking some photos on Flickr ... There aren't many at the moment but I'll keep adding as time goes on!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:29 am

    Chin up m'old mucker. Tis the season to be jolly, and to get you in the mood they this: To be honest I am a long way from the manger of seasonal cheer, but I 'spect it will gather momentum in the next week, with work xmas parties 1 of 2; a xmas fair in Hyde Park (although I am not sure if I want to ride a carrousel in the pouring rain), and the lights on in the big smoke, which always do the trick. Nice to see clickityclick photos now. I was amazed at your commitment your index fingers relationship to your camera while in NuYork and was wondering if you has the same passion to record everything in the 'roon.
    Keep on trucking dude.

    Mr C


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