Sunday, February 22, 2009

Random thoughts

Cameroon is not the place to be if you are not fond of dusting. Dust everywhere. While I was in Bafut last Monday there was a tremendous rain shower, noisy and sudden, but Bamenda had to wait until last night (Saturday) for some rain to keep the red dust down.

Water is precious here. Some many people do not have water supplied to the house, and you see people, including children carrying ridiculously large canisters from the water taps in the street.

Thursday’s workshop went well, and the group of seventeen participants, including three from the councils took an active part in proceedings. It is interesting how groups seemingly put together at random can vary so much. The same presenter, more or less the same content, but this group was much more participative.

I’m trying at present to work out where I am against the budget for my project in Cameroon. That is easier said than done, because I’m faced with bewildering confetti of receipts and other scraps of evidence. Some traders do not give receipts, and the taxis never do. A further complication is that the sums seem huge. With 655 CFA francs to the euro at the official exchange rate, the figures soon become gigantic. I’m beginning to understand the term "creative accountancy"!

There’s something intriguing about funerals here. They are noisy affairs. The hearse has a flashing light on the top and a siren, and the vehicles following it sound their horns repeatedly, while playing loud popular music. The mourners hang out of the windows of their vehicles, shouting greetings to passers-by.
Sorry, no image of a noisy funeral, only of group-work and collecting water.

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