Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Greetings from Cameroon (Part 3)

A view of a street in Yaoundé
Hello again from Kumba, Cameroon!

Not much was actually accomplished in the past week. We have spent a large amount of our time trying to work with the frontier police here in Cameroon attempting to extend our visas. Through some error, wyatt and I was given visas for one month as opposed to three months. The process has been fairly stressful, as we only heard news of the director’s decision to extend our visas only Monday night, the 21st, while our visas expire the 25th.

As stressful as this process has been, it has allowed us to travel to different parts of Cameroon.

We first traveled to Buea, the capital of the SouthWest province, on Monday the 14th. This is set in a very beautiful and picturesque area, as the city rests at the foot of Mount Cameroon, an active volcano and the highest point in Cameroon. I have learned lots about Cameroonian geography through this trip. Apparently lake Barombi Mbo, just to the north of Kumba, is a crater lake formed by the “burping” of the earth. I hope to visit the crater lake at some point, and the three of us have briefly talked of climbing the mountain. There is a race to the top of Mt. Cameroon every year. I wonder if I should take this challenge as opposed to another marathon…

Tuesday we returned to work, and visited the village of Teke, a short drive from our base city of Kumba. There we gathered some data and were to return at a later date to complete our work.

Wednesday and Thursday we spent visiting the Cameroon capital city of Yaoundé. This is a major city, much like Douala. We spent the night in a hotel within eyesight of the soccer team’s national arena, which is huge! After spending some time at the frontier police station, we had some downtime and walked around the city some to see the sights. We then returned to the police station, at which they told us they would review the matter and make a decision Monday, and we returned home.

We have been watching lots of soccer, and Friday after work we went to watch the United States match at a small bar. We are all still convinced the US got robbed of a win. Then on Saturday we watched helplessly as Cameroon lost their second match, and became the first team knocked out of the cup.

Hopefully now that the visa issue has been resolved, we will be able to be much more productive in the coming weeks! And I hope everyone takes the day off Wednesday to watch the US play their final (and crucial) match against Algeria!!!

[by Geoff Holmes, Civil Engineer, FE, University of Dayton '10 graduate]

Cameroon national soccer stadium in Yaoundé
Watching Cameroon soccer match Saturday afternoon

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