Friday, December 18, 2015

Victories, Failures and What the Heck Was That?!

It’s official… I’ve been away long enough to crave certain foods. Two days ago, it was pot stickers. Today, it was samosas. I really do think I’ve lost a few of my marble because I attempted both… I must say the veggie pot stickers were AWESOME!!! I am totally making those again! They were savory yumminess that hit the spot just right. VICTORY! My samosas?

Well…You see…they sort of…exploded. They still tasted good, but they were more samosa pancakes than actual samosas. FAIL. Ashley’s List of things to Make Better #54923: Samosas.
At the beginning of the school year, I was sort of put in charge of the Arts Club. Did anyone tell me this? Why, that would be a big fat NO. I should have figured it out when I walked in the first day and everyone was looking at me expectantly… Anywhoo, the clubs presented on Sunday, and the girls in my club drew out and sang the Twelve Days of Christmas. While they are on stage singing, I sat in the audience with my own version dancing through my head: 12 homemade bagels, 11 Christmas boxes, 10 cozy naptimes, 9 friends with FaceTime, 8 students happy, 7 weeks of vacay, 6 stress relievers, 5 POUNDS OF CAMEROON COFFEE, 4 cups of creamer, 3 caffeine IVs, 2 cubes of sugar, and A GIANT CUP OF SANITY! Yes, my friends and I have way too much time on our hands during weekend phone calls…

Sometimes, I am still struck a little stupid by language. I live in an English speaking region, but the English is different. It’s sort of like the English I use with my friends and the English I use with my grandmother… Anyway, I was walking to a friend’s house after school last week, and I was once again reminded that there are differences. I passed a woman selling food on the side of the road, and I’m a little hungry so I ask her what she’s selling and she responds with a smile “gato”. I’m sorry…what? “Gato.” The convo went something like this:

“Hello, ashia!”
“My friend, hello! How?”
“Fine! How you?”
“No, fine.”
“What are you selling?”
“Oh, gato.”

Now, at this point, I am trying so hard to hold in the nervous laughter trying to bubble up inside me.

“Gato? What’s in it?”
“Oh, flour, yeast, sugar, water…” I release my laughter and she looks at me, so now I have to explain…
“I’m sorry. In Spanish, gato means cat…”

It took her a minute, but she laughed and laughed and laughed. Please, let me assure you no cats were harmed in the making of this “gato”. Although, many a cat are eaten in Cameroon… Cue Sweeney Todd music here.
With Christmas only a week away, my friends and I are preparing to celebrate in style! That vacation we all desperately need? Oh, yes, it’s happening. We’re leaving Saturday morning for Kribi. Four days on a tropical beach with a couple of awesome ladies? Yes, please! The running joke is Ashley is the Cameroon wife… why? Ashley cooks, bakes, and takes care of everyone. Good thing I like to cook, but you can bet your bottom dollar that we will be eating fresh fish, plantains and njamma njamma (greens) a couple of times while sitting on a tropical beach because we’re cool like that. For our trip, I decided we needed a little touch of home. Do you know how hard it is to explain Christmas stockings to tailors? They aren’t a thing here, so you find your fabric and go to the tailor to explain. My “big big sock bags” should be ready sometime today or tomorrow… This should be interesting. I’d sew them myself, but I lack a sewing machine and I am too lazy to hand stitch more than one. I plan on beading names on (another thing to add to my Cameroonian wife status: Ashley sews), but that might have to happen after giving them out while we’re watching movies one night…