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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).

Comedy purchases

2 October 2006 - 11:50am -- Joseph

Fairly early on in our stay in Buea, we came a cross a shop that sold cheap spirits. We call it the grumpy shop, because they're never that friendly in there, I think it's because they have a concrete floor and they think they're all that. Amongst the cheap booze was a bottle of Whisky for CFA2,000 - two quid. Obviously such a drink is not going to be the smoothest, but it intrigued me, so on Saturday I bought a bottle.

Trial and Error

3 October 2006 - 4:35pm -- Joseph

At one of the conferences about IT in developing countries that Genesis has attended, he learned how to crimp heads onto ethernet cables. This isn't a practice I've ever given any thought to. However, we have five machines to get online, and a big box of cable, so it's time to learn...

We had a few false starts, mostly concerned with the order the eight wires should be placed into the head. Unfortuntely, if you get that wrong, that's that head done for, and it's off with yer 'ed:

Anniversary #4

5 October 2006 - 1:55pm -- Joseph

It's our wedding anniversary today - four years. If I'm honest, it seems like longer than that, it seems like we've been married for ever (I mean that in a good way)...

Our usual anniversary ritual of:

day off
Cotswold Wildlife Park (probably)
meal out in Oxford
obviously wasn't possible. Heather did cook for me though, which was lovely.

She's great, my wife.

Sun, sea and dead grilled stuff

9 October 2006 - 10:32am -- Joseph

Blimey, that last post was a bit soppy... Let's talk about football, grrr...

England: 0 - Macedonia: 0

Yeah, actually, let's not...

How about beer and meat? On Friday we took a walk up the hill to the Clark's Quarter, where they serve some excellent beer and meat. On the way we passed a white girl, which is a fairly rare occurance. She just looked at us deadpan and said 'whiteman': as succinct an expression of shared experience as I've ever encountered.

An evolving dialogue

10 October 2006 - 4:13pm -- Joseph

I had an interesting conversation with a few HINT employees and regulars yesterday. I was wearing shorts, partly because it's getting warmer, but mostly to air my knee, which I've scraped again (good and proper this time, it's been almost two weeks and it hasn't dried out, there's quite a deep gouge in the middle - yummy...)

They wanted to know how I'd scraped my knee, and I said I'd scraped it playing football. We then got on to how on Sunday morning, Heather goes to church and I go to football. Have established that I don't go to church on Sunday, Beatrice asked me

I am a Man of (non) Constant Sorrow

19 October 2006 - 10:02am -- Joseph

I think I need to chill out a bit. In other news, I've heard that Bears take a dump in the woods.

I think sometimes I expect too much. I don't mean that in a "what would you say are your major faults?" - "Well. I can be a bit of a perfectionist..." sort of way. I'm not a perfectionist. It's just that I often expect to be able to do something, naively thinking it will be easy, charge headlong into something, then swing from cheerful expectation to boiling rage before you can say "script error: call to a non-object on line 36".

Intermittent showers

21 October 2006 - 6:29pm -- Joseph

I've had a tricky time taking showers lately (maybe that's why the programming's not going so well?) The shower always has to be coaxed into working, and for the last few weeks, I've had to shower with one leg up on the side of the bath, to prevent my scabby knee getting wet (I'm I painting an appealling picture here?).

This week, the water pressure has been up and down, so trying to get yourself quicky wet, to get over the shock of the cold water has been tricky, especially with trying to keep my knee dry.

Plate of Snake

21 October 2006 - 6:53pm -- Joseph

During my quick beer after football on Thursday, the guys were eating snake again. They offered me some, which of course I accepted. I had my own portion this time, unlike before when I only tried a bit. The snake was served in three-inch portions, in the same spicy sauce as before, very nice, and served with a bread roll. I was watching everyone else keenly to work out how to eat it. It's mostly like eating ribs, because a snake is basically one long ribcage, I've discovered. I didn't eat the skin because it seemed too tough, and at first I thought no one else was either.

Hat trick!

1 November 2006 - 2:54pm -- Joseph

No, I haven't finally got amongst the goals big-style (I wish), well done to Wayne 'Shrek' Rooney for doing just that though. That showed 'em - the boy is awesome (sorry man, he's 21 now you know ).

No, my hat trick is of a different nature. Last week, my knee healed up properly, so on Sunday I played with my knee uncovered for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long. So ten minutes into the first half - you guessed it: got all over-excited, lunging tackle and scr-aaape. Excatly the same point as before, not quite as deep, but bigger, and quite a bit of blood!