This is the post that I wrote right before leaving for the Kuhn’s but lost. I should finish the posting about my trip soon
The electricity was on for the whole night last night. It was very exciting, not to mention weird to see my house lighted by the harsh fluorescent lights after getting used to the moody ambiance that the candles and lanterns cast. Few things are as unknowable as the power grid here where twenty-two power cuts in one day it’s not unheard of, nor is three months without a single cut. Nevertheless, nothing bring as much joy as the clicking of my voltage regulator announcing that, somewhere in the mysterious inner workings of SONEL (the power company), someone decided to flip on the switch marked Batouri and give us light. Never do the words of the Genesis resound more resonantly with me than when power randomly appears after a week (or two or three…) of enigmatic darkness.
“And God said ‘let there be light,’ and there was light”
Unfortunately there’s no such quick fix that appears from the heavens for the youth group’s projects. It’s not even that they need a fix, they just need some movement. I’m sure I have already mentioned the differences in the attitude and approach towards work and professionalism between local culture here and my western upbringing. I have mostly been able to reconcile theses differences, which is to say, accept that I will get half the number of things done that I had planned. With the youth project, for example, we are at nearly exactly the same point as we were when I last posted. Now normally I would consider this an acceptable pace of progress, however now that I’ve found a project I really believe in I want it to be done NOW! Recently, however, the hold up has been on the Peace Corps side of things. It’s been a really busy time for the Yaoundé office with a budget crisis (thanks for that Congress) and new volunteer groups arriving (which makes me an old(er) timer!). But at least the project looks like it’s on the right path and it will get the financing…eventually.
Meanwhile, this next week I am heading down to work in conjunction with two agro-forestry volunteers (Matt and Sarah Kuhn) posted with the WWF in a small town called Mambélé. It’s is a good two days from me on the public transport over poorly maintained unpaved roads. I’m quite excited at the chance to go down there as they might be in the most remote posting we have in Cameroon and its right in the heart of the Congolese rainforest. Although seeing as how we’ve cleverly planned this trip right in the middle of the rainy season I hope I don’t get more of an adventure than I bargained for! So I should have an interesting posting for you when I get back.
For anyone trying to call me (which should be all of you!) I’ll be out of réseaux range starting this Saturday the 28th until Saturday the 3rd, maybe longer depending on the condition of the roads, so don’t be concerned if you can’t get through.