Monday, June 23, 2008


the NASTA [national science teachers association?] conference is on this weekend here in Bamenda. Nat, Kay and I were here yesterday. interesting talks about Error Management and Evaluation by a French pedagogic advisor to the Resource Center.

also a short discussion on forests (deforestation, resources, benefits, etc.) by a woman named Clair from the Bamenda Highlands Forest Project. it was almost the same lesson i gave Thursday in class!

i was excited about the prospect of getting support from an org like that for environmental education class/clubs. will talk to Clair today. she’s taking us on a trip to a Montane Forest up in the Santa area. looking forward to that, too. sorry i didn’t bring my camera though.

today Mike is giving an HIV/AIDS presentation. condom balloons and all!

last day of the NASTA workshop went well. Mike’s presentation was very good. issue of promoting abstinence vs. condoms came up. it's disturbing how some people here will make condoms look bad (defective/ineffective) to make abstinence look better or look like the only choice.

the only choice?... in an ideal world, perhaps. but the fact is that these same people admit HIV/AIDS is an issue and thus admit kids (15-24 being the most infected age-range) are not abstaining... so how does that not correlate with the notion that promoting abstinence alone is ineffective???

i’m a bit torn myself. b/w the ideal of promoting abstinence and being realistic. regardless, i think it’ll need much more than just an American promoting abstinence or the of use condoms. Cameroonians need to promote both as well.

taking a step back... it should at least be discussed more. being informed about both sides and then making a decision. saying condoms are ineffective b/c they sometimes don’t work does not reflect an informed opinion.

on another note... we went on a great little hike afterwards. want to go back up to that forest area. reminded me of Shenandoah in many ways! amazing views. cool facts.

we gave 500cfa for the excursion. annoyed that Bamenda Highlands probably saw none of that. instead we were “invited” to drinks with our own funds! i didn’t have one.

OK... enough bitchin’. i’m still in Bamenda. need to write a couple of lessons then leave late afternoon... waiting for mama to call.

“I am not everyone, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.”

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