Peace Corps Cameroon.
Brian is both a Peace Corps Volunteer and a graduate student in the Loret Miller Ruppe Peace Corps Masters International Program at Michigan Tech. Find out more about this program at http://peacecorps.mtu.edu/ .
In Rocky Mountain National Park just before heading to Cameroon.
28 September 2004
Bonjour from the administrative capital of Cameroon, Younde. Training is chugging along well. Today we went to the police station to apply for our carte de sejour. Friday off to our homestay in Pitoa in the North Province.
Letter dated 3 October 2004
The trip to Pitoa was long by American standards - approx 23 hours by train and another 4 or so by bus. We had escorts for the entire trip as we journeyed through Cameroon's climatic zones. C'est magnifique!
When we arrived in Pitoa we were greeted by our homestay families. I'm staying with a family of 17. They are wonderful! I have my own room with a desk, bed, and footlocker. The bathroom is the communal squat variety which we also share with a goose and its young. Bucket baths are crucial in the 100 degree heat.
Yesterday we assembled our mountain bikes and received bike maintenance training. Today was the Sunday market - my sister Valerie showed me around and provided some excellent bargaining advice. We stopped at a fellow Volunteer's place and danced with the kids.
16 October 2004.
I am staying with a generous, caring family of 20 in the village of Pitoa during training. I have a wonderful father and mother, 11 sisters, and 4 brothers. Training classes meet 730-4, Monday to Friday, and 730-12 on Saturday, with an emphasis on language, cross culture, and agroforestry technical training. We all started home poly pot and direct seed nurseries utilizing Egyptian Thorn seed. Monday we have a field trip to a small scale farm outside Pitoa. Today(day off), we travelled to Garoua, had an ice cream cone, and caught up on some administrative/domestic work.
6 November 2004.
I found out my post. I'll be in the Adamawa lowlands in a village called Mbang-Mboum. It is a new agroforestry post which was a health post for several years and the community requested an agro volunteer. The post is about 90km from Ngaoundere and 15km from another post. The population of the work area is about 10000. There is some gallery forest on the mountains and farmers are cutting it down for fuelwood. With the opening of the Ngoundere-Touborou road, economic activities are expected to increase in the area and more farmland would be opened at the detriment of the gallery forest.
Hope all is well...sure could use a large veggie pizza from the Ambassador!!
From the November Quarterly Report.
Training occurs at a Peace Corps staff house in Pitoa, a village approximately 10 km north of Garoua, in the north province. There are approximately 8000 people in this village, which can be considered a suburb of the provincial capital (Garoua). French and Fulfilde are the languages spoken here.
Agriculture and animal husbandry are the major economic activities (cattle, sheep, pigs). The topography contains mountains, plains, and plateaus. The rainy season occurs April- October. July and August are the months with heaviest rainfall. Cotton is an important cash crop. Maize, millet, sorghum, and ground nuts are cultivated. Lime, mandarin, guava, banana are also grown in the surrounding community. Notable tree species include baobab and neem.
Training occurs Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 4:00 pm and
Saturday 7:30 am to 11:30 am. A typical day looks like this:
9:45-11:45 Tech Training
3:00-4:00 Cross cultural training
After class, I usually constructively hang out until 5:30 or so, return to my homestay, and eat, clean clothes, boil water, draw with my brothers and sisters, and study language/tech/cross cultural exercises- surprise quizzes are given once a week.
The technical training we've received thus far include the
" Agroforestry's definition and objectives
" Nursery establishment and management
" Dry-land farming systems
" Agroforestry project plan
" Demonstration plot establishment
" Sustainable development
" Need pesticides
" Intro to dendrology
" Cropping, pollarding, improved fallow
" Seed propagation
" Community forestry
The last two weeks of training will cover the following:
" Economics of agroforestry
" Crop/tree pests and diseases
" Organic fertilizer/pesticides options
Training follows the community based training methodology. The goal is to produce self-reliant volunteers and to provide community and job integration. Trainee directed activities, applied language exercises, and trainee led sessions are conducted in clusters.
Other agroforestry topics we've prepared and presented include:
" Out planting
" Improved fallow
" Erosion control
" Live fencing
" Improved pasture
" Community forestry
" Nutrient cycling
" Organic matter
" Land tenure systems
" Watershed management
" Nitrogen fixation
" A/F tree species
Fall camp is a great experience to prepare us for training. The workload and training methods are similar. Integration with my homestay family was an easier transition because of my time spent with my housemates in Alberta.
Privacy? Forget it. As one trainer explained, villagers know our every move, as do the PC staff. Fortunately this has not been a big issue with me. Sunday morning bike rides are the remedy.
I'm constantly amazed that people with so little can be so generous.
I've been on the sensory overload. I'm glad I'm here.
From an email on 2 December 2004.
We swore as Peace Corps Volunteers on December 2 at Police headquarters. In attendance were the U.S. Ambassador to Cameroon, the Peace Corps Country and Assistant Country Directors, the Governor of the North Province, the PC trainers, and our homestay families. We were entertained with traditional music and dancing. The actual swearing in oath was an emotional time for us all. We're proud at what we've accomplished. I'm certain that everyone at Fall Camp can relate!!
Brian's training group swears in. Brian is just to the right of the pole for the Coca-Cola tent.
28 January 2005
I'm in town for our first provincial meeting with the Volunteers of the Adamawa Province. We've been trading stories all day and eating foods that aren't available in our villages.
The first 6 weeks at my post have flown by. Following protocol, I visited the Political Officers ( Sous-Prefecture, Commandant of the Gendarmerie, Minister of Forestry) responsible for the Adamawa Province along with the current and prospective Chiefs of my village in the Capitol city of Negaoundéré. While in town I bought furnishings for my house (propane stove, tank, had some furniture made) and visited my supervisor with the NGO CELDIE (Cellule pour le Developpement Integre et L'Environnement). The journey to the Capitol involves a 10 km moto ride (cost 500 fCFA), an often sketchy 60 km bush taxi ride (900 fCFA), and a final moto taxi to the Quartier Bamoun where I stay while in town.
In village, where I'm known as M. Abdulli, I've attended a Marriage celebration and the Fete du Mouton (Celebration of the Ram). The big social event of the week is the Wednesday market. Some of the best television I've ever seen! Spices, fruits, vegetables, bike parts, traditional medecines, crafts, pottery, clothing. All under one (actually about 50) woven roofs! I'm learning to speak the local patois and have made several agroforestry technique presentations.
1 February 2005
This is an improved cookstove I made with my homestay family. We learned how to do this in training. It reduces the amount of fuelwood, stays cool on the outside, and is somewhat of a status or luxury item.
Left to right: My brother Alexi, my homestay mother, my brother Acheel, my sisters, Lydia and Marcell, and my brother Papee.
Left to right: My brother Acheel holding a neighbor's kid, my cousin Timothee, my brother Alexi, and a large bull about to be slaughtered.
2 May 2005.
I hosted a field day at my post during In Service Training. The Country Director and his family, the APCD, the Training Director, and all the agroforestry volunteers in my training group attended. We marked contour lines with A-Frame levels, constructed contour bunds for erosion protection, and outplanted some Erythrina senegalensis seedlings from my nursery. More than 20 farmers from Mbang-Mboum and surrounding participated as well. Pretty happy with the planning and execution of my community. The only snafu occurred when the CD asked me if I had put the poster up especially for the meeting. I looked behind me and there on the school room wall was a poster of a topless woman on a motorcycle. Ooops!!
The Agroforestry IST.
17 May 2005.
Brian with men from Mbang-Maboum.
A woman carrying fuelwood near the village.
Some tough guys up front.
Inside Brian's house.
Bridge over the Bini River. The bridge must be rebuilt every year after the floods. Men carry the wood for construction 20 km.
Downtown Ngaoundere, the provincial capital.
A store in Ngaoundere.
The internet cafe in Ngaoundere. Surfing is about $1 per hour.
14 July 2005 (Excerpts from a quarterly report written at the end of April, but not received until July - sometimes the mail from Cameroon is a bit slow)
I have been at post almost 5 months and almost 7 months in Cameroon. Just experienced the hottest months of the year with temperatures hovering between 98-102 degrees, nights bottoming out at 85 or so. Rains are common every couple of days, creating quite a roar on the tin roofs. Despite the noise, I'm relieved that the temperatures have dropped dramatically. Nights around 70 degrees, days 80 to 85 degrees. I'm actually using a sleeping bag at night.
I'm pleased with the amount of work I've accomplished and my acceptance in the community. Health, diet, and sleep patterns have been challenging, as well as my patience, tolerance, and understanding from time to time.
I have given 15 animations (PC lingo for presentations to groups of 5 or more-goats, trees, and stalks of manioc don't qualify) in 6 villages on topics such as live fencing, erosion control, tree nurseries, HIV/AIDS, improved cookstoves, and windbreaks. Groups have ranged in size from 7 to more than 40. My village contact translates into Fulfulde, Mboum, Duru for those that don't speak French.
Tree nurseries have been established in these villages with 2 species- Leucaena leucacephala and Erythrina senegalensis. Leucaena is a small evergreen tree used for fuelwood, alley cropping, and windbreaks. Erythrina is a medium thorny tree used for live fencing and firewood. Biggest problem has been seed germination and seedling protection. Seed treatment instructions are not always followed and free roaming animals have completely destroyed one attempt.
Celebrated my 40th birthday. I was happily surprised with a cake and a great dinner after our provincial meeting in Ngaoundere. Most people in village don't know their birth dates or even their exact age, so when I shared the fact with my closest friends I received blank stares in return and requests for money!
January 20, 2005-I took a shower. A real shower. With a shower head. And hot water. With real soap. And no cockroaches or geese pecking at my feet. Afterwards I used a terry cloth towel to dry off. YOWWA!!
On a hike back from a neighboring village, I encountered one of Mbang-Mboum's elites struggling to push his bike loaded with bananas up the dirt road to our village. I greeted him in Fulfulde, took his bike, and pushed it up the hill to his house. He gave me 2 of the 3 banana bunches and scolded me when I refused to take them.
At a recent bank visit, a goat walked in and deposited its own special currency on the floor
I've been attacked in my concession or house by a chicken, a large green snake, and a bat. The bat story is of particular interest. It roosts in my rafters at night. One evening I decided that we would part ways. After prying him loose with a broom handle, it flew into my face and slapped me a couple times. I went outside and regrouped while he flew in circles, taunting me on each pass. Brainstorm! I ran inside, put on my motorcycle helmet, and started swinging with the broom handle. After 38 swings and not even a foul ball (bat), I glanced in my doorway-a good portion of Mbang-Mboum's population stared in horror-the Nassara's (white man) lost his mind!
Daily sounds in order of appearance:
2) Screaming children
4) Screaming children
5) Screaming mother
6) Screaming children
Repeat cycle every 10 minutes until 9am
The ladies really dig it when I try to carry water on my head.
19 August 2005 - a few photos from Cameroon.
Loading up - public transportation always has room for one more.
At the installation of the new chief (center).
Market day (every Wednesday) in Mbang-Mboum.
Working out Mbang-Mboum style.
12 September 2005
I have been at post 9 months and just short of a year in Cameroon (September 25). The rainy season is in full effect with precipitation experienced 3-4 times weekly. We went one stretch of 8 days without rain and 42 hours straight downpour at the other extreme. The vegetation growth has transformed the area into a sea of green, wildflowers, and blossoming trees. Temperatures are a cool 70 degrees in the evenings/mornings and days rarely over 85 degrees. The sun is intense.
The rainy season means fieldwork. And LOTS of it. Villagers are usually in the fields at first light end return in the evening. With the exception of preparing fields with animal traction, sowing, weeding, building raised beds, and harvesting are done by hand. Herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers are used by those farmers with the means to acquire them. I've assisted in field work and beforehand considered myself to be in pretty fair shape physically. This is nothing like throwing some weights around at the SDC [Editors note: The SDC is the big student gym and athletic facility on the MTU Campus]. This is back-breaking work that requires energy reserves and the ability to recover and go right back at it the next day. I'm proud to be working along side some of the strongest people I've known.
With the exception of the schools' summer vacation oversight,
I'm pleased with the amount of work I've accomplished. Particularly,
the newest demo plot established in Mbang-Mboum has generated
a great deal of interest. It's situated along the road through
town where people stop to see what I'm doing and I'm able to explain
and demonstrate A/F techniques. In January we will take a portion
of the plot and construct a community nursery. Some of the fellas
have dubbed it Mbang-Mboum's farmer school.
This quarter has been the most enjoyable for me personally for several reasons. First of all, I'm working alongside villagers. They acknowledge my effort and it's being acknowledged around the community. Secondly, I've got a place to call my own in the center of the village where I'm able to demonstrate my purpose for being here. Finally, my language and cultural skills have come a long way-engaging with people is easier and most of the time enjoyable.
I was chosen Voice of America's (VOAs) Sonny Side of Sports Listener of the Day in June, my name broadcast across Africa on shortwave as a PCV and die hard Detroit Pistons fan. Pretty cool. (Pistons lost game 7 of the finals to San Antonio).
The APCD of PCs A/F Program visited my post. We visited my demo plots and nurseries and reviewed my work plan for the upcoming quarter. He showed farmers some outplanting techniques and offered spacing advice when outplanting Leucaena seedlings for alley cropping.
Attended the new village chief's installation ceremony here in Mbang-Mboum. Government officials from the province, the sous-prefet, and chiefs/villagers from neighboring communities were part of the crowd. Men exhibited seldom seen emotion in their happiness of having village leadership restored and hoped for a better future. I especially felt honoured to witness an event even some Africans never get to see.
It's rare when the villagers bust out the generator, and even rarer to see a TV attached to it. But that was the case as we watched in the primary school Cameroon's Indomitable Lions defeat Ivory Coast for a possible World Cup 2006 berth. Perhaps the Lions in Detroit will have similar success (ahem).
27 September 2005
"had a break in attempt last Saturday chez moi. Bedroom screen cut and hand reached in about 11pm. Awoke to the sound and scared the person off with a pretty impressive monster sound. Was pretty pissed the next day-how could the people I'm here to help do that to me and all that jazz. Back to normal-well normal here-and ready for the dry season. HOLY RAIN!!"
30 October 2005
Think I hit the one year wall. It's Ramadan and I've adopted the village men's philosophy of doing nothing (which only puts more workload on the women).
The leucaena seedlings for my study have grown well and not a one has been damaged. The other live fencing species (Erythrina) has generated a lot of interest. Trying to procure more seeds for next years' nurseries is next.
Rainy season ended and the temperature is heating up-close to 90 during the day and 60 overnight. Harvest has began-groundnuts, potatoes, manioc, and maize to follow soon.
Poor Latrine Design.
The demonstration plot at Luomounangue. Fallow area in center to be planted in maize. The farmer who owns the plot has trouble with monkeys which eat his crops. The monkeys live in the hills in the background.
Brian weeding in the demonstration plot at Luomounangue.
The demonstration plot at Mbang-Mboum.
1 December 2005 - Excerpts about accomplishments and general life in Cameroon from Brian's quarterly report.
I have been at post a year and 14 months in country. The rainy season ended the last week of October with little transition time into the dry season. The skies are clear or scarcely cloudy with rare cirrus for the next 5 months or so and the strong harmattan winds out of the north add a tinge of mystery to the surrounding mountain range. The absence of precipitation has changed the landscape from a lush green to a thirsty brown. Skin cracks, lips become chapped, noses dry to a painful crust. Travel becomes easier as the roads return to their hot dusty selves. Temperatures heat up to 90 degrees and bottom out at high 50s overnight. I saw a child wearing a snowsuit one morning.
Fieldwork slowed to occasional weeding then harvesting potatoes, beans, groundnuts, and corn near the end of the quarter. Ramadan brought a 30 day tradition of fasting during daylight hours and conserving energy in between. Sleeping, playing cards occupied the men while women were up even earlier each morning to prepare pre-dawn meals. Money is harder to come by as harvest revenue has not yet been realized, school fees are paid, and pockets emptied by farming input costs. The village springs back to life after the Fete de Ramadan, where everyone wears crisp and colourful outfits and normal eating habits return. Village work includes fence making, repairing roofs, making rope and bricks, fireweeding, and garden preparation. People are ornery, impatient, hungry, and broke. Glad to see this quarter come to a close.
Market day seminars Fair interest early on then none. Most visitors were kids who were always willing to listen to my presentations because afterwards I rewarded their attention with animal sounds and armpit noises. Eventually they were able to name the tree species and their functions in their family's farms.
Harvest Harvested beans, groundnuts, potatoes, shelled corn, peeled manioc, and was rewarded with excellent home made patte d'arachide (peanut butter) and hearty traditional dinners by fire under star filled skies.
Demo plot work Continued weeding biweekly and documenting growth rates. I'm especially interested in Leucaenas's growth during the dry season. Perhaps I can work this data into my thesis. This informal teaching method seems to generate the most traffic as passers-by stop to learn more and wish me "Du courage!"
Visited the Sand Lady; a fortune teller who reads sand markings. She mentioned my morning headaches (accurate), that I was experiencing a small passing problem (my work boots were stolen), would have a long life, satisfying employment, and my first child would be a girl. Hmmm
Become pretty 'Cameroon attuned'. Not a lot surprises me anymore. Helping put a cow in the trunk of our bush taxi, a goat next to me soiling my pants, and being asked to hold a fellow passenger's chicken are all part of a trip to Ngaoundéré.
Participated in Cameroon's census. Among standard questions I was asked to describe AIDS transfer methods, my home's lighting (kerosene lamps), how I cook (campstove), parents living or deceased (dad died in 2003), and what I was doing here.
Met with Union des Femmes Dyamiques de Mbang Mboum, our local women's group. We discussed their purpose, goals, needs, and made plans to start a tree nursery. A small victory as I have been trying to meet with them all year.
I was partnered with Glazer Elementary School in Detroit as part of PCs third goal/domestic programs efforts to share volunteer experiences in the developing world. According to PC, World Wise Schools links school classes and current volunteers in an exchange of overseas correspondence. Should be fun.
27 February 2006 - Excerpts from quarterly report.
15 months at post and 17 in country have elapsed since first touching down in Yaoundé aboard flight 1855 from Paris via Philadelphia/Detroit. I'm still the same cat but have a greater appreciation for the place I left and a greater understanding of the difficulties our brothers and sisters in Cameroon face on a daily basis.
I spent late December preparing a tree nursery in my village, January in the Center/South provinces (midservice conference/vacation), and February reacclimating to village life. Partly cloudy skies and a high of 96 today. Had our first rains of the season on February 25. We'll max out at about 105 degrees over the next 2 months, rain returning for good in mid April. The Harmattan reminds me of days of using a blow dryer set on HIGH/HOT.
Corn harvest and shelling dominated village activities. Afterwards fields were fireweeded, and cattle penned to return some nitrogen to the soil, then the larger plots lay fallow until June or July when corn is sown again. Population density here in the Adamawa is Cameroon's second lowest, allowing such activity.
Small gardens of tomato, pepper, sugar cane, lettuce are started near adjacent water sources (Bini River). Other work includes repairing roofs and fences, making bricks and rope from natural materials found around the village.
My gut tells me that the next 9 months are going to fly by contingent upon continued good health. No shortage of work as watering/weeding at the nursery and planning the field trials for my thesis work dominate my time. Outplanting, field trials, data collection in addition to my primary duties and another vacation before September.
Nursery Filled 1000 polypots prior to leaving for vacation then sowed all seeds except papaya after returning from vacation. Experienced 100 % germination rate after 6 days with Leucaena and 80% with Cassia after 9 days. Awaiting germination of Eucalyptus, Moringa, Erythrina, and Caesalpinia.
Midservice Conference Was dreading the train trip down to Yaoundé
due to stories of derailments, theft, heat, duration. Alas, the
universe colluded and I experienced an enjoyable trouble free
journey lasting an unheard of 14 hours. Our couchette measured
about 2m X 2m with a bunk bed, a sink, and a narrow standing strip.
We actually got some sleep over the 746km southbound trip.
Upon arrival in Yaoundé, we put some big city tips provided by a fellow PCV into action; we walked a couple blocks outside the train station before hailing a cab and saved major CFA. We knew the taxi rates (175CFA or about 60 cents to go to most places in the city) and how to hail them. One simply holds out the number of places he wants on his fingers. The taxi slows, and you shout the number of people, destination, and what you'll pay. For example, 'Deux places, Omnisport, trois cent cinquante'. If he agrees he'll honk, stop, and you jump in. If not, he'll take off and you wait and try the next one.
Our accomodations were the PC Case de Passage (Transit House), similar to an upscale Otter River Cabin with bunk beds, library, free internet, full kitchen, showers, TV, and movie collection. Got a clean bill of health, visited air conditioned supermarkets with carts, cashiers and Muzak; sporting goods stores where I held a basketball for 45 minutes; bakeries with pizza and ice cream (I ate almost 7 kilos in 2 weeks!!); the Institut Nacional de Geographie where I bought the latest map of my study area (ca. 1971); learned to use an IPOD; used a washing machine and dryer; watched 14 movies; played table tennis.
Vacation Spent a week at the beach at Kribi in the South province. Standard beach activities including body surfing in the warm Atlantic, walks to cascading into the ocean waterfalls, economy meals with the locals in thatched huts in nearby fishing villages.
Returned to Yaoundé then back to post for a week with a fellow PCV. We made a 20 minute video of my work for my neice's environment class. Lotta fun planning, filming, and editing.
Demo Plot Work Continued taking growth measurements and light weeding. Several seedlings (over 90cm) flowered and developed seed pods. Others increased in height over 30% without supplemental dry season watering. Lateral branches have developed. Three seedlings were animal browsed. No other noticeable pest or disease damage.
Soil Testing Met with the Chief of the Soils Program with IRAD (Inststut de Recherche Agricole pour le Developpement) while in Yaoundé and obtained pricing, transport instructions, and test results turn around time.
Other Activities Began to raise chickens with my in village counterpart. We prepared a budget of inputs, a timeline of events, and documented our responsibilities. Originally he requested about 200,000Fcfa. When he presented me the budget, it had ballooned to over 1,000,000Fcfa! We eliminated some unnecessary expenditures ( a motorcycle to raise chickens???) and adjusted some quantities to arrive at out original agreement. He constructed the chicken house while I was on vacation and when I returned we bought some of the main inputs. He's really excited and passionate about the project. We're holding off to buy the chicks as the Avian bird flu virus was recently found in Nigeria and rumors of 800 dead chickens in Yaoundé are being heard. I once lived in an area in Michigan with a fast food chain called YaYa's Chicken. My counterpart's name? You guessed it-YaYa!! WEIRD.
14 June 2006
18 months at post, 20 in country. This quarter included the hottest months of the year (March, April) and the return of the rainy season. In fact, rainfall in May has been said to be similar to amounts normally received in August. This is definitely my favorite time of year; the landscape changes from brown to green, skies clear, and the area's beauty becomes apparent again. I have daily work at the nursery and have begun field trials in a neighboring village.
Happy with what I've accomplished personally although I wish the community were more interested in agroforestry. Initial interest is promising but when the actual work begins amnesia runs rampant throughout the village. Those who expressed interest in starting their own group/personal nursery have not followed up. One man who seemed extremely motivated told me that cattle ate his seedlings and stomped on the polypots; later I learned that he had sold the polypots and never started a nursery.
Part of the Nursery.
Continue to correspond with Mr. Chris Drake's 2nd grade all boys class at Glazer Elementary in Detroit. They were recently interested in water use in Africa and I was able to send them some photos of our village pump, filtering water, and women washing clothes at the river.
Students from the University of Ngaoundéré visited Mbang-Mboum for a weekend in March. I was able to demonstrate my agroforestry work and answer questions afterward. Great experience.
Abu, Maou, Maimouna and friends.
Maou munching on a guava.
Some vacation photos.
Hotel Terra Plage in Kribi on The Atlantic Ocean.
Pulling in the nets.
Brian at Chute de Lobe, waterfall entering the Atlantic Ocean.
14 August 2006
Brian in the demonstration plot.
Alley cropping demo, ledby Yaya and Brian.
Mount Ngan-Ha towers over the wooded savannah and above the clouds.
Email on 22 August 2006
It's 70 degrees and I'm freezing. What will I do in January when I return to the polar ice cap?
Thesis work is rolling along well. Final weeding the first week of Sept and I'll take soils samples then as well. The corn looks healthy and the villagers can't believe that I didn't use chemical fertilizers. Several farmers have also used Entada in their farms as a direct result of my trials. That makes me happy.
Had a site visit from the CD last Monday. He was really happy with my work. The Chief came into the village specifically to meet him and gave him and his wife gifts and fed us like it was our last meal.
I'm off to University of Ngaoundere today to track down some background information on the Mboum people, rainfall data, and to get contact info of a professor that has done some a/f studies in my sector.
6 September 2006
Off to Yaoundé via train Saturday night for COS Conference. Rumour is that we're staying in the same hotel that they house the Indomitable Lions while they're in town.
I asked my neighbor if he could keep an eye on my place while I was away. He looked up into the sky and paused. "I've walked there (to Yaoundé) three times in my life."
1000 kilometers by foot to sell cattle.
7 September 2006 - Excerpt from September quarterly report.
As I was outplanting papaya seedlings behind the health center a friend asked me what I was doing. I responded by saying that I was outplanting these seedlings in hopes that they would eventually bear fruit. Those who were sick could grab a papaya and continue down the road to a speedy recover with the help of some fresh fruit!!
That's really nice of you, he responded. Where is the guardian?
I don't know, I responded.
Did you ask if you could outplant them here?
Yep, I talked to the Directeur, the Doctor, and Yaya and got the OK What's with the interrogation?
Well, see those stones there?
They mark spots where children are buried.
LESSON. Be certain an outplanting spot is not a cemetery.
The CIA Factbook page on Cameroon.
The University of Pennsylvania Cameroon page.
The Lonely Planet Cameroon page.
Back to the Michigan Tech Peace Corps page.
Page created 10 May 2004.
Updated: 7 September 2006
Page created and maintained by Blair Orr.