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The Cameroon diaries

Collected here are all my blog entries for the (almost) year we spent in Cameroon (July 15th 2006 - June 7th 2007).

Nous sommes arrives au Cameroun!

19 July 2006 - 8:45pm -- Joseph

We're in cameroon! Well, it was a pretty long journey (up at 4 in the morning at a Heathrow hotel, greeted by our lovely hosts at their/our new apartment in Buea, Cameroon at 8.30 in the evening - no time difference, Cameroon is GMT+1, i.e. British summer time...) but all in all a fairly hassle-free one. One of our flights was a little delayed, but we got through immigration no problem, and Genesis was there to greet us (and to help extricate us from the oh-so-helpful freelance porters who wanted money we didn't have).

Getting our feet under the desk

26 July 2006 - 9:43am -- Joseph

 So we've been here over a week now, and we're settling in nicely. We have our own desk-bench for two, which hev is very excited about (apparently she's never had her own desk before...) We're both trying to get our heads around exactly what we're going to be doing, and how we're going to do it. Hev's really going to have to start from scratch. HIV is apparently a pretty big problem here, but it's not a very visible problem, nor is it one which most people want to talk or think about.

Radio, blah blah...

28 July 2006 - 9:38pm -- Joseph

After a couple of abortive attempts this week and last, Hev and I appeared on local radio today. Genesis is friends with a journalism student by the name of Elvis, who is involved in student programming on the local CRTV (Cameroon Radio and TV) station.

We went up this morning, and he interviewed us on a half-hour slot called Social forum about the HIV/Aids problem here in Cameroon - live on air!

Afterward, we went to the Chief of Programs office, a very pleasant man who's full name I didn't get, but his first name was Robert. 'Call me Bob' he said.

Crosstown Traffic

29 July 2006 - 2:45pm -- Joseph

Our office is a casual three minute stroll from the house, which is handy whichever way you look at it, but particularly so given that there are no toilet facilities at the office... So sometimes the stroll back to the house is not-so-casual.

A post about the Post - package for Mr. Grewal

3 August 2006 - 8:49pm -- Joseph

We went to the Post Office today to send a package to Australia. my friend Nanu is currently resident in Queensland, Oz (g'day Nanu!) and emailed me the other day to suggest that we have a postal incompetency competition. Apparently his confidence in the swiftness of the Australian postal system is not the highest, and he reckons he'd receive something from Cameroon before I from Australia. the rules of engagement were these: we each purchase a small item not exceeding £5 in value. We send them to each other.

D'ya get me?

9 August 2006 - 5:31pm -- Joseph

We've met a lot of really nice people here, and have become friendly with a few. I'm sure in time we'll make some good friends here, but because we're from different cultures, establishing an understanding wil ltake some time.

I'm realising just how important it is to have people around that understand where you're coming from. It's quite a fundamental thing. Right now I'm missing being able to chew stuff over (and maybe moan) with friends who know what you're on about.

Captain Terry

10 August 2006 - 3:45pm -- Joseph

So Mclaren's gone for John Terry as England captain. It's not a decision you can really quarrel with, I'm sure Terry will do a good job, but personally I'd have preferred Steve Gerrard to get the gig.

Partly this is because I like Gerrard more than Terry as a player and as a person (not that I've ever met either of them, but hey...), but also I think Gerrard would do more to fire the team up when it needs it (as they certainly needed it this summer...).

You better believe...

16 August 2006 - 5:09pm -- Joseph

Well, the inevitable has happened: someone's tried to convert me to Christianity. I suppose in a way I'm surprised it's taken this long, but I do find it quite annoying.

The guy's a friend of Genesis', his name's Pastor Moses (so I suppose the name did give me some forewarning). He dropped in on me in the office and asked about my ministry or something (I'm not really up on the terminology).

When Sunday Comes

22 August 2006 - 4:52pm -- Joseph

Sunday, rather than Saturday seems to be the main day for footie here in Cameroon, which as it turns out, is rather handy, because I can play footie while Hev goes to church. I've started going down to the main stadium in Buea on Sunday mornings to play in a training game for a football club.

(I'm not quite sure which football club it is, but I'm making arrangements to join. This has all been arranged by my New Best Friend Didimus, the man is a star.)