Everybody's working for the weekend
16.03.2013 - 24.03.2013 28 °C
I have two adventures to report on since my last post. I had the opportunity to travel outside of Douala the last two weekends, and it has done me good to get out of the dirty, noisy city. It is hard to come back to the city after a weekend in the beautiful parts of Cameroon.
Last weekend I went to Kribi with the other volunteers and Marc, the fiancé of Maman’s sister. The trip there went splendidly. Kribi is beautiful, the beaches are clean, and we stayed at a really great place with individual cabins and a pool. Check it out at http://www.kribiholidays.com/2.html. The water was remarkably warm and we had a great time playing in the waves. The downside was that on our return to Douala the bus blew a tire and had some other mechanical problems so we had to wait all after noon for the next bus. I forgot my camera on the bus when we finally decided that it wasn’t going to get fixed, and when I looked for it some 20 minutes later, it was gone. So I’ve purchased another camera that isn’t nearly as good and someone in Cameroon has a pretty kickass waterproof camera. Luckily I had handed my memory card over to Marc before this happened, and didn’t lose my photos.
Because the organization with which I am volunteering does not have an office of its own at the moment, Abby from Alabama and I are working out of the offices of a solar energy company. Daniel, the head of the company, invited us to visit the western part of the country to see the countryside, visit some of their projects, and see his village. Western Cameroon has plantations of palm, bananas and pineapples, and is also the swanky part of the country. The richest Cameroonians build huge mansions on the hillsides in this region of refreshingly cool climate (by Cameroonian standards) and beautiful views. It’s a bit like cottage country because business men spend the weekend there to escape from Douala.
On the way out west we suffered a bit of a delay with a blown radiator. This necessitated a change of plans since we weren’t going to make it to Daniel’s village by nightfall and travelling in the dark is dangerous because of the condition of the roads and crazy drivers. So we spent the night in Dschang at Daniel’s brother’s parents-in-law and the next morning visited an artisanal workshop/market and the cultural museum there. We continued on to Baffousam and Bana with various stops. We visited two waterfalls, the site of a women’s school that is being constructed by an American woman, and met a guy from Italy who is leading a project to install solar panels to provide electricity and water pumps to some schools and hospitals in the region.
Learning about the solar energy projects was fascinating, the countryside was incredibly beautiful, and the roadside fruit was truly amazing. I will definitely be making plans to get out of Douala again soon!