Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17th, 2009

Hello everyone from Cameroun,

Hope you are all doing well! For the past month I have been traveling and having visitors so it has been really fun (but tiring!) I had to go to Kenya about a month ago for a doctor's appointment (everything is fine!) that my doctor wanted me to have in Nairobi instead of Yaounde. I can now see why! Nairobi is gorgeous and extremely modern and I received excellant medical attention so it was a pleasant experience. The Peace Corps staff and other volunteers in Kenya were also very welcoming and nice so I had a really great time there. I also was able to get out on the weekend before I took my flight back to Yaounde and see some wildlife. I went to two wildlife parks, Hell's Gate and Lake Nukuru. In the first one, I rented a bike on another volunteer's advice and was able to ride along the canyon and see wild zebras, antelopes, baboons, and giraffes. The second day we went to a much larger park where you had to drive around all day. Lake Nukuru houses the world's largest population of flamigos interesting enough but we were also able to see rhinos, zebras, water buffalos, monkeys, and deer there. We didn't have any luck seeing any wild lions or elephants which I really wanted to see but I guess I still have something to go back for. We also went on a small boat ride and were able to see hippos (wouldn't want to mess with them!) I was really amazed how beautiful Kenya was and how developed most infrastruture I saw was. I am sure it is a different story the further away you get from the capitol and animal parks but there straight paved roads everywhere! And the food!! Ohh man..I ate so well!! Because of the indian influence on the country, their "local road side" is greens, beans, and a stewed cabage just like the food I had in northern India. I also had a wide array of food every nite and went to the movies once as well! Crazy! Very good times and I would recommend Kenya to anyone who has considered visiting there. Plus, there is Barack Obama memorabila everywhere!

When I got back from Kenya, I had two good friends, Zareen and Nasima, come visit me. They just left me and it will be hard adjusting back to life without old friends around again. But, Christmas is in T-minus 7 months so we have that to look forward to. They were troopers because we took all the normal transportation routes I normally take. And it does take four days of travel from the US to get to my post in Banyo come to find out! We were on the very final leg of the journey to my house (only two hours away) and the car had a large wheel problem right in the middle of the mountains and a cold rainy drizzle! We waited four hours until the mechanic came and declared the car unsuitable for further travel. Just at that moment when I was contemplating walking with all our luggage, another travel car passed by with many open seats!! We got so lucky! But of course, only about 20 minutes from Banyo we once again had a the same wheel problem but this time it only held us up about 20 extra minutes. So, needless to say we arrived at 10 pm at my place after starting the journey at 6:00 am!! Aie, Aie! While they were visiting me, I took them out "en brousse" to see the women I am starting to work with out at the rural health clinic and we also spent a lot of time at the hospital seeing the vaccinations and observing the work there.

So, it is back to life as normal in Banyo for me. I am really excited to get going though because we are so close to starting to execute some of the ideas and projects we have come up with in the past few months. I have one more "brainstorming/target setting" meeting this weekend and then I think we are ready to roll it out. I will also be doing a peer educateur training in a week for the Club Sante (health club) that I am looking forward to. This Wednesday is National Unity Day as well in Cameroun so I will try to post a blog soon, along with some photos of my trip and the holiday.

Take Care,
P.S. A new internet cafe opened up in Banyo!