I arrived at the Douala airport on the evening of the 14th. Incredibly, before I had even stepped foot out of the airport, I had already become fast friends with three Cameroonians. As we have quickly learned, everyone is your friend in Cameroon, and they will do everything in their power to make sure that you are taken care of. One of the friends I made in the airport accompanied us to the hotel, and took us to dinner, and the next morning even delivered a sim card to us. The day after our first site visit with iEarn, he came back just to escort us to the apparently très dangereux motor park where we were to take a bus to Buea, our next destination. Of course, he emailed us to make sure we had arrived safely.
Our driver to Buea spoke few words to us at first. But after a little small talk, we became “Sister Laura” and “Sister Margaret”. He slowed down to show us the rubber plantations, sped past a military checkpoint he claimed had “whistled too late” for us to stop, and taught us some Pidgin. He even tried to convert me with some loud Cameroonian Christian music. He carried our bags to our rooms, after making sure we had seen the rooms before we decided to stay here. And as expected, he called us the next day to make sure we were ok.
Our new friends have brought us to restaurants to try the bitter ndole, and the spicy pepper soup with “bush meat” (it was only antelope, thankfully). By the end of today, we even had a policeman’s phone number, who wanted to know that he’d be available for any questions and that he would stay in touch.
Meg and I have been overwhelmed by the warm hospitality of the people of Cameroon. I’m pretty sure they are more concerned about our safety than we are. So, no need to worry Mom and Dad!
PS: I’ve decided to start a GlobalGiving fundraiser for all of these projects. Please consider making a donation!