Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A month has passed

We have been here for one month now. So I thought I would reflect on our time here.

What have we achieved?

Well at first glance it feels like nothing!!! I have not met anyone with HIV yet. But we have settled in to African life, which is a task in itself. We have got in to a routine. Adjusted to the food (mostly) and starting to remember everybody's name. People know who we are in the area and why we are here. Cameroon is very welcoming, every time you arrive somewhere they say "you are welcome" We have been on the radio twice (three times if you include the repeat due to popular demand, so we were told by Bob the director of programs). At work Joe has set to work on the website. Completely redoing and updating it. We have been investigating becoming a UK charity and getting a bank account so we can take on-line donations. It is a slow progress but moving. I am in the process of writing a training manual for HIV awareness training. As well as speaking to local people about HIV. I will be training a group of volunteers to continue the work in the future. Genesis is currently away so I have not been to visit any villages yet. We will go once the rain stops. So now I am doing preparation work.

What do we miss?

Before we left people asked us what we would miss. It was hard to know as we had no idea what life would be like. Here is a list of the things I miss.

Washing machine, see previous entry
Hot showers
Chatting to friends and family for hours about nothing (My friends from work Becky and Louise I can spent ages chatting to on the phone, putting the world and the ward to rights when I will be seeing them the next day anyway!! And chatting to my Mum and Mum-in-law about life the universe and everything. Once we get skype sorted there will be no stopping me!!)
My Mums fairy cakes!! (We have a table cover on the dining table. It is a scene of a room in a posh flat. The table in the picture is laid out for afternoon tea and on there just staring at us are fairy cakes just like my Mum makes. Ooh I could just eat one now!!)
A comfy pillow (our bed is pretty comfy but the pillow is made up of chopped up bits of foam and some bits have really hard corners that dig in to your cheek at night)

What I amaze myself being able to cope without. I don't really mind not being able to get most food. I only miss the fairy cakes as we see them everyday. The local chocolate is pretty poor but the fruit is lush so its OK. Joe is always lusting after something, usually hamburgers. We have no telly which is fine. The local bar has one. Whenever we go in the barman changes the channel to CNN. We really must tell him we are not too fussed about watching it.

All in all its been a great first month and maybe after one more the rain will stop and life will really begin!!

1 comment:

Ann said...

Sounds like you & Joe are making a very successful transition into your new life. I really enjoy reading about it, especially the photos. Every time I see an article about HIV in Africa-- or anywhere-- now, I think of the good work you're doing. Keep it up!