Thursday, July 7, 2011

Gadhar...or something that is spelled kinda like that

Gadhar is the Fulfalde word for destiny. When sitting around eating Cameroonian style meatballs at a friends house, she explained gadhar. Her explanation was simply, it is your destiny to be here [Meiganga], on this couch, eating this meal, meeting who you are meeting. This is the path Allah has it planned for you. This is the way that it is supposed to be. She is absolutely correct; this is my Gadhar.

I am on my way back to Bafia from my Site Visit to Meiganga. I cannot adequately express how I am feeling right now but I will do my best. Every night this past week I have been falling asleep with a big smile, my first night with a smile was on a 16 hour train ride. That ride I stood on the bunk ladder with my head out the window watching Cameroon pass by. I was there for a couple hours just watching. This is my home for the next 2 years and I cannot imagine anything better. That night I fell asleep with a smile that I hope will never leave.

While visiting my post, I was able to meet some remarkable people. I know that I keep using the word excited, but that I truly how I feel. I am excited to start working and meeting new people. I first met with the Mayor and he informed me that I need to get some color so I won’t stand out too much! I am not offended, it is true. I think I actually may glow in the dark!

I was able to go to a Women’s Group 20 minutes outside of my village. This was a savings group of Refugees from the CAR. They spoke only Fulfade, which I will be learning once I can speak French. Although we do not speak the same language just yet, I already know that they are going to be a joy to work with!

Travel in Cameroon is quite an adventure. First, I took a 2 hour bus ride from Bafia to Yaounde. There were 35 people in a 22 person van. In my row that sat 4 people, there were 7! I sat on across my friends’ laps for 20 minutes then decided that it was not too comfortable. So I switched to 1 butt cheek on one person and the other cheek on another person! Then I took at 16 hour, overnight train from Yaounde to Ngaoundere. From there I took a 3 hour bus ride to Meigana.

Currently I am writing from Ngaoundere. It is rainy season here, which makes travel extremely difficult! I saw a huge truck that got stuck in the mud and flipped on its side. Our bus got stuck so we all had to get out and get on the side of the road and watch as the villagers pushed the van. It is quite an interesting experience to say the least.

It has been over a month now that I have been in Cameroon. I am loving it! I get sworn in August 17th in Bafia, then I will move to Meiganga. I will have internet, so I will be able to talk to people. I miss and love you all. Once I get back to Bafia, on those nights that I have trouble sleeping I will write more about my time here. But for now this little bit must do!

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