Saturday, May 18, 2013

New Post: Mbakaou, Cameroon

Well, I've a new post.  A place to go.  It's called Mbakaou and, no, I can't pronounce it myself.  It's near a place called Tibati which is slightly easier to find on a map and also pronounce, but I've a tendency to mess that one up too.  I've spent a grand total of thirty minutes in a fly-by with the Peace Corps so I really don't have much to give you.  Course when has lack of knowledge ever shut me up?

The first noticeable feature is that is right beside a giant lake.  They built a hydroelectric damn and thus provide electricity to my tiny town.  Thus there is also a river nearby.  Moving from the desert to a forested, water wonderland is going to be an obvious change of pace.  I probably don't need to reiterate how much I like the water.  I am looking very much forward to living by it.

Now all this water apparently brings money to the village in the form of fish.  Oh joy.  Regular readers are also well aware of how much I enjoy eating fish every damn day.  Maybe I'll like it more nice and fresh.  I hear they can catch some pretty big ones too.  Brian, can I convince you, the fisherman, to come visit me?

Mbakaou is going to be small.  I'm on the fence about that.  I've a terrifying feeling French will be minimal and finding motivated individuals to work with may also be more difficult.  But I should be able to integrate a bit easier and I can sort of make my own rules as they aren't used to Peace Corps and white folk.  American or foreign folk I should say.  My political correctness and cultural sensitivity has taken a hit in this county, though they call us all "blancs" regardless of skin tone so it is kinda their fault.  I'll be the first volunteer to set foot there in quite a few years it seems.

The big damper to the affair is distance.  I had the luxury of being able to call my moto driver friend and be in Maroua in an hour.  This will not be the case.  By car it is around six or so hours of the regional capital, Ngaoundere.  If I use the train it can slice off a bit of that, but the train only runs once a day.  I'm going to be much more en brousse than ever before.  I'm mostly worried about mental stability when it comes to distance and connectivity, but it may have an effect on my ability to communicate with you.

All in all, it will be much more of a Peace Corpsy experience.  Though the deserts of Bogo seemed plenty to me...