Sunday, October 15, 2006

Frustration and good works

So three months have passes now. First I have have to say wow three whole months. In one way the time has flown by in another it feels like we have been here forever. This is now our life. We are used it to, acclimatised to the local way of life. I sit here writing this waiting for someone who is 2 hours late to meet me. She will arrive when she is ready, mean while I will just carry on with what I am doing! I am used to the cold showers, the funny food and the rubbish local TV (we now have a TV in the house, 3 Cameroon channels each in English and French, lots of shockingly bad Nigerian programs and films). I am stopping missing western food although really want cheese, I need cheese!

Well what have we been up to feels like nothing (I saw that every month!), we have been feeling pretty frustrated at times this month. Now I understand why volunteer agencies want you to go for 2 years, as it takes that long to get anything done in Africa. We were being selfish not wanting to leave our homes, jobs, friends and families for that long. We only wanted to go for a year which is why we had trouble finding a job. Genesis has been really busy organising a conference which will happen in a week or so. It is a conference of pastors and not related to the work of HINT. It has meant he is out of the office a lot, in Douala at meetings. We have not been able to talk with him about our projects.

HINT held its back pack event in September, which was a great way for the organisation to help the local community. Events like this remind us why we are here and what we are trying to achieve.

Its not all bad though, I have made some good progress in the last few weeks and have a good plan for the rest of the year. I have spent the last week working with Auntie Becky doing house to house interviews. Asking people about their views of HIV and health in their local area. There is an overwhelming need for a heath centre. So I hope to be able to set one up - big tasks. Well I can try and see what I manage. The plan is for it to be a small health post where people can come for simple drugs and emergency treatment. I will train staff to work there so it can continue when we leave.

Joe has written a course teaching web development which will run as part of the advanced computer courses we hope to run. It is all part of giving people skills to get jobs. The Internet is still growing here. Many businesses do not have sites and would be a great opportunity for people to learn this skill. He will start teaching the last week in October for 3 weeks.

We have out frustrations, I think it is to be expected in Africa. Things take time, people have other agendas that don't match ours. We are learning this now, adjusting to is and managing to look at all the positive things we are doing here. It feels so slow but I hope by the time we leave we would have made a difference to the people of Buea, Cameroon.

One thing that makes us very happy is that the dry season is coming. The rain is stopping, not completely yet but it is definitely reducing. The sun is shining, its pretty hot during the day now. So as the nights are drawing in and its getting colder in the UK. Here it is getting HOT HOT HOT. And we deserve it missing the whole heat wave and living in the rain for months (next month hear how it is so hot we hate it!!).

1 comment:

Clare said...

Three months already - wow! With the hot weather coming, I'm sure your horizons will be broadened further in the next 3 and you will not have time for the blogging.. Don't be disheartened by what you have achieved - its fantastic. When I think back on my last 3 months - hmm