Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Today was Day 2 of training at the Embassy in Yaounde. Today I learned that I will be flying to Maroua next Sunday.
Mignon took us to Taco Tuesday for Lunch at the Marine house on the grounds of the Embassy, which felt like a real transportation back to the US. Salsa and guacamole and green chiles have never tasted so good!
Highlights from this day include a lecture from a Language Professor at the University of Yaounde 1, who was also a Fulbright who came to the US to do his PhD work at UMass! What a small world! He gave us a great deal of info on the Academic Situation in Cameroon, and we learned a lot about the structure of public universities and what we can expect.
In the afternoon, we had a conference call where all 3 of us got a chance to speak with our contacts at our host universities. It was so nice to hear the voice of someone who knows exactly (or close to…) what I will be doing in Maroua. I spoke with Michael Apuje, director of the department that I will be teaching in! He sounded excited to talk to me about my arrival- which was very reassuring!
The University of Maroua is one of Cameroon’s 7 public universities that receives it funds from the Cameroonian government and was founded in 2008. I will be teaching at the Ecole Naturale Superiuere, which is a Teacher’s Training College at the University. French is the primary language of Instruction. I will be assisting at least 2 courses, one on Academic Writing and one on Multiculturalism and Current Events. These classes will be between 45-90 students, but I will be teaching with another teacher.
The English Language Club that Kate spearheaded was a big it, and I am so happy to be continuing the awesome momentum that she started! I am also hoping to observe or audit some other classes at the university, so it sounds like there will be plenty to do!
I also learned that I will have my own apartment in a university apartment building, which is home to many other international people working at ENS, and is within walking distance to the place where I will be lecturing.
It was a huge relief to hear that “my apartment is all set. All that it needs is hot food!” I’m not sure if there will be internet access in the apartment, but there definitely will be in my office (!) at the university. Hurray!
For dinner, we were invited to eat at the home of some wonderful new American friends. They are two young American couples, Kelly and Bill and Lindsay and Brian, all of whom are teachers at the American Schools here in Yaounde. Between the 4 of them, they have done a great deal of traveling in different parts of the world mostly working as teachers, and they had great advice and a real “inside scoop” for Americans living in Cameroon.