Tropnoir

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

malaria done finish

sorry that i made ya'll so nervous. it really wasn't that bad. the pills start working within an hour and you are back to walking around the next day. malaria only kills when you do nothing about it, also the pills that i am forced to take once a week (well not forced but required) keeps it down to a managable level. plus i know what to look for and to get help fast. that was just my last little gift from cameroon. an illness. but having had it before and having access to immediate help is the only way to live here. i really was not too concerned about it because i have been good about taking my prophalaxis and avoiding too many mosquitos. but you can't really avoid them.

here is a little more info on it:

There are four types of human malaria Plasmodium vivax,
P. malariae, P. ovale and P. falciparum. P. vivax and P. falciparum are the most common and falciparum the most deadly type of malaria infection. Plasmodium falciparum malaria is most common in Africa, south of the Sahara, accounting in large part for the extremely high mortality in this region. There are also worrying indications of the spread of P. falciparum malaria into new regions of the world and its reappearance in areas where it had been eliminated.


The malaria parasite enters the human host when an infected Anopheles mosquito takes a blood meal. Inside the human host, the parasite undergoes a series of changes as part of its complex life-cycle. Its various stages allow plasmodia to evade the immune system, infect the liver and red blood cells, and finally develop into a form that is able to infect a mosquito again when it bites an infected person. Inside the mosquito, the parasite matures until it reaches the sexual stage where it can again infect a human host when the mosquito takes her next blood meal, 10 to 14 or more days later.

Malaria symptoms appear about 9 to 14 days after the infectious mosquito bite, although this varies with different plasmodium species. Typically, malaria produces fever, headache, vomiting and other flu-like symptoms. If drugs are not available for treatment or the parasites are resistant to them, the infection can progress rapidly to become life-threatening. Malaria can kill by infecting and destroying red blood cells (anaemia) and by clogging the capillaries that carry blood to the brain (cerebral malaria) or other vital organs

the most common type in cameroon is cerebral malaria, i do not know what type i had because they do not tell you. but due to the headaches that i was having... assumptions can be made.

not to worry though i have doctors here ready to do whatever to help me get better. i do my part they do theirs. not to mention that it is already gone. it only takes 3 days.

peace

Thursday, August 18, 2005

last dayz

i woke up at about 7:30 feeling cold. i thought nothing of it, i had written it off as nervous. my last doctors appointment was to be at 8:00 so i was a bit rushed still feeling groggy and cold. they reviewed all of my health issues and also told me that they can not give me a certain type of medicine for malaria that is supposed to be taken in the last two weeks of the month after i get back to the states (does that make any sense?) i thought cool more shit for me to worry about later. i went to get a hair cut and take a nap before my last interview. i must of slept about 3 hours and woke up again at 13:00 (1 pm) i got up and puton my suit to go to my last interview. if any of you all get the chance to have a tailor made suit do it they can be soo comfortable. when i walked into the office you would have thought that i was a diplomat everyone was suprised to see me dressed up. but i figured, hey i went throught a lot to have you all put my pin on some ratty ass t-shirt. i guess i should explain the pin, the pin has the flags of both america and cameroon over the peace corps symbol. actually a nice pin. so i go in for my last interview asking me about my service. ups downs what would you do different? i hate those types of questions. the brother pined me and i thought i would cry, two years three months done already. i have really grown here and i will not really see all of how untill i get back to the states. i left the interview feeling cold again. it was still a few hours until i was scheduled to go out to dinner so i thouhgt that i would take another nap. here is where i start to worry. i am wrapped up in a blanket and shivering, i start to sweat and i have goose bumps. my temples feel like there is a vice closing in on my head which is not at all helped by the cough that i have developed. i ask one of the other volunteer if it is cold in the room or if it is just me. "nah man i think that is just you" finally i get someone to feel my forehead and see if i have a fever. she looks at me and says go see the doctor (since i am in the peace corps office there are doctors). i walk up to the doctor and say you need to take my temperature. 102.6 i am burning up. as soon as she said that i have a temp of 102 i knew that i had malaria for the second time. this time is worse. last time i just had really bad diarhea. i was one unhappy camper (jessica says hi). luckily the drugs that they give you for it start working fast.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

time to go

Young man: have you ever shot a gun?
Me: yeah
Young man: did you kill him?
Me: uh, let me clarify, i did not shoot at anyone it was in a room designed for shooting.
Young man: but you have sold drugs before, right?
Me: no
Young man: you’ve done durgs before, like crack?
Me: nah man nothing more than marijuana and i dont do that anymore!
Young man: are you a crypt or a blood?
Me: neither
Young man: but you were in a gang n’est pas?
Me: no, never, not my style
Young man: i read this book that talked about the young black man in american and it said that all young black men did these things and now your telling me that you never did this stuff!
Me: yeah look cousin, because you see it on TV and in these made up destructive videos that they show on trace TV does not mean that all the black men that you will meet in your life are into those things. We are really a diverse people and it is only a small minority that gets into those things.
Young man: then you really are white! Cause the real black people in america have guns and sell drugs!

I could not believe that this kid who is in college (university) and had all these myths sloating around in his head. I mean i knew that these types of myths exist but i never thought that it would get to the level that they would write a book about it and publish it as the truth. I could not get angry at him because he has never been to the states and never really had the chance to talk to a black american. The videos and the movies and the music have really shown the worst image of us to the rest of the world. Now they do get some positive images of us from shows like The Cosby Show and Fresh Prince. But they are still bombarded by fifty cent and jah fool (rule).

Other than being asked if i am a common thug things here are going well. I have been keeping it hidden that i am about to leave mostly cause i dont want people to start coming to my door asking me what i have to give them. Here it is all about what type of gift you have to give. My landlord has been harrasing me for my TV(and i dont even have a TV). He stops me once a week and asks for the appliances that are in the house and i have to repeatedly tell him that i am not sure who they will go to yet. He wants something to say that he was a good landlord. DUDE YOU DIDN’T DO ANYTHING!!!!! But he is not the only one. My counter part is looking to have me hook him up with a woman before i leave. He wants a white one but a black will do if i have one to give him. This dude is so slimmy!

I found out that the girl that i taught to bead has taught her family and now all of them are making small items to sell in the markets. Ya’ll have no idea how good a feeling that is. As for her herslf she is getting better by leaps and bounds. She has even gotten herself a few markets of her own. Last weekend she made 7000 francs (about 15 bucks). Dosent soune like much but when you have a salary of 20.000francs (about 40 bucks) a month then every little counts

Leaving this place is going to be hard. I have less than two weeks and i have not even begun to strart packing. My house is a wreck. I have not cooked in over 3 weeks and i have not beaded in about the same amount of time. This sucks. I hate packing, love traveling but hate packing. And it is not until you have to move that you realize how much junk you have aquired over a small period of time.

Friday, August 12, 2005

postal

well we cant say i have not tried. this is the third time i have tried to send my blog and since this is the new internet cafe in Loum (opened the day before i leave) they are afraid of my flash drive. not sure why but it is kind of a pain in the behind cause the entry that i would like to make is a lot longer than this one and a lot more interesting. oh well i am leaving here tomorrow (i hope).

there was a problem with the electric company wanting to pay me back... like ta hear it? well here it go.... i went to have my lights cut off with all the proper papers. the man that worked there told me that i should give him the papers and that they will come to take my meter and pay me back the money that it took to install the counter. it cost me 30.000 francs. i was cool with this just so long as i got all the papers and i got my money. he put the papers in a folder and the folder in a desk. then went to "lunch". i was a bit nervous but i was not going to worry myself about this. i came back later to find out that "lunch" was in Douala (qn hour and a half away) as is his house and the majority of his work. i called him to ask what the deal was, "you know that my work was much here in Douala and i could not leave, i will be in Monday to arrange that problem". the weekend goes by and now i only have a week to get all the papers together and get out of town.
when i get in that monday morning he is "sick" and can't come to the office. i am starting to get the idea that this dude wants to take my 30.000 a lot of money to lose to one person who is "sick" (i still think that he was full of shit.) finally i get them to trun off the lights but they tell me that i can not be reimbursed. two days go by of me going to the office and all they have to say to me is that he is not in. finally i go to the head of the office and explain my story. he tries calling the man but he has turned off his phone. he tells me that he will fix the problem by thursday (yesterday)but that i need to come back at 2pm. i come at 2 and the office is closed and he too is in douala. now i am getting angry. the problem could be easily solved, it was nothing more than the fact that the papers need to give me back my money were locked in his desk and someone else could have signed the papers and paid me back. so last night i asked my friend if i could borrow his crowbar to "fix" something. he said yeah and gave it to me. i went ot the office with the expectation of getting 'postal'and opening that desk. the head guy showed up and the first thing out of his mouth to me was. we are going to pay you back without the papers just give me your last reciept and your identity card! so i got paid back without the use of the crowbar. cameroon i hate it and i love it!

Friday, July 01, 2005

the prodical has returned

yeah yeah yeah, i know that it has been a really long time since i have written. i have no excuses(we'll just call it blog-blocked). i have really been in a world of my own. you all have no idea what it is like to sit in a room by yourself and think about moving back to america with no money no job set up and so many people looking at you saying "what is peace corps and why the hell would you join" then again maybe some of you do... still not 100% sure as to what i want to do but it will involve the thing that i should have done a long time ago... jewelry.(did i spell that right shame i want to practice the profession and cant even spell it.) things will be tight for a while but i guess that i will figure out how to sort all of that out. but since i have been here there are a few people that i need to thank...

first up my mother- yeah i know it is cliche but she has really been great to talk to mostly cause of her interest in africa and the fact that she really enjoys seeing and hearing about the things that i am doing here.

second- i self ra- even though he got mad junk to talk, this is really the only consistant letter sender. i have to admit when i am feeling all alone and depressed the novels that he sends as "letters" really help. also he sends some of the best CDs. and i have to admit that he made me feel bad about forgetting mothers day and fathers day.(my father read your blog and he REALLY felt proud to see that you wrote about him!) big-up!!!

third- this woman i have not spoken with since the day that i had my going away party but it is my 8th grade LD teacher (hmmm i didn't know that he was learning disabled) we'll call her miss kay. but i read the letter that she put in my book before i came over the other day and i saw how supportive of me she has been over the years. suprised that i was able to stay in touch with her. i have to send her a e mail.

fourth- afrodorky- (aka ebonyqueen) someone that has appreciated me and watched every move i make (ok not every) but she is the reason that i behave at times. love ya.


ok that is enough ass kissing...

i still have not gotten the package my mother sent me in march which means that it is probably stolen. if it is i wish death upon the goat of the man that took it. i will see you and your goat in HELL!!!! mail here really is not as bad as in some other countries. but since the govmnt dosent really pay employees here for months on end they start to pick through the mail that is coming in. i am suprised all the time that things actually make it to me here. i will ask again tomorrow but i am not too sure that it has arrived.

i have my last french test tomorrow here in yaounde. it will be interesting to see where i come out as. a lot of people have told me that i have gotten better but i dont see me making it that high. maybe i am looking at the glass half empty. on va voir!!! it is hard to believe that i am now tri lingual (pijin english is a language of it's own) i switch from language to language easily sometimes i dont even notice which language i start and finish in. but my english is terrible now. who ever said that a second language will make your first better is a goddamn lie!!! even typing this blog i have had to ask 12 or 20 tiems hau to sepll smilpe wdors. i maen it rlaely iz jsut p sahme!!

the beading project is doing pretty good the girl is not where i want her to be but she is making money and learning something new everyweek. i want to get her designs better before i go and she has been slow to pick up. maybe she is showing her dependicy on me to figure out the tough stuff but she needs how to make those brain cells work. hell i'm leaving soon.

the bank... well i stop by for an hour or two every now and then. i can waste my own time very well and do not need to leave the house. no one really says anything. they dont know that i am leaving next month cause i have not told them. it is an effort to avoid the constant request for gifts and to keep hood niggas out of my house when i am not there. they are looking to have my non existant TV but i have told them over and over that i do not have a TV and do not want one!!! i would like to keep that up when i get back to the states but i know that that will be very difficult to do since so much happens on TV. we will see how much discipline i can muster up to stay on that path. i read more book cause of it, but i digress.... my counter part is leading the charge on my house feeling that he is the most influential person in my life since coming to cameroon but has only seen my house once and that was the old house. i am interested to see what he will try to take. i want to leave in the middle of the night so that no one knows that i am gone till it is too late. aint nothin worse than some beggin folks!!!

bye for now i will write more later...

oh yeah ole shorty from my cool date has not spoken to me since. win some lose some!peace

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

under construction

due to the piss poor management of this blog new management will be taking over soon. thank you for keeping in touch and stay tuned for the new tropnoir!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2005

cool date

I was finishing up teaching English here in douala and had a few errands to run before getting back to Loum. I ran quickly to the market to buy ripe plantains to eat for about the next week to week and a half. I took my time getting to the car park because I just knew that I would not find a car that was near full and would have time to drink a beer and eat a bit or two before I got back into the car and waited some more. To my surprise when I got to the car park there was a car that had just filled up and was getting ready to go. It was a 70 seater bus with 70 people in it and ready to get on the road. I ran to one of the workers that I have gotten to know and explained that I was in a rush that one of my children was sick (they don’t seem to understand time unless there is illness or blood involved) he smiled and said “ donne moi ton argent,” I handed him the money and he ordered me on to the bus. I entered and with the dumbest look on my face that I could said “ there are no more seats” he smiled again and told me to hold tight. He ran off and came back with a small wooden chair to put in between the aisles. I took the small chair and began looking for where I would sit. The first place that I went to sit down this girl says ever so politely. “ Don’t sit there it is too hot back here go sit somewhere else” I got ready to give her my usual ‘fuck off’ but I looked up and she smiled from ear to ear with the biggest whitest teeth that I have ever seen. Yeah I was mesmerized. So what did I do… picked up my chair and carried my ass to the front. Hell I got no game!!

So we finally get on the road and the driver is obviously looking for some money. He starts loading on more people as we get on to the road. He got about 15 more people on to the bus, which of course made the bus hot. And the windows were helpless. So he opened the double doors to get a good breeze flowing. Then he started back into the same foolishness that all Cameroonian drivers seem to do (I swear that they are taught to act like fools on the road at driving school… I mean they ALL do the same dumb shit… but I digress) he drove too close to a parked Mack truck and clipped the door and the woman on the road next to the truck. The glass on the door shattered and made a big enough noise that he had to stop. When he did all the passengers got out of the bus and sent to survey the damage (as if they can do anything) that is when we told the driver that he’d hit someone. “ I’ve hit someone” he said with false concern only hoping that it was not serious enough that he could be asked for money. But wrong it was bad enough that he had to go and take the woman to the hospital. I, the moral American, started complaining about the way that people drive in Cameroon and a few other people chimed in. I turned to see the same girl with that beautiful smile. The conversation degraded into the same bullshit complaints about Cameroon and I was out. This chick I guess was on the same level with me and we started talking about it. Like half way through the conversation she asked “ tu est. ne dans un pays Anglophone” I just smiled and said yes my country is English speaking but I am African (my usual lie that most Cameroonians can see through) she gave me that smile again and said “ what part of America are you from” (she saw through that one faster that I thought she would) so I was back to square one. Just trying to continue our conversation while we were waiting for the police to come and get the buss drivers information (this took over two hours to just make a photocopy). It was hot and I offered her a drink. I thought that I wouls be in for it there cause she could have asked for the most expensive beer they had and drank the joint knowing that she would never have to deal with me again or if she did deal with me again that I would be rolling in money and take care of whatever she wanted. (sugar daddy I am not!!) but she didn’t she got a small soda and drank it real slow. (I got the most expensive beer that I could on the other hand but that is neither here nor there.) we talked about a lot of things the only thing that really stuck out was when we started talking about Cheik Anta Diop. I was amazed to find that she not only knew the name but knew a little bit about what he wrote about. (since I myself don’t know that much about him the conversation did not go all but so far). I got the digits and said that next time I was in Douala that I would come and see her. But I have to say that she has not asked me a lot about America (a country that I am tired of talking about) out side of the normal small questions that we all have about other countries.

fast forward

I finally got home and I called her about a 3 or 4 days later to tell her that I would be in Douala this Saturday and that I would see her when I came. She said cool and that she would call me. I was expecting her to beep me and I would have to cuss her out for that shit cause that really is becoming more and more of a pet peeve. But she called me and asked what time I would get here and if I was in a rush to get back to loum. Of course she got all the time I had to give since she called me and I was not busy.

So this morning I got to douala a bit early and did my English lessons and was determined to finish at about noon. I got done at 2. I called her and she told me to wait where I was and that she would come and get me in about 20 minutes. I got ready for the long wait cause 20 minutes in Cameroon is really one hour. But sure enough 24 minutes later she pulled up in a taxi and was like “sorry I took so long.” I wanted to kiss her right then and there. She was running a bit behind and knew that I was waiting on her and she even apologized for the 4 minutes that she took extra because of traffic. (this is VERY rare in Cameroon).

She asked me where I want to go and I was like this is your town you tell me where we are going. she offered to go to her house first and then to go to a baptism at a friends house. I was like “ just take me where there is food!” (What?! I was hungry). She gave me that smile again and laughed a little and said lets go to my friends first cause she will have food. She asked if I knew what a baptism was and of course I was like “ hell yeah” but then she threw the twist on me. It was a muslim baptism ( I didn’t know they baptized) this was bound to be good. We caught a cab and I got my money ready to pay the cab, expecting at any moment that she would be like, “pay the man” but she paid. I swear jesus must of opened the door for me cause normally in Cameroon if I want hang out with a sister they are expecting me to pay all. ( and I even brought enough money this time to cover all costs). This girl was mad cool. At the baptism she kept feeding me until I had to give her an angry look to get her to stop. Her response “ I want to see you gain two kilos in front of me” (don’t ask how much that is I just don’t know). After all that food I got put to work with a video camera and a new mother pushing for me to film everything. I got a bit fed up with her (the mother) towards the end but it was still cool hanging out listening to the wide array of languages.

After that we went to her house. She lives with her cousin who works some where and all this girl has to do is go to school and stay out of trouble. They had more TV stations than I have ever seen in Cameroon. I watched a little CNN and then got tired of seeing white people. So we cut out. We must of walked about two hours in Douala which is not exactly the safest city in the country. And we talked about nothing at all. Which was the best part we just talked about whatever came to mind. I got a phone call from my friend here who was driving around and just happened to be near by he told me to wait and that he would come pick me up. While waiting I kissed her on the lips and said the dumbest shit I have ever said “that what I have been waiting to do” but she got me again “ was that even a kiss” and she kissed me a bit more intimately. My friend passed and picked us up. He thinking she was a hooker offered of she wanted to come back to the house. When she said no he was like “ is she sure?” I looked at her with those eyes that say “are you sure?” she smiled again and said she was sure that she did not want to come back to the house with me. I gave her that same look again (what I had to try?!) we droped her off where she could get a taxi home and she kissed me on the cheek and told me to come to her house before I left Douala. I hoped in the car and we took off. I called about 15 minutes later to make sure that she got home ok.