Sunday, October 24, 2010

Photos on October 24th, 2010

Photos of the following: Small transport car stuck in the mud during rainy season on the "national highway" connecting Banyo to Bafoussam, view of Yaounde from above, rainbow before the storm in Banyo, road "en brousse" to Ndiwawa Health Center, myself and the Chef of Ndiwawa, and myself with the youth club teaching in a nearby village.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"En brousse" with the Youth Club in a local village about an hour motorcycle ride from Banyo and a photo of the participants and group leaders of Banyo's second annual All-Girl's Camp held August 9th thru the 14th (we had almost a hundred participants in total!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Close of Service Photo

Picture of Agriculture/Forestry and Health 2010 Close of Service group in Yaounde!

Friday, August 27, 2010

More photos today...

Monsieur le Lamido (local religous leader)riding in the 20th of May/50 years of independence parade in Banyo, girls' group activities and Mt. Djoumbal, Banyo in the rainy season.

Photos August 27, 2010

Photos of girls' football team playing in the 20th of May (Independence Day) celebrations, students marching in the 20th of May/50 Years of Independence Parade and girl's group playing hop scotch on my front porch.

Monday, April 26, 2010

More photos...

Photos of the International Day of Women in Banyo, my cat Sophie (still a kitten), almost-ripe mangoes, a private car loaded to the max with goods between Mayo-Darle and Banyo, nurses teaching an health education class with me at the District Hospital in Banyo and a Youth Club member teaching about sanitation and health for Earth Day at the elementary school.

Easter 2010 in Banyo

Easter egg hunt with the neighborhood girls' group.

Earth Day Photos, 2010

April 22, 2010 Earth Day: Neighborhood cleanup with about 30 kids. This was the amount of trash we cleaned up in only 25 minutes. Imagine a day long cleanup?!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photos April 25, 2010

Photos of my two next door neighbor children wearing the tee shirts I brought back from the US, young boys from my neighborhood after our weekend soccer camp and the girls' club with their banner.

April 25, 2010

Bonjour à tous! I hope spring and warm weather have come your way by now. I was excited last month when it looked like the rains (and cooler weather) were finally here. Alas, they have been teasing us ever since. We had a week when it seemed like they were here to stay then we had nothing for about 2 weeks and now we are back to the once every three days or so. So, it is still HOT! Not as hot as it is up north but enough to make sun block essential every time I go outside. My vacation plans to climb Mt. Cameroon this weekend were unfortunately delayed again due to my climbing partner being stuck in the US because the volcano in Iceland (it is a small, very interconnected world isn’t?). So I am heading to the nearest (9 hours away) big town with a bank this weekend to have a little repose and recharge my batteries.

Since I wrote, we had our International Day of the Woman festivities here. I marched in the parade again which was fun and then “fêted” with a few women I know here the rest of the day. There was also a cultural afternoon at the “Center for the Promotion of the Woman” with dancing and singing representing groups from all over Cameroon. The girls’ soccer games unfortunately did not go as well as planned. Our first game on Friday evening was almost ousted because of an elementary school boy’s game and then the girls ended up playing in the women’s game on Sunday because there were not enough women to play and half my team was sent to the bench because they were not “big enough” to play (even though they are the best players!). In the end, the girls’ team beat the women 3-0 and they received two envelopes of money so they were happy. We are really hoping that they might get to a play a real, 90 minute, non-harassed game for May 20th, which is National Day here in Cameroon to celebrate their independence. But, do not hold your breathe! You think starting a girls’ soccer team in rural, Cheboygan, Michigan in the late 1990’s was hard!? Geesh!

Speaking of women, Banyo was recently honored by the First Lady of Cameroon’s charity foundation. There was quite the pomp and circumstance as the delegation of the Ministry
of the Woman and the Family was here and they gave about 20 women’s groups about 50 wheelbarrows and small carts along with many other farming equipment. I am really hoping that I got on CRTV that day but I never found out when they were doing the story to watch! While other work has been pretty slow lately, I have been really happy with the youth group I that I have been working with since last year. In anticipation of Earth Day, they did trainings with two neighborhoods about trash disposal and the river along with an elementary school class last week. Yesterday, April 22nd, I ended up doing what I did last year in my own neighborhood and it went really well. About 30 girls and boys came over to my house, along with two members of the youth club, and we watched a bit of Planet Earth and then did an environmental training followed up by a trash clean-up. I am not sure what exactly was said to them but man did they work! I was fairly impressed! One of the boys who won last year won this year again so I think I need to talk to him about keeping this up on a daily basis or something!

I did end up doing an Easter egg hunt with my girls’ group in my recently fixed backyard (fences up, septic tank fixed, all pipes flowing!) which turned out well and the girls keep asking me for eggs now when I am outside?! We have recently changed our health topic in the health centers from water treatment and diarrhea to malaria for the next month and a half. I had some problems with the health centers recently to find people who really wanted to work with me and help with translation into Fulfulde which was really taxing. It felt like every time I go it is a crab shoot whether or not we will actually do the training (even though we have done it there every week for a year?!) but I think I am finding some solutions to at least get us through July when the health project will be complete and we can reevaluate it hopefully. There are other topics like tuberculosis that we have never talked about, along with topics like nutrition and vaccinations that should probably be revisited again. Tracking and evaluating any change in behavior is going to be really hard though which is discouraging but one just has to hope for the best I guess and keep working.

My cat, Sophie, is still doing well. I promise pictures of her, Earth Day and Easter as soon as technology wants to work with me! I hope all is well in your part of the world. Hello, Mrs. Fornes’s students at Cheboygan Area High school if you are following my blog. I was happy to hear that you received all the letters ok and your pen pals are eagerly awaiting your letters here.

Take Care and my best to all,

Friday, April 2, 2010

Recent Photos

Neighborhood girl in my girls' group enjoying the jump ropes Anna got for Christmas. Youth Day parade with primary girl students. Climbing Mt. Djoumbal with the Youth Club (Club Reglo) for Youth Week. And Girls' Football team (with offical jersies) for International Women's Day. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2nd, 2010

Hello everyone, sorry I have not been able to write a blog or post any photos yet. My memory card got a virus on it so I have not been able to transfer any photos onto a key to put it on my blog but mom is sending me a new one that should arrive soon! Well, I have ten minutes left on the internet tonight so I will be brief. I have been back in Cameroon since January 4th, two months already! It has been hard getting back into the swing of things coming off a wonderful Christmas at home with friends, family and great food! But, I am getting back into work bit by bit. And I keep telling myself that I only have nine months left here in Banyo so I need to make the most of it. It is dry season right now and it is really, really hot, much hotter than it was last year at this time. Last year it cooled off in the evening when the sun went down and stayed that way until mid-morning. This year it stays hot through the night and is only cooling off in the early morning around 4 am. So I am sweating a bunch! And the dust is really heavy this year. We did have our first real rain last Friday evening so the rains are not far off. By the end of March they should be here. Since we are between the seasons, the weather is bizarre and is real hot and then cools off suddenly. I am looking forward to the rains a lot this year as the heat is affecting me more than last year. Since I have been back in Banyo, we have celebrated youth week (February 11th) with many activities. The youth group I work with here made a sign and marched in the parade and the girls' football team played two games in their new uniforms which the Prefet here gave funds for before Christmas. Next week is the International Day of the Woman worldwide, but it is a big holiday here with activities begining tomorrow and ending with a parade on Monday where many women and women's organizations march. Women buy fabric to make a dress out of and either choose green, pink or yellow colors. I chose green this year since I had pink last year. The women I do areobics with are making my dress so I am excited to see it. The girls' football team is also supposed to play two real games so I am crossing my fingers it goes well. We had 31 girls come last Sunday for practice, WOW! I need many assistants now! Work at the health centers is going well. We just finished up a month of trainings on treating water to make it drinkable and are starting now on preventing dehydration, especially with diarrhea. In April, we will move onto preventing malaria which will coordinate well with the begining of rainy season when a lot of new cases of malaria appear.

I hope all is well in your corner of the world. I hope to post pictures for you all soon. Take Care and keep those letters coming :)
Stay warm,