...and the beginning of a new one.
So I’ve moved out of the village…and into a cushy life in the “big city” – the regional capital, Bamenda. I guess I should officially change the name of my blog.
No more waking up to this:
Now I wake up to this:
No more going to sleep to this:
Now I go to sleep to this:
Which is better? Not too sure… I’m feeling a bit nostalgic about leaving Belo and the smiling faces of the beautiful people in the village and the simple life (though I won’t miss the absence of running water). It’s nice when everyone knows you, but equally nice to be invisible sometimes (not that invisibility is possible when you’re white in Africa!).
But now I have hot water and high-speed internet! Doesn’t really feel so Cameroonian...
My new home is VSO’s North West regional program office. One challenge – waking up and walking 10 steps to work (to the living room) in my pajamas! It’s definitely a pro and a con at the same time. A very big positive is living with two amazing roomies – Mags and Mandy. We have already had a few “gatherings” at the new house, and many more are planned – all themed parties, of course!
With the move comes a new role. Saying goodbye to my BERUDA family, I am now working with a cluster of volunteers, all with specialized skills in different areas, to identify needs and create development projects with partners across the North West Region.
Reflecting back on my time in Kom, here are some everyday moments in Belo:
|Baby goats frolicking on my front porch (but not cleaning up after them!)|
|Collecting rain-water (if I wanted to shower or do dishes...)|
|My BERUDA family, along with the Mayor (centre) and Divisional |
Officer (to my left), at our Send-Off Party
|Breakfasts by the waterfall|
|Lunches with other volunteers|
|Watching events from BERUDA balcony|
|Hanging out at Palace Bar|
Now my new diggs are in GRA (Government Residential Area), Up Station. Yes, it's where all the rich government people live...but its peaceful and clean and pretty safe (we have a night guard now). My roomies and I spend a lot of time eating out, shopping at the market (getting almost everything we need - a nice change from the village) and meeting other volunteers for drinks. So it's not too shabby.
Everyday moments in Bamenda include:
|Morning strolls in Up Station|
|Hanging out with the neighbours (Doris and Raphaela)|
|Henry giving free djembe lessons|
|Shopping at Bamenda Market (on a tranquil day)|
|Trekking with my roomies!|
|Fancy-dress parties (Erica & Elphie's Prohibition Leaving-Do)|
|More fancy-dress (Queen's Jubilee)|
|Nights out dancing|
|Crevettes at The International Hotel|
|Beautiful views and amazing chicken at Handicraft Centre|