FES starts

FES (Field Education System) started last night with a wonderful ice-breaker games kick-off. My favourite thing to do. Not exactly. For one of the games we each had a small bean bag on our head and had to move around the room, following instructions such as "walk backwards," "hop on one foot," etc., without holding the bag nor having it fall off. A few Cameroonian kids who live on the compound were watching through the windows as we did this and I couldn't help but think they must think us crazy! Here's these strange white people challenged and amused by walking with a little bean bag on their head when the Cameroonian woman carry on their heads anything from their Bibles on the way home from church to a sewing machine across town!

Working with my strengths, this morning I was assigned to help in the Grade 5 Math class, and then to watch the pre-schoolers for the remainder of the morning. Can you see the sarcasm dripping from that statement? Actually, it worked out fine because Grade 5 Math is still fairly basic so I managed to stay at least half a second ahead of the kids, and the pre-schoolers were fine because they were happy to be read stories to all morning.

In the afternoon, I sat in on the "Art" class, which is more of a cooking class as it aligns with out FES theme "chocolate." We did some chocolate tasting as we talked about cocoa and cocoa butter ratios and "tempering" and "bloom." (Bloom is that nasty grey coating on old or excessively warmed then cooled chocolate. It's the result of the cocoa butter separating out. The cocoa butter is what provides some of the sweet taste, and the smooth texture, so that's why "bloomed" chocolate is not as tasty. There is, however, nothing wrong with it, so go ahead and eat that Tempo chocolate!) The farmers in Big Bekondo grow cocoa beans so shortly after we return to the village, I am led to believe we will participate in the September chocolate harvest, so I look forward to seeing a side of the chocolate process that is heretofore unknown to me. The rest of the afternoon I spent in the library, doing data entry.

As to weather, did I mention it's quite cool here? People have used the word "cold" but I don't think that's necessary. I have been less than warm in my skirts and sleeveless tops, but I wouldn't go as far as to call it cold, and have avoided wearing my fleece (my one token warm longsleeved shirt) as much as possible. It was so hot when I left Canada, and Lisa so impressed on me the hot climate in the village that her one comment on it being cooler in Bamenda didn't result in packing any appropriate clothing. But I think I'll just savour being "coolish" for a while before I get hit with the relentless heat I'm told to expect in Big Bekondo.


lasselanta said…
My favourite part of the chocolate process? Watching the kids at a cocoa-breaking, sucking the gooey white coating off the cocoa beans and then spitting them (minus the goo) back into the bucket. Yup.

Actually, the goo tastes quite good. Not a bit like chocolate, but kind of sweet/sour.

Popular Posts