Monday, May 19, 2008

Parlez-Vous avec moi?

Greetings Friends,
Salut Amis,

I have two weeks left so I wanted to give you my address and all of my contact information. If you are sending me something there are a list of dos and don'ts. All mail takes about 2-3 weeks to get to me and sometimes up to 6 weeks so don't get sad if I don't get it right away. Make sure you read through the following lists because if you don't my stuff might be stolen or stopped by crazy mail inspectors.

(I'm getting this information right from the PC Cameroon)

Mail Contact
Do list
1. Send mail through Air mail
2. Mark all Mail: AIR MAIL and PAR AVION
3. If you are sending letters Number them because I might get them out of order
4. If sending packages, "bubble envelopes" work best. If sending any food items, put them inside a ziploc bag. This will reduce chances that bugs or rodents will devour them.
5. Mark Packages Honestly on the outside so greedy postal workers aren't interested for instance:general description of the contents is sufficient: "clothing and candy" rather than "Nike high top sneakers and 2 lbs. Godiva chocolate."

Don't List
1. Don't send something that you would be really upset if it got stolen (for instance: a baby or priceless diamond toe ring)
2. Send mail through Surface Mail- it can take up to 2 years to arrive
3. Send Heavy things: There is a tax which Volunteers will have to pay on all packages received before they can retrieve them from the post office. This tax varies according to the size of the package. It might be a nice gesture from friends or family to send a six-pack of Mountain Dew, but it may cost a Volunteer up to $10.00 to get it out of the post office.

My Address for the next 10 weeks:
Elyse Tussey
Peace Corps Trainee
Corps de la Paix
B.P. 215
Yaoundé, Cameroon

Computer Contact
Keep in mind that the time change is 8 hours ahead.
My primary email is:
I will try to be on AIM where my name is: Theatreet6
And you can find me on SKYPE by searching for my email address: and we can talk live- like a phone for no money! (download this now:
(I have a video camera as well as a head set so if you get a head set we can talk for free)

Phone Contact
It costs a lot of money to call from Cameroon to the states so I will probably call you and then you can call me back on an international phone card. I will also be getting a cell phone in Cameroon but the signal may not be very good and I'll be mostly using it in country but I'll let you know the number when I get that. The internet is going to be the easiest way to get a hold of me.

Well that was a lot of information but I hope it was thorough. Let me know if any of this isn't clear!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Discovering my former wisdom

So I've been looking through all of my education folders to see what might be useful in Cameroon and I came across this list I have created. I detail a lot of things I've learned thus far in my life and I thought it would be fun to share it with you. Though I'm not sure how many of these will be useful in Africa.

Things I've learned:
1. Relationships are not always chocolates and roses. Your smile is not always adored, every kiss is not like the first. Every phone conversation doesn't end up with an "I love you". When you realized these things and stop expecting everything to be perfect is when you will being to realize how wonderful the special moments are.

2. No correspondence is ever as good as a letter you get in the mail.

3. It is always better to brush your teeth twice ad ay then once.

4. If you have an opportunity to give, take it.

5. Never think your vote doesn't matter, it does.

6. You aren't always right.

7. Admitting your mistakes is hard but necessary to learn.

8. When something is scary, it's always more fulfilling when you are facing it, than when you run away.

9. Never underestimate the love of an animal.

10. Coloring is always fun, especially if you aren't color blind.

11. Being cheesy is cute.

12. I probably would be a millionaire if I saved all the quarters I put in candy/video game/sticker machines.

13. Nail polish on your toes always makes you feel attractive.

14. Friends can help you through anything.

15. Doing something that has to be done will always be better if you do it right away, then it doesn't loom over you.

16. Don't hold on to things that aren't yours anymore.

17. Refrigerate Chicken Salad.

18. Don't spill juice on electronics and then turn them on, multiple times.

19. A single bed does not two sleep.

20. Get yourself a stuffed animal. They don't cost very much. They give you unconditional love and endless snuggling.

21. If the temperature in yoru room is perfect, you sleep a lot better.

22. Always check for toilet paper before going ot the potty.

23. Anything can be shaken out of a vending machine when its stuck if you are dedicated to shaking it out.

24. Always be early to work.

25. If you are paying for your food get what you know you like, if someone else id payign for your food try something new and expand your horizons.

26. Cussing doesn't make you sound smart.

27. You can never go home again.

28. Friends are what keep you sane.

29. Everybody needs therapy in one way or another.

30. Always wear shoes in a bathroom that isn't yours.

31. Music can affect your mood, utilize its powers of persuasion.

32. Listen to those who have experience, many times you will not understand but when you finally do you will smile and remember that they told you so.

33.You will never appreciate your parents until you are older and see them as people and not parents.

34. Don't judge too quickly you burn bridges, burn opportunities, and never change.

35. Comfortable shoes can make or break your day.

36. Talking yourself out of exercising will always be a disservice to yourself.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

It's all happening.

So I just got back from Congress with Jaime and I looked in my mail box to find my staging packet. This is the last packet the pc will send before I depart. Now the crazy thing is that it includes my itinerary as well as my actual flight information to get to Cameroon. How weird is it that I am actually booked on a flight to Africa!

I was hanging out with my friend Dave tonight who is leaving his teaching job at a local high school to go to grad school for English Education and he hasn't been sleeping very well do to some anxiety he is having. He is going to NYU for his graduate studies so moving to the big city can be daunting. I realized that I have yet to have an anxiety dream or really big freak out so far. This is very unlike me because I have anxiety dreams before and during every new job that I've had or lesson that I introduce. Yet, right now I have yet to really let it hit me that I will actually be in Africa in less than a month.

A piece of paper in front of me says "at 5:05pm on Januarey 08th I will be in Douala, Cameroon starting my training. I'll be flying through Paris. Paris! Who does this?

Anyway, I guess it's all happening.