Lindsay shares her thoughts on the trip through June 14
Two days ago we went to the Zoo with Jean Marie (Cameroonian grandfather). It was really REALLY ghetto and depressing. The poor lions were bags of bones. The monkeys were escaping their shantylike cages. The viper was melancholic. Animals need to roam! Apparently 10,000 gorillas are killed every year for bush meat and in 10 years there will be no more gorillas. At all. Scary facts.
We visited Ngoumou yesterday (this is the village in which Samy works). Went to the Prefect to get Samy's paperwork, then went to the hospital and got the census info + map of the region from the regional chief of the hospital. Afterward, we visited some homes and had a PRM discussion - rather: Sara, Maddy, Neumahn, and Alex had a PRM discussion while Kelly took photographs of children and Lindsay (me) drew the kids...until they took over my sketchbook and began making their own drawings. THIS WAS MY TRIP HIGHLIGHT! I loved chatting with the kids and having them draw for me!!!! We gave out crayons, colored pencils, and coloring books...Hurray!
The day was LONG and tiring, as always, and we were ravenous by the time we got back to the Compound. Samy made us a very Cameroonian bachelor meal of eggs and fried plantains. 3 seconds later, our tummies were still grumbly.
Sara joined in our workout this morning, though! Now all 6 of us are up and at 'em by 730am doing kickboxing cardio, lead by Maddy. Toned bodies, YES. OH! And Samy's sister, Diana, has decided that she would like to join us in our morning routine, as well. How precious.
We have renamed Cameroon; it shall now be known as "The Republic of Waiting," as every single thing that we do here requires at least 2 hours of wait time -- if not more.
Today is an "off" day where Kelly, Maddy, and I have vowed to do nothing but relax...at least until dinner time when we throw ourselves into the outdoor kitchen and cook up a scrumptious, low-budget meal for the gang.
Tomorrow is our trip to Esse and we are hoping that there will be a LACK of fanfare and royal treatment (last time we were there we were put up on a stage to "eat" the feast that was prepared for us - i put eat in quotes because we could barely stomach a lot of the food that was given to us...bush meat complete with lower jaw and tongue intact, fish gelatin, fish bones in some green mush...oh god) so that we can focus on research.
An example of "the fanfare!" from previous trips
To be completely honest, we aren't getting any new information in our return trips to villages, same problems different locations (water, long distance to the hospital, respiratory problems, aches, etc). At least it gives Kelly and I a chance to do our art and the rest of a group has the opportunity to bond more with the people.
Just a couple more days until Kelly and I leave for the First World. Very excited for our first showers and night's rest on a BED! (even a couch or carpet would suffice at this point...)