Saturday, November 18, 2006

The ups and downs of life

The last couple of days have been very up and down. It all started on Friday morning. Firstly Joe and I had planned to go to the local primary school to speak to the head teacher. She was out so we went up to the office. When we arrived there was 'no light'. So Genesis and I went up to visit the Provisional Delegate for Health to tell him of our plans to open a health post. He said health posts no longer exist as they had many problems with them. We would have to open a integrated health centre. Is there a difference - not as far as I can tell. So we have found out about the forms we have to fill in, how they have to be signed and stamped by about 6 different people, then we will have the approval to open - lets just hope I am still here by the time it is all done! Cameroon bureaucracy is just like that of the Vogons. We then planned to see the local lady in charge of AIDS, we have been trying to see this lady for 2 weeks now. She was out again.

We found out the power cut had been planned and announced so shut up shop for the day. Joe was supposed to be teaching his final lesson but rearranged for tomorrow. We went back to the school and had a nice chat with the head teacher. We are hoping to open a text book library as each school child needs about 10 books for school and the parents cannot afford to buy them. We were telling her about this and getting book lists.

We then went to see the tailor to get another suit made for Joe. On the way back down the hill we noticed that there was writing over the doors of HINT. It had been closed by the taxation office as we had not paid the tax on our profit. We are however a not for profit organisation so Genesis thought we did not have to pay tax. So the doors are sealed closed - with some string. We are not allowed to enter the building for anything until it is sorted out. Genesis tried all afternoon to get it sorted but of course in that Vogon way he had to get a million forms stamped in a million different offices, so it will not be sorted out until Monday. Joe's class was postponed again until Monday. My parents were arriving on Saturday so he did not really want to be teaching while they were here - but needs must.

We then arranged to met Auntie Becky in the bar for a drink and to arrange world AIDS day. We arranged to met at 6 as we have plans for the evening. So we got there at just gone 6 and waited till 7:30. No sign of Becky so we left and got ready to go out. We had been invited to a Bach night as in bachelor night. I was very excited as it will be my first stag do. The invite said 6pm till 6am. So we arrived about 8:30, we were greeted by a member of staff from the hotel were it was being held. She informed us it would not start till 10pm. Four hours late - that's Africa time. So we went to Figaro's and had a couple of drinks with Didimus and Sylvester. We thought we would go there later, however we ended up coming home. Very unsuccessful evening - did not do anything we had planned too.

So got up on Saturday morning, very excited as my parents were arriving. I have really been looking forward to seeing them and all the treats they are bringing us. I received a text not long after we got up saying they had missed their flight do to some problems with shuttle buses at the airport. Gutted. They have rearranged their flight to Monday. So I will be going down to the airport on Monday afternoon and Joe can finally teach the last class of his course. Their trip will a little shorter, I need to rearrange some of the stuff we planned to do.

And now the office is open again, on Saturday as a friend of Genesis came to visit and it turns out the people that closed us down are over-eager students of his from University of Buea. He made a call, Joe cut the string and the doors are open. So although Cameroonians are Vogons, its all about which Vogon you know.


Ann said...

Wow. You've always seemed a very easy-going person, but you've really been tested lately! Sorry to hear the folks' arrival was delayed-- how frustrating!-- but I know everyone will have a wonderful time once they get there.

Ann said...

Give me a sign.....Are they there yet???

Hev said...

Sorry Ann, been too busy having fun to blog! Yes they are here safe and well.