Friends, family, miscellaneous readers (if any),

This is where we confess: we have another blog.

Okay, it’s not so dire. We’ll still blog for you as much as we can, and you may still get some of the rawer uncensored details that a more professional blog can’t handle. Part of our Kiva Fellowship requires us to blog for them, and of course, we’re already behind schedule there – just posted our introductory blog at the end of Week Three.

If you miss us, or want a break from the real life horror stories we’ve been posting of late, that’s the place to go. Here’s a teaser from the post that covers our trip from the Nigerian border up to Bamenda and our introduction to GHAPE and our new (temporary) home:

Our two room apartment was perfectly outfitted – tables and chairs, living room set, stove, dishes, pots, buckets for dish washing, broom, bed, wardrobe, radio, TV and DVD player. Within moments, we had guests in every chair of the apartment, were reviewing names for the second time, trying to guess just who-was-who and what role each played, and brewing a pot of tea on our stove. Learning that Dave loves eggs, a man named Michael (who we later learned is the brother of GHAPE founder Bernadette) practically snapped his fingers and two-dozen eggs miraculously appeared.

GHAPE sign, which Dave is offering to repaint...might also need a hammer.That was Friday night, and we quickly learned how hard-working GHAPE – and most of Cameroonians – are. Work began at 8:00 AM the next morning, with a meeting of all the staff: Loveline, field manager; Donald, Fointama, Mercy, Josephine, and Bridget, credit assistants; Calista, accountant; and two volunteer workers, Mr. Eric and Hostensia. At first we thought this meeting was specially called for us, but in fact GHAPE works not only a 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM week workday, but also a half-day on Saturday mornings.

Saturday afternoon and Sunday introduced us to our neighbors – the immediate, extended, and adopted family of GHAPE founder Bernadette, a mostly female family, led by “Mama,” a warm and hilarious septuagenarian. By the time we returned from the food market and Megan from the cyber, where she sent the requisite “we’re safely out of Nigeria and at home in Cameroon” email, the other ladies of the house were helping Dave to properly wash and prepare his vegetables for dinner-making. Pascaline then lent us a grinding-stone-cum-cutting-board and helped Megan to prepare dinner, including the new (for us) “bitter leaf.” By evening, we had 17-year-old Abigail and 10-year-old Fru (the only male in the house) sharing food with us in our room and watching The Gods Must be Crazy with us on bootleg DVD (thank you, Nigeria!).

Follow here for the rest of the post, including many more photos. Tease, tease, tease.

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