Sunday, July 7th– Eagle’s World
This morning I went to a small Pentecost church called Eagle’s World near my house. I had been invited by a gal who works at the internet café I go to regularly; her name is Rophine and is 24 years old, one of the first women I have met around my age. There are over 50 different churches recognized in Cameroon, so I won’t be surprised if I end up at a new one every weekend! The pastor was incredibly enthusiastic jumping up and down and shouting and preached for 2 hours straight. He knew everyone’s name in the church and kept us laughing with his references to daily life situations (he reminded me of my pastor Mark’s sermons!) After his sermon members could ask about certain bible verses, which he would clarify. The entire shebang went on for 3 hours, and he said he had ended earlier than usual! At 12 I went over to Rophine’s one room apartment for lunch with her friend from church. She served us a yummy spicy rice and fish dish, a Cameroonian favorite. On the walk to her place, Rophine asked me if I might know anyone who would be interested in having a full time nanny in the United States. It is very difficult for Cameroonians to get US VISAs and this is one of the ways that makes it possible to travel there. I told her I would reach out to my contacts and let her know if I get anyone who might be interested!
Monday, July 8th– Football galore!
One of the women I interviewed today had formed her own CIG that teaches farmers the best trees to plant to increase soil fertility and water catchment in the area. I was able to record her interview and hope to make it to one of their meetings this Friday. The educated individuals I have interviewed so far mark deforestation as their largest environmental concern. However, the majority of the respondents do not understand what environmental problems are and immediately talk about water scarcity; but even the decrease in bush water is linked to deforestation as well. I look forward to learning more about this women’s CIG and what type of trees they recommend for replanting, hopefully I can incorporate them into my report! After work today I ran into Bison (a nickname for Hansen for his football skills), the friend I hiked up to Upstation with last week with Titus. He invited me to come and watch a football game (soccer for all your Americans :p) in the quarter. I went with him after lunch and watched two games. He explained that there are around 9 teams in this tournament and that games will be going on in the quarter for the next month and a half. The crowd was very enthusiastic and I was one of three girls there watching, most of the spectators are on the other competing teams and they are all male teams. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon after work and I plan on going to other games during my time here.
There will be way more spectators as the week goes on!
Tuesday, July 9th– Tubah Chimpanzee Conference
Although today was my longest work day yet, I didn’t do a bit of work! Instead, I attended the conference CAEPA put on to launch a Chimpanzee Conservation project in Tubah, an area neighboring Bamenda. The conference I am sure was very interesting, but it was all in Pigeon so I only understood parts! I ended up journaling for most of it and writing letters. Afterwards, my boss’s friend told him that I was intently taking notes… that made me laugh. I didn’t get to eat lunch until 2:30 and I had to wait until 5, 3 hours after the conference finished, to go back home. Surprisingly, I wasn’t bothered! I must be getting really good at fasting and being patient :]