Tag Archives: KETCHUP
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