Tag Archives: ABROAD
- Oil on Canvas
- 36x 16 inches
We were at the fish market in Kribi and these kids were selling fried meats to the people having beers watching the tide roll in. Balancing large items on heads is a big thing out here. Its like at birth they are taught this talent. In this case ceramic plates, but there is an assortment of items that can be carried with ease. Like the man who sells plastic clothes baskets +50 at once, or the woman with the 50 lb container of water with a baby strapped to her back carrying gallon buckets in each hand I saw the other day. Some times with cloth wraps to display the weight like in my painting, many time with out like the woman with the baby.Its pretty awe inspiring. I makes me think of where this talent was tossed out. The neck is at the center of the body. So many american back problems probably wouldn’t exist today..
How lucky am I? The school is paying for my personal items to be shipped abroad! Seriously, if you’ve ever lived in another country you’d know what a big deal this is!
Yaoundé, from what I’ve learned, does not have any art stores or clothing stores. They have seamstresses that make clothing, and their local art scene is all woodcarving.. I am told taxing is 100% on imported items; this includes things like sneakers, certain foods, and cars. It is hard to get items through customs on a timely basis. I read in a 3-year-old teacher’s handbook to bring things you felt needed to be a specific brand. So if a Walmart was built there in the last 3 years, I will feel a little silly. Either way, I am taking advantage of this wonderful offer.
If you were trapped on an island and had 5 boxes you could fill with things to take with you, what would you bring? What couldn’t you live with out? I repeated this to myself, staring at the art supplies and peanut butter I’d artistically wedged between my shampoo, soap, and contact lens solution.
Ha-ha…5 boxes. I think not!
6 personal boxes and 5 boxes (filled only with art supplies) later, my life is packed securely and on its way to Kingwood Texas where it will be placed in a big container and shipped to Yaoundé. Clearly my top priorities are my everyday items, and art supplies. I am hopeful that during this experience, I will be painting every chance I get.
Beyond the things I absolutely can’t live with out, I got to pack stuff that will help me get settled and feel happy. The top items in that mix are:
Art Books: Vincent Van Gogh: The Drawings, Lucian Freud, Picasso and Matisse, Tim Burton, Frida Kahlo.
Novels: The Fountainhead, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Human Stain. My NEW Kindle is joining me so I really have no need to bring too many.
Food: Peanut butter, ketchup (it’s very different once you leave the US, probably made more naturally, but I like the stuff with the corn syrup) and Oatmeal. Brownie mix (if anything this will help me make friends), Wheat thins, black liquorice, and ginger snaps. During my stay in Italy, not having certain American food products, (and spending 12 euros on peanut butter) helped bring on a bit of homesickness.
I know when I get there, there will be more things I wish I had, but adapting to my surroundings is part of the experience. I’ll probably find even better substitutes. Who knows? But it will be OK, and I’ll have my ketchup and art supplies to keep me happy!
Lesson of the month: If you forgot to pack something, it probably wasn’t that important.
Tags: ABROAD, Africa, Art, BOOKS, Cameroon, CLOTHING, family, FOOD, Friends, Independence, KETCHUP, life, love, New Jersey, New York, PACKING, painting, PEANUT BUTTER, School, SHOES, Teaching, Travel, WALMART, YAOUNDE