Saturday, November 22, 2008


Soccer match in Garoua last weekend against Cairo, Egypt.

November 21, 2008

November 20, 2008

Bonjour tout le monde –hello everyone ! Hope you are all well. Another week of training is over. Only about 2 more weeks to go here before we are finished and sworn in as volunteers. We have been doing a lot of work here ! We have to do a 30 minute presentation on a cultural topic topic all en francais next week. I believe I am going to do mine on popular travel destinations in Cameroon-which is very beneficial for those who want to come visit while I am here ! So far I have learned that the beaches are great down south, Mt. Cameroon (the highest point in west Africa) is worth the trek, and there are some beautiful waterfalls in eastern Adamawa. There is also a good sized wildlife park called Waza in the Extreme North that if you go during the right season you can see elephants grazing at the water holes and other animals you might normally see on safari in eastern africa. I am very excited about the zoo in Yaounde that has been recently renovated with the help of an international wildlife organization. There you can see various monkeys and gorillas that are in rehabiliation. I really would like to go see mountain gorillas in the rainforest but I guess those places are hard to get to do to lack of infrastucture (which is probably good in the long term sustainabilitiy factor !)

We had quite an interesting day here yesterday. Our french class was on ¨field trip¨to meet with the director of the public pharmecutical center. We had a interesting meeting and then afterwards we learned that the director is also one of the mayors! Interesting.... he invited us to lunch and after touring some more of town he took all of us out at the francais resturant way on the other side of town and bought us like a three course meal complete with mousse for desert!!!! We all thought we had died and gone to heaven. We are trying very hard not to tell the others what they missed. We did not make it back until about 3 hours later. What an experience!

Other than that, not too much going on here.

I hope you all have great Thanksgivings . I miss you all ! Have some stuffing and pumpkin pie for me ! love Anna

Saturday, November 15, 2008

November 15th, 2008

November 14, 2008

Hi everyone,

Well, I made it back from site visit (Banyo) last Sunday alive so that is a great feat in its self. I started off on Friday afternoon taking a bus for 4 hours to Tibati where I stopped for the evening. Got up the next morning and did the long haul from Tibati to Ngaoundere (7 hours). And then I stayed there for the night, recuperated a bit (ate some great french fries with a beef, mushroom, cream sauce), and then continued onwards the next morning for another 5 hours to Garoua where the group was reunited. That would be a 3 day journey !! I was/am really tired from the trip but glad that it was a whole lot easier than the way there. I won’t have to do that trip too many more times because I can take another route to Yaounde through the west in the future and can do my banking in a town about 6 hours away from me (Bafoussam) instead of the other direction where the road is really bad. Apparently right now (directly after rainy season) and during the rainy season is the worst time to travel that route so it should get better. We are getting, ¨this is as worst as it can gets, ¨all out of the way I hope !

The post-election atmosphere here is very exciting. Everywhere we go we get, ¨Obama, Obama !! ¨with outcrying of cheers ! Everyone is very anxious to see what will happen when he becomes President. I was not able to see or hear the news on election night but I guess many, many people here stayed up all night (6 hour time difference from the east coast) to get the results. We keep joking that it will only be a matter of time until we are seeing Obama Pagne here (colorful cloth with photos of Obama on it that are made into shirts and dresses). I don’t get too much news here so send news and magazine articles my way !

We have three more weeks here before we are officially sworn in as volunteers. I will miss living with my host family, especially since the little kids are finally warming up to me. So much, that I am pretty sure I have gotten cold number two from them today !! Oh well ! The other night one of the little girls (5 years old) tried to begin braiding part of my hair-no such luck but it was entertaining. At night I usually watch tv with them while eating dinner and all the kids sit there and point things out to me in Fulfulde (not making much progress in that langauge yet but will need to since most of my neighbors in Banyo only speak Fulfulde).

It is hard to beleive that everyone there is getting ready for Thanksgiving traveling and such. Know that I wish I was there with you all. We are preparing a small feast here and with the help of the stove and refridgerator in the office we might be able to pull it off. I will write hopefully again next weekend.

All my best. Love, Anna

Photos November 15th, 2008

Landscape outside of Pitoa.

All the Peace Corps trainers and trainees with the Ambassador to Cameroon in September.

Katie and I preparing for bike ride in Pitoa a few weeks ago.

My host mom with Cheboyan, Michigan tee shirt.

View from my soon to be backyard in Banyo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More photos

Local foliage outside of training site in Pitoa.
Rain storm approaching during a soccer match in Pitoa.

More photos

Photo of my two host sisters-Habiba and Nassiba.

Post on Wednesday November, 5th

Hello everyone!!! What a busy week or so since I last had a chance to write or post anything on this site! We found out our posts this week and I am currently on "site visit" at my post right now. I am in a town called Banyo which is in the Adawama province-it is a lot different than where I was the past month or so. It is further south and much more mountainous and cooler (I actually used a blanket last night). You should be able to find it on a map of Cameroon-it is due east from a town called Tibati and sort of northeast of a town called Bafoussam. I am staying with the girl who has been here for the past two years-her name is Nadia and she is really great. I have taken lots of photos of the house and town and will post them next week when I can. I posted a few photos below from the last week's bike ride and my celebration after the U of M loss!!

I am posted to be working with the local district hospital here in Banyo and my counterpart is the head nurse who is originally from the western part of Cameroon. There is a new doctor there and Nadia says he has really got the place in shape since his arrival last year so it sounds like I should be in a good spot to be working on a lot of things in Banyo and the surrounding villages. During the last two years, Nadia has been working on training nurses, working with a men's group, working with neighborhood children, and also working with prisoners and improving the conditions there. Hopefully I will be able to continue some of her work after she leaves. Banyo is a really pretty town. It is approx. 25,000 people and a medium sized town in a hilly area (lots of climbing!). There is one main stretch of town that is is paved and has shops and such and then there are some schools and health clinics on the out skirts-the rest is all residential neighborhoods. Great news thought-they are currently building a bakery and small supermarket which should be completed in the next few months. My house has a big living room, a smaller kitchen that overlooks the hills with a back yard, a bathroom, and THREE bed rooms!!! There is a lot of painting and decorating that will need to happen once I move here officially in December but it should work out (right now most of the walls are painted Bright pink!) One of the draw backs to living here is that I am really isolated from my other health and Agro volunteers that I came in with. I do have a post mate who is a high school teacher here and will be here for most of my time here and there is another health volunteer who has been here for a year that is apparently an hour east of me. There are three other health volunteers I know posted in Adawama but Jessie and Brian are about 5 hours west of me and I don't even know how far away Allison is in the east!! Lets just say the roads are pretty incredible. To get here, we all took a 5 hour bus ride and spent the night with other volunteers in N'Gaoundere which is the provincial capitol of Adawama. The next morning we started at 7 am for Tibati and arrived there at 3 pm in the afternoon. And then I continue on from there for another 5 hours or so! Things didn't go exactly to plan so I didn't arrive until Tuesday morning!!! GEESH! It took three days to get here! I don't think I will be visiting the north much after this! I am going to take it in 3 steps to get back to out training site this weekend so it shouldn't be as bad! in Cameroon!

So I hope everyone is doing well! Such great news on the elections!!!! Please send any news you have!! Hope to write back soon with more photos-miss you all, love, Anna

Photos 11.5.08

My bed (with mosquito net) in Pitoa.
Bike ride last weekend in rural Pitoa area.

Yahoooo!!!! GO STATE!! Sorry Nathan for your terrible season this year, but go MSU! Wish I could have watched it live-this photo is for you!