Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Work starts!

The road from Yaoundé to Bamenda in the north-west is a long one, with five police or army checks on the way. Along the way Ibrahim and I dined on grilled fish and grilled plantain served at a roadside stall - see photos. I saw a tree containing the nests of the weaver bird - you'll have to believe that that's what's in the picture.

Today I have agreed my detailed plan of work with the Northwest Association of Development Organisations (NWADO), with whom VSO has strong links here. so I now have some idea how to move forward. We’ve agreed dates for training sessions, but I need to speak to a lot of people before putting the courses together.

Then I went to visit the commercial part of this sprawling town with Kharsum, a brave volunteer from the Philippines. I thought it would be good to go on foot so I could make some kind of mental map. Big mistake, I was really sweating in the persistent heat, and the red dust arose from the road as we walked along. The persistent hooting of the taxis mingled with shouts of children and roadside sellers. Eventually we were forced to take one of the rickety yellow taxis (200 Central African francs per journey within the town) which serve as public transport here.

Things that we consider standard are not so here. For example, there are no post boxes at all here and no delivery by the postal services to private homes. The water has to be filtered before being drunk.

I am impressed by the enterprise and inventiveness of people here. There’s a furniture workshop near here specialising in producing very impressive domestic furniture from wood no longer needed for other purposes

I hope to add to this blog some photos from the last couple of days, and showing where I’m living now. Let’s see if I can manage it!


Elinor Chapman said...


llysmeirion said...

Amazing photos. You've certainly got to grips with the technology!

Jayne P said...

Well done on the technology Bill!!
All sounds very interesting

lucy said...

I'm loving following your trip. Can you believe we had snow here 2 days ago and it's been so cold it's stayed!
Am saving all your photos just incase...