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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).


30 August 2006 - 4:11pm -- Joseph

We got post!

There are quite a few packages we've been waiting for, so we've been going to the Post Office once a week, each time to be greeted by an entirely empty PO Box.

Then today...

Five packages!

They're all stamped with 28th August, Douala, so either they all arrived at once in Douala (which is unlikely since some packages were posted several weeks apart), or they've all been sitting around in Douala for weeks. I suppose they do periodic shipments up from Douala to Buea.

The Weekend Starts Here

4 September 2006 - 5:11pm -- Joseph

We had a moderately busy weekend, particularly by our own current a standards, as weekends are sometime rather quiet round here. On Friday afternoon, there was a march in Buea. The Tole Tea workers were striking, as they haven't been paid for some time (some say a week, a month, a year - no idea what the truth of it is).

Tell me this...

12 September 2006 - 3:53pm -- Joseph

I haven't posted for a while, the reason being that I haven't done anything, as I've had a stinking cold, and have mostly been hanging around the house in my pygamas, or shuffling zombie-like (everybody together - uuuuueergh) up to the office, to sit in front of my machine, unable to string together a coherent...

But enought whinging. Still nothing to report though, (apart from Hev's nylon hair transplant, which I shan't dwell on), so instead here's some questions, and I want ANSWERS people:

Spring Cleaning: JB mk. II

14 September 2006 - 6:40pm -- Joseph

There was a lot of spring cleaning type activity at the house this morning (and whisper it quietly, but the weather is improving...) So in this spirit of renewal, I thought I'd launch the re-design of the site today. I know it's not stunning, but I've gone for a 'less is more' philosophy (because less definitely loads faster, and we're on a slow connection here...)

This isn't just a cosmetic make-over, but a complete code rebuild, top to bottom, so if you encounter any problems, please let me know. I've tested it as well as I can, so naturally, I'll have missed something...

Suits you, Sir

18 September 2006 - 11:10am -- Joseph

Last week, Heather went with Marceline to buy material and get measured for a couple of African outfits - so she can be a Proper African Lady, what with her hair and everything. We were due to pick them up on Saturday, and while anticipating this over the week, the subject of me getting a suit made came up.

I'd wondered if it would be possible to have a suit tailored while I was here, as I figured it would be cheaper than in England. I've always wanted to have a suit tailored, as I don't much like the tapered trousers that seem to come with every suit, regardless of style:


18 September 2006 - 11:54am -- Joseph

In this part of Cameroon, the school system is based on the British system, meaning that the academic year starts at the same time (which I think is pretty mean, because the kids get their 'summer' holiday in the middle of the rainy season. Sad Face.)

So the school year started a few weeks a ago. There seems to be a severe lack of text books on school, and I think children are sometimes expected to supply their own. This is a big problem, because the text books can be very expensive.

Money, Power and Thank You

22 September 2006 - 6:11pm -- Joseph

We've finally managed to sort out transferring money from our UK accounts to HINT's Cameroonian account. We've made several attempts at electronic transfers, one of which I sent in May, and we finally resolved last week! Just the four months then...

Another transfer that Hev sent arrived pretty quickly, so we sent a second, larger amount by the same method, and it took less than three days! See banks, you can do it when you try...

Join The Club...

26 September 2006 - 6:21pm -- Joseph

I spoke too soon when I mentioned playing football every Sunday a month ago. For various reasons, I haven't played since, until this week. This Sunday, we finally made it down again, but turned up late, so I only got to play about half the second half. The second 'half' was about ten minutes long...