Live as though you were going to die tomorrow, learn as though you were going to live forever -

Vive como si fueras a morir mañana, aprende como si fueras a vivir para siempre


Piensa, cree, sueña y atrévete.

Think, believe, dream and dare.
Walt Disney
2:12 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Fortunately it would seem that night buses in India are not the disco buses of Cameroon. The driver drove llike a maniac but we were able to get a couple of hours sleep. Our arrival in Panjim left us doubting we had left Badajoz.
The Portuguese influence has left its mark on Panjim, capital of Goa, to such an extent that while walking around its streets we forget we are even in India. Except for the fabulous dinner we have had and the freshly squeezed fruit juices of any fruit that takes your fancy, there is not much here to make us linger. So bus ticket in hand, we are making our way to Hampi, away from the coast.
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2:09 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Our mission was to get to Saloni and Balram´s house. Our experience in Cameroon had stood us in good stead, chaotic traffic, dirt, dust and heat and the endless queue to get through the swine flu control.
Our hosts were waiting for us with a delicious dinner of basmati rice and chickpea curry and an evening´s conversation on indian life and tips for discovering Mumbai the next day. So today we set off to discover the amazing and eclectic centre of Mumbai.

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2:08 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
After a short stop in Europe we are beginning our next adventure: India.
We will begin our journey through the Asian sub-continent in Mumbai where we will be hosted by a couchsurfing couple in their home. We hope they will be our introduction to Indian life.
After a few days in hectic Mumbai, home of Bollywood and urban chaos, home to more than 16 million people with 29,000 people pper square kilometer,we will continue our journey south, passing through Goa, Keralan backwaters until we reach Tamil Nadu, famous for its temples, where we´ll stay for a month on another volunteering project with ODAM. After that, we will fly to Delhi to visit northern regions.
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0:46 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
The return to Europe has been strange. The trip itself seemed like it was never going to end. A bus trip to Douala, hours waiting in the airport in suffocating heat, no air conditioning and no seats to sit on, another few hours waiting in Casablanca until we finally touched European soil.

After having spent so much time in Fundong, what most called our attention was fashion.
Casablanca airport had all the usual shops; Zara, Mango and other much more expensive shops.
People were wandering around dressed smartly, with the lastest fashions bought for this season, leather bags and boots, trousers that cost the earth even though they already have a wardrobe full of clothes from last winter. We people watched for a while and considered the fact that we spend so much money on unnecessary clothes and objects. We are obsesed with being trendy, having the lastes clothes and the flattest screen... while we were sitting in Casablanca all of it suddenly seemed so ridiculous.

Back in the UK for a few days, I'm enjoying being in a house with central heating, opening the fridge and taking whatever I fancy to eat, going shopping, although now I appreciate these things more than before, and I know that when I don't have them, I don't miss them.
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9:14 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
With makosa music ringing through the minibus speakers, it was 2 am and once again we had been travelling over 10 hours. Yet this time, Dan had a trick up her sleeve... earplugs. "Where did you get those from? " David asked. "I don´t know" she replied. The truth is she always thinks of random things when packing, and you wonder why on earth she's got that in her bag. And just when you least expect it, a miracle solution comes out of her bag.So thanks to the earplugs we were able to sleep on the discobus, until our backsides bouncing on the hard, wooden bench woke us on our arrival in Douala.

We arrived in Douala at 5am, so we waited at the bus station until dawn then took a taxi to another bus station to make our way to Kribi. At first sight, this second bus company seemed clean and organised. Printed tickets, staff in uniform, even rubbish bins. But this was a mere illusion. When time came to get on the bus, we were squashed into a minibus, seats for three became seats for five and a minibus designned for 20 passengers left for Kribi with 38 on board, squashed in like a tin oof sardines.We spent the four-hour trip to Kribi like that, but the reward was waiting for us when we arrived.

We're writing this entry with the computer on our lap, feet in the sand at the door of our hotel room on one of the most beautiful beaches we have seen. An untouched, white sand beach, like those you see in holiday brochures, but with one difference, we are the only people here. We are completely alone, with the jungle behind us and the beach to ourselves.Last night we were under our mosquito net listening to the sound off the waves. this morning, with sleep still in our eyes, we had a morning swim before breakfast in the warm Atlantic ocean.

PS. This last bit was written purely to make you jealous!With four days left here, the stress and hard pace of life means we won't be able to offer you another entry until we reach Europè next week.
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9:08 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Cameroonians love messages. Phrases written in chalk ontheir doors and windows, on the dashboard of the car, on the mudflap of motorbikes, on wooden signs at police controls, any place is a good place to leave a message."Be calm, control is for your security" is what is says at the police control point, although what is really means is you have to pay for safety.The one which we we most like is the name of the bus company "Patience Express".Most people don´t have enough money to fix their rusting cars. The other day we passed an accident where a taxi ended up in a ditch, its passengers wiating patiently at the side of the road waiting for the car to be hauled out to continue their journey. The car's breaks had failed. "God is our security" was the message on the dashboard. So these guys don't need breaks, God will help them bring the car to a hault!
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8:37 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

DiscoBus, 3:00am...Trip to Limbe

Sunday Mass

More mass

Saturday night
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2:04 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We had to please Fidelia. we were fed up of hearing her say "You have to come with me to church", so we finally decided to go on Sunday.

There we were, in our Sunday best - new, African made to measure by the local tailor. The service was quite spectacular, rather than a Sunday morning sermon it was more like an African music and dance concert. Although it must be said that the 50 minute sermon was excruciatingly boring and made us think about making a run for it on several occasions.

African drums and rattles were acompanying a woman singing and the congregation were repeating her phrases together. People got up and began to dance while a line went down the aisle with offerings of corn and vegetables in baskets on their heads. Some even carried goats and chickens on their shoulders. This was the first offering.

The service continued with more singing and dancing, and finished with another offering which was to be sold afterwards at the church entrance as an auction.

We didn´t feel like we were in church. It was a mix of African tradition and christianism. In fact, a few days ago there was a special evening session that people attended to see exorcisms! Apparently people who supposedly have demons inside get up from their pew shouting and shaking before falling to the ground. Cristi, our cook told us about it, she being a firm believer.

Breaking of curses and deliverance from satanic powers

No one was able to tell us where the donated money and offering goes, something that is very negative seeing as these are poor people who don´t evn have enough to eat, and yet every Sunday they go to church with coins and food to donate.

We calculated that there were around 600 people attending the service, each giving 100 francs or basket of produce as a very minimum. So the church rakes in at least 120,000 francs every Sunday, an awful lot of money in Cameroonian terms. Now we know why the pastor is always seen with his sunglasses and impeccable suits.

In spite of the feeling of reject we have towards the illusions fed to these people, who see theiir donation as a sure way to heaven, while we were at the church we actually had a good time seeing the service and dancing!

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7:37 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We haven´t go long left here in Fundong and we're working really hard to get everything finished. 

Tomorrow we have our first training workshop on soap-making! 

There are literally hundreds of widows in this small town, most of them young women with a several kids to school, clothe and feed and no income to be able to do it.  They farm small plots and produce corn for their fufu but have no other way of generating money.  So we've organised them in to groups and with some of the money raised from the fundraising concert in Spain we're setting them us as soap-makers.
Everyone's mad about soap here.  Not long ago the population here  started learning about personal hygiene and now, if they have any spare francs they buy soap.  The thing is, it's mostly available in big blocks costing 350frs, making it an expensive product.  David and I have spent hours researching and trying out soap recipes.  It is surprising easy to make soap, just oil and caustic soda.  We've decided that when we're back home we're going to become greenies and recycle all our used oil to make soap.
We've come up with a green aloe vera soap (aloe vera and medicated soap is the in thing here too) which is actually quite cool, even if I do say so myself.
A carpenter is making the moulds and cutters and we've set up everything else so that the first group will begin making soap next week. With the proceeds of their first batch they buy ingredients for their next soap and for the next group. Eventually there will be 15 groups with 130 women. If it all works out we'll be really pleased!  The women are lovely and very grateful for any help.  There are so many of them, we recognise a few faces but when walking around town they stop and greet us time and time again and we can never remember who is who.

The rest of the fundraising money is going to complete a goat project that was set up a year ago. The high death rate here means many orphans are being brought up by relatives who do not have enough money to send them to school.  A project was set up to give these orphans two goats for breeding.  With the goats they breed they are to return two to the organisation to pass on to another child, and they can sell kids to pay for their education.  The project did not have enough funding to be set up completely and many children only received one goat.  The idea is working,
and some families are ready to return two goats to Berudep, but it's going much slower than it should. So with the money left over we're buying the female goats that are missing, so each child has two, and a few male goats to speed up the process!

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9:44 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
For the last couple of weeks we've had a stall at market day to sell Berudep products - honey, medicinal tea and our home-made soap.  It's been great fun and a great success.

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9:35 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
As well as the usual European parasites, in Cameroon there are some additional ones... the Jigger and the Tumbu. Both of which are quite unpleasant.
Dan began to get paranoid when we were in Limbe.  The Spanish people we met there spoke to us about the Tumbu and their experiences with the bug "If you squeeze it it pokes its head out and waves".  It gets under your skin, moves around and reproduces if you don't stop it quickly.
Those of you who know Dan will know that she hates all types of insect, parasite or any other similar being.
A week after returnig from Limbe Dan was complaining of a bite on her foot.  It was a bit infected so, as is usual for her, she grabbed something her mother had given her from the first aid kit and put it on the bite.  The ointment comes from Pakistan, smells of Deep Heat and says on the label it is good for all ills.
After rubbing it in, with a worried look on her face she asked me "David, it won't be that horrible worm thing, will it?  To which I replied "Of course not! How is it going to be the worm thing".  However, I really didn't have the slightest idea, especially seeing as the spot was no longer a spot but a hard, long lump.
Yesterday in the office she was continuously scratching her foot.  Samuel, our old neighbor looked at he foot and said "I think it's a Jigger"... This is another parasite seen in the dry season in our region.  It gets into the foot by penetrating the skin.  What had he said??!! You can imagine the panic attack she had. A circle soon formed, with everyone in the office looking on.  Patience trying to get the thing out with a needle, while Dan was squeezing my hand as if it was a delivery room! Fidelia, Samuel and Faith, Fidelias small daughter all observing.
In the end there was no Jigger or parasite, just an infected bite.  From now on Dan won't be wearing flipflops again, not even at the beach.
Comment from Dan... I can see you all laughing now, but I like to see your reaction with a live worm thing living under your skin!
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8:40 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Power cut again, no water, at least Christie filled buckets this morning.

We were making soap when Christi comes to tell us "Dan, David, the gas has run out!".

The boy who lives next door went in search of gas for us and returned saying there was no gas left in all of Fundong and they don´t know when they will receive more bottles. Samuel, the old guy form the shop next door to our office said he could get us an Áfrican Stove´ for 1500 francs (2€), all we needed was saw dust and two wine bottles. "It can´t be that difficult to cook like that"" we thought. Sawdust must catch fire really quickly (big mistake).

One hour later we were compacting our sawdust inside the stove (a 5 litre oil tin with a hole in the bottom). David - the optimist - all hands on board. Dan - the pessimist - (she would say ´realist´) getting ready to go and buy dinner from a street stall. But after a lot of trying, first degree burns and a great deal of uncertainty we managed it. We lit the stove, it went out, we managed to light it again and finally we were able to have dinner.

What bad luck today was the day our cook had a wedding to go to. Let's hope that gas arrives tommorow.

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9:42 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Brigit told us we should go to "Our Parent Shop" in Bamenda, where we would be able to find European food such as cheese.
Bamenda has a population of around 300,000 people and is the capital of the North West.  An African city in all aspects, chaotic traffic, clouds of smoke coming out of exhaust pipes, dust, busy streets, and hot sun.
It was market day when we went, so the city was even busier than usual.
The shop we were looking for was close to Commercial Street, where the main market is situated. As we got closer to the market, our bodies started taking on the form of a wallet or purse with legs, two "ulebagne" walking down Commercial Street, a clear and easy goal for the insistent streett vendors and pick-pockets.  We began to hear calls of "White man, White man check your pocket".  It was an uncomfortable situation, but it was only words trying to intimidate.  You didn´t have to be more careful than in any large city underground, the only disadvantage is that you're white and stand out at 100 feet.
Once inside the market we found the shop we were looking for... and there it was, gold and shiny in its glass bottle... Olive Oil!!  We almost had a heart attack from such emotion.  We didn't care that the small bottle cost almost 10 euros.  Dan found a Mars bar and I found olives and of course some cheese!.  we also managed to get some French wine, as opposed to made in Douala.  We spent close to 70 euros with not much to show for it, but it was worth it.
Everyone knows we love to try food from whichever country we're in, but after a month and a half of eating the same thing everyday you end up missing the food you are used to...
today we made pizza with cheese on top, it was wonderful!!
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8:20 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Africa sign of nature, wild animals, lions, Tarzan, tribes. Also peace, tranquility and time. Here time is diferent, things happen at a diferent rhythm.
The other day we were looking for information on ginseng properties on the internet. We had to give a talk to one of the widows groups about ginseng properties.
In Europe this plant is popular for its anti-stress properties. We went back to the office and discussed our findings with Patience and Fidelia and when we asked them if they use it for stress, they frowned and look at each other as if they diden´t understand what we were talking about and they asked us, "What is stress?". We had to keep from bursting out laughing. What to they know here about stress!!
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1:27 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We've discovered a new Cameroonian past time... Before going out in Limbe, our hosts had already mentioned this phenomenon but we couldn't really imagine it.  Learning to dance with oneself in the mirror was a lesson in itself and we can assure you it is more difficult than you'd think.
Thee first nighclub we went to was like taking a step back in time to the 80s.  Our friends from Badajoz will know what we mean with just two words "El Gallo".  Low, velvet-covered sofas in every corner, mirrored balls, mosaics aand of course every wall covered in mirrors.
The nightcllub was called "Opera".  One side of the dance floor was bordered by a huge wall completely ccovered with full length mirrors, just like an aerobics class.  People began to get up and move to the dance floor to start shaking their thing, but instead of dancing with their partner, or in a  group of friends, they danced alone in front of the mirror, watching themselves, loving themselves and examinging how they moved every part of their body.  It was a great show to watch!  About 20 people on the dance floor, all in a row dancing with their reflexion in the mirror.
Sometimes the girls would turn around with their back to the mirror, looking over their shoulder at their backside wiggling in the reflexion. Up, down and side to side

At the second nightclub we went to, there were even more people and even more mirrors.  Mirror-covered walls and pillars all around. People were pushing one another to get a good view of themselves.  They were even froming queues.  With a few drinks inside us we tried imitating this trend, but it really is extremely difficult.  Try dancing and admiring yourself in the mirror for more than 10 seconds.. And the don't just dance, it's a question of admiring yourself and loving yourself, dancing with oneself in the mirror- a whole new art-form.
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2:00 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
During our trip to Limbe we discovered something new - the Disco Bus.  We took the night bus to Limbe thinking that we could sleep during the nine hour journey, save a night in a hotel and arrive in the morning to have the whole day in Limbe.  We were wrong. The bus finally left after midnight.  We were trying to get comfortable, trying to sleep, when suddenly the driver turns on the cd player, put the volume up as far as possible and entertains the passengers with the Cameroon equivalent of Reggaeton for the whole of the journey.  The effect was multipplied by the various additional speakers hanging from the roof with chains.
We looked at the people around us, hoping that someone would complain because this was not normal behaviour on the driver's part, but no body seemed the least bit bothered, some were even singing along.
At 3am David and I looked at each other, and out of desperation had a hysterical laughing attack, it was a question of either laugh or cry... we videoed the scene it was that incredible.

For the journey back we chose a different bus company hoping that there would not be any loud music all night.  We were wrong again.  As soon as the bus started the disco music was blurting out of the speakers.  This time people even stood up and danced in the aisle!  It had to be seen to believed.
We've learnt our lesson, we won´t be travelling again a night with any hope of sleeping.
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2:13 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

We were enjoying our delicious camembert and pineapple sandwich and feta cheese salad with olive oil in "Arne's", a bar we found after arriving in Limbe and which brought us back to our Mediterranean diet for a few days, when we heard the unmistakeable sound of Spanish people speaking English. We looked up and their physique was obviously Spanish.  And so we met Julia, Mota, Gonzalo and Agustina.  They invited us to their house for lunch the next day; vegetables, carpaccio and a bottle of red wine... fantastic.  thanks to them we met Fernando and Annalisa, a couple who work for the same company and who invited us to stay with them for the weekend... cold beer, chorizo and cheese tapas and homemade pizza made by Annalisa.
We enjoyed days of sand, sea and surf at Mile 8 beach and going out at night to the sounds the Cameroonian Makosa music in the Limbe night clubs.  A brilliant weekend.

 View  of the Jungle from Mars Restaurant

David and the giant tree

Dan the surfer
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1:21 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Everyone here eats the same thing EVERYDAY.  Their diet is based on fufu and huckleberry leaves in sauce.  When they want to change, the make fufu with the same vegetable but a different sauce or fufu with fish.  Our cook has discovered that we like pasta and salad after  we managed to find lettuce in a vegetable garden in the next village.  She saw how we devoured the salad and pasta the first time she made it and now we've been having pasta and salad for lunch and dinner for the last 6 days.  we've come to the conclusion that they think that pasta for us is like fufu for them.  I've had to ask her to please make something different on Monday, especially seeing that Brigitte, the cook who is training her has given her over 20 different recipies to cook.  This week she has definitely practised pasta.
My dear colleagues at work know that I love pasta, so they know that for me to say I'm fed up with pasta means that I'm tired of pasta.
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1:19 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

When I was small and we used to the local fete in Cáceres, in the mining area where my family is from and where I spent a great part of my childhood, I remember seeing my father eat grilled sardines whole, from the head to the tail, without leaving even the bones.  Today this memory came into my head when we were on one of our usual visits and they  offered us fufu with fish. There was one small fish to share between four. They dished it out and I ended up with the head and neck on my plate...

The image of my father eating the sardine came to mind.  If he eats the head it can't be bad. So just got on with it and lifted the head up as if I was about to give it a kiss and put it in my mouth. Crunchy and delicious.  I forgot my European way of thinking and I enjoyed the meal like any hungry person would.  The truth is it was delicious.
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2:19 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We've got the two sponsors we needed.  Thank you so much to Dan's dad and Juan Ruiz and Sol.  Classes begin next week thanks to your help.
We and the children are extremely grateful.
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1:24 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

Each year Cameroon is always situated at the top of the list of the most corrupt countries in the world.  We've been able to witness the extent of this corruption on several occasions. We first noticed corruption among the police.  As we've already said, drivers must pay a "special toll" each time they pass through one of the police control posts on  the roads. Today we went to visit the Ministry of Agriculture Delegate for Boyo Division. Some of the projects carried out by Berudep fall under this Ministry's supervision.  Other projects, such as beekeeping, do not fall clearly under one Ministry or another.  In such cases, the various ministries and their delegates argue over who should be supervising the projects in order to be the ones sharing out government grants, taking their share before it reaches the local project. It seems that there is government funding for development projects but not much gets to where it should.
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0:22 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
At 8:15 am we were in Gary's house, infront of the impressive Mbingo Hills, a 4-hour climb with fantastic sunshine and a descent through tropical forest full of waterfalls, colourful birds and snakes. If they had told us beforehand that the climb was that difficult we would have thought twice about doing it. However, after the 6 and a half hour 15km trek, we are happy they didn't forewarn us, even though Dan has pain in every muscle today!

Today the rains returned (always in the afternoon) and it's a grey as it is in England.  We're looking forward to the dry season, which we were told would arrive at the beginning of October.  We are still waiting...

We'll leave you with some of the photos from our trek in Mbingo Hills...we're still trying to upload some videos but as yet it's impossible.



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4:21 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Like everyone, they have their good points and bad points. We've been here for three weeks and we're discovering them little by little.

We've already mentioned some of the positive things; hospitable, friendly, caring, who offer all they have while expecting nothing in return.  However, we're beginning to tire of people turning up at our house any time of day, without previous warning, something very typical here. It's got to such a point that the keys we gave to the cook (so we didn't have to get up and open when she comes at 6am) have been passed around Berudep staff, and when you least expect it, a head pops round the door looking at how you make the toast in your boxer shorts.
Now we know why a previous volunteer left a write-up for Berudep staff explaining how they must understand that volunteers from Europe have what we call personal space and privacy which they should respect.

Time here has no meaning, it is relative (which can sometimes be something positive).  You may arrange for someone to collect you first thing in the morning and they turn up mid-afternoon, basically arranging any time to meet is pointless.  Not even the buses have timetables. The timetable is set by however full the bus is.  We went to the bus company office (the company is called Patience Express... a contradiction if ever there was one) to find out about buses to the beaches in Limbe.  They were unable to tell us what time the bus leaves nor how long the journey lasts.  All they could confirm was the price and that we may end up travelling by night.

There are other amusing anecdotes; it's a sign of disrespect to cross your legs when sitting, yet you can find yourself conversing with the mayor who at the same time is digging deep into his nose to find the most hidden bogies and making  balls with themm between his fingers! (absolute true story) We have begun to believe it is a national sport, everybody does it anytime, anyplace, anywhere.
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1:30 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We've got a sponsor for one group of orphans' classes!

Now we just need one more for the primary group...

Thank you!

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1:24 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Today we went to visit two of the families who are benefitting from the goat project we are working on. It works with orphan children who are being cared for by other family members who need help to send them to school and pay for health care.
The project consists of two goats being given to each family for breeding.  The can sell the goats for money to spend on the child's education and pay the school fees. Our job is to collect data on the orphans and their carers to produce a report with objectives, budget etc.

We walked around 10Km through the highlands and forests formed by banana, mango and coffee trees.  It was only 9am and the families were welcoming us with lunch - fufu and jamma jamma- twice, once with each family.  People who don´t have anything offering everything they have with a smile and a 'Thanks for coming to visit us'.

We did the trip home carrying two metres of sugar cane and a bag (carried by Patience on her head) full of 'garden eggs', an egg-shaped vegetable that tasted like runner beans.

The truth is that today we can't say that the jamma jammma was great... a kind of green paste made with a bitter vegetable leaf.  But we ate everything trying to look like it tasted good, we were genuinely grateful for the gesture.
We recorded the women making fufu, if we ever get a decent conection here we'll upload the video.

Family and their goats

David and his sugar cane
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2:32 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

Our lunch is the one in the middle

This weekend we wanted to cook rice with chicken and Spanish potato omlette for the people from the office.  We asked where we can buy chicken and they signalled to the hens running around outside.  We had to specify that we wanted it dead and preferably without feathers.

We asked our cook to buy the chicken and prepare it.  So a while later she appeared in the kitchen with the live bird underarm clucking away... And we're used to nice, clean chicken, cut in pieces and on a plastic tray.

When we returned to the kitchen, the animal was dead and featherless, but still whole and the cook had left.  So it was left to David to hack away with a potato peeling knife.  What seemed like a huge chicken became a tiny thing with mini drumsticks. We put it all in the rice, and seeing as here they even eat the bones, we didn't have to throw anything away.  At least we know it was free range!
They loved the Spanish omlette and have asked us to show them the recipe.

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9:42 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Finally we were able to leave Fundong on our own.  There aren't many white people around here and we are kind of attraction and we can't go anywhere on  our own.

We took a taxi to Belo to meet the other volunteers.  In the taxi on the way home, as per usual it was filled with the standard 7 passengers plus driver (the number permitted by the police at their roadside controls or bribe points).  But it seems that the police don't work after 6pm,  so when the taxi stopped mid-journey the driver opened up the boot and another man got in the boot with the boot door open.  5 minutes later another stop to pick up another 2 people who got in the boot, total 11 people in a hatchback!

Unfortunately we didn't have  the camera to hand, we couldnt actually move to get at it, so we haven't got a photo, but you can imagine the sight.
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4:35 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We are used to taking everything that makes our life easier for granted, until you're living somewhere where even the basic things are difficult to find.  Here we can't buy basic cleaning products- mops, brooms, even personal hygiene products, yet everyone can be seen with a mobile phone in their hand. We left our shower gel and shampoo at home and can only get a bar of multi-use soap here that's used  for everything from washing the dishes to washing yourself.
You have to go to a big city to get something specific or give the errand to someone who's going.  Now we know why we did the 8 hours bus journey form Douala holding onto a broom, for another volunteer in Belo.

My friend Sergio said we shouldn't just write the good things.  So, we would love to have a 5l bottle of bleach to thoroughly clean the house. We would love to eat some cheese, and dunk a chunk of bread in a fried egg, and here there is no cheese nor bread.  And of course, a COLD beer.

It would be nice if there weren't man-eating spiders at home.  I wouldn't mind if they were just big, but they're big andd they move really fast (... and if you saw the lizard that Dan found in the suitcase...).
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0:55 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David

We need a teacher for an after school program for orphans. Most of these kids WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FINISH THE SCHOOL because of the high cost of school fees.

This project offers them the oportunity to learn Maths, English and other basic skills.

The cost of maintaining a teacher on the After School Project is 20.00 pounds a month. We need two teachers to form two groups of orphans.

This amount, which is insignificant in Europe, will go a long way to helping children who are anxious to learn.

If you can help to maintain at least one teacher, please contact us by leaving a coment in this blog or by sending a mail to:

Thank you.

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10:54 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
A day of Kom culture

Fidelia invited us to her house for dinner.  We didn´t really know what to expect but it was one of the best experiences we've had so far. 
After rain all morning, Ngai came to collect us to show us the way there.  Rather than a walk it was 45 minutes trekking through tropical landscape surrounded by hills and banana trees.
When we got to her house, it was like being in a National Geographic documentary!  The Compound is divided into 2 buildings- a kitchen and another hut where Fidelia sleeps with her daughters.
She was preparing food that is usually served at Kom weddings, fufu and kati-kati, which we ate with our hands. It was an honour for us as they only eat this food on special occasions.
Fufu is eaten every day as it contains a lot of calories (we were full until the next morning), it is a kind of dough made of corn flour cooked slowly over a wood fire.  Kati-Kati is chicken in a sauce with tomato and vegetables.
They ate everything, leaving the bonees clean and even eating the bone itself.

On the way home we gave the camera to Ngai and he took photos of everyone who crossed our path, incluuding groups of kids who came running after us, shouting "ulebengne, ulebegne" (white man!) and covered in mud and with their home made toys.

For more photos, see Spanish version.
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10:14 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
So you've an idea of what we're paying here:

In a shop:

1.5l bottle of water    0.60€
1kg rice                    0.60€
1kg dried fish            1.20€
500gr pasta              0.75€
1 pineapple               0.30€
1 Pawpaw               0.20€
1 kg beef                 2.57€

In a restaurant:

A dish of rice with a little meat    0.40€
Fufu and Jamma jamma (corn starch paste with a green leaf veg) 0.40€
650ml bottle of beer    0.60€


One hour internet     0.60€
A 20 min taxi ride    0.90€
A packet of A4 paper    3.95€
A 2nd hand computer    495€

We can't get any refrigerated stuff as there are no fridges!
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9:46 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Today has been a relaxing day.  At last we were able to sleep in... until 9am! We tidied up the house and called by the office. We had a nice surpise when another volunteer from the next town and his girlfriend from MSF Yaounde called by to visit. Ngai, one of our office coordinator's sons took us to the nearby waterfall. It's one of the smallest around here so we're looking forward to trekking so see some more around Mbingo Hills.
After we had our first beer in Cameroon! On the terrace of a bar iin the village. No fridges here so it was a warm beer but it didn´t matter.  the bootles they send are huge, everyone sat around with their 650ml bottle of Castle Beer at 0.60€.
We spent a while chatting with Ngai.  He couldn´t believe it when we explained that in Europe people spend hours lying in the sun just to get brown, and when we told him about tanning shops he didn´t know whether to take us seriously!
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5:04 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
The Kom
Cameroon has two types of government; political and tribal.
Politically, the country is divided into a central government, divisions or regions and subdivisions each democratically elected. We are living in the subdivision of Fundong, part of Boyo division, Northwest Province. Tribally the country is divided into territories occupied by different tribes or ethnicities.  All tribes have their own language and culture and ther are over 200 of them!

We are in Kom territory.  The Kom live in the highlands of the Northwest province and live principally off the land with small farm holdings.  They are governed by tribal chief or Fon and his delegates.  The government and police control national matters and the Fon tribal matters such as land disputes.  (Next week we'll visit him with a gift or offering).

According to kom rules, the husband is the head of the family and can have as many wives as he can economically maintain, including building a house for each within the compound.  The women are responsible for farming and providing food, whereas the husband sells any surplus produce.
Respect for others, especially for elders is extremely important for the Kom.  Here are some rules that we have had to learn:

- Never cross your legs when sitting infront of others, especially elders.  It is sign of disrespect.
- Don´t smell the food that you are offered as it is a sign that you do not trust the person who is offering it to you.
- Show respect for older people, for example always wait for them to greet you first, only offer your hand to be shaken if they offer theirs first, and don´t intterrupt them when they are speaking.

The crossing the legs part is especially difficult to remember!
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5:03 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Until now we hadn´t said anything about what we actually do in a day, so here goes...

Our cook arrives at around 6.30am too heat the water and prepare breakfast.  We get up around 7am and the bucket of hot water is waiting for us to shower the old fashioned way - bucket and cup!  There is a shower but only a bit of cold water comes out.
We have some toast, tea and fruit for breakfast then walk the 50m to the office for 8am.  A morning´s work until 12.30 or 1pm lunch, then work again until 5pm.  It gets dark at 6pm and they keep telling us to make sure we stay at home after dark, although I guess that's just them being over paranoid for our safety. We go to the internet place for a while the home for a candlelit dinner (powercuts!) and bed.
The days are really intensive and we end up absolutely shattered.
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9:42 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Today we met the group of orphans who we'll be doing activities with.  There they are in their shabby clothes, 3 sizes too big, pencil and note book in hand and a huge smile on their faces.  No words to describe it.
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5:02 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
First meeting the widows group who come once a week for ´Health Talks´.  They are really friendly and funny, each time we say some words in their Kom language they start laughing!

After, we organised for electricity to be set up in the widow's and orphan's classroom, set up a work space for a computer table and made the woman in charge throw away papers piled up since 1998.  Although she obviously didn´t much feel like working as after 30 minutes she said she was tired and would finish on Monday (just like Spain!)

David has now gone almost a week without beer, but today we'll finish off the bottle of whiskey we brought with us...

In the cyber cafe, we were preparing a mail but power cut off once again, so we've decided now that we'll prepare everything at home by candle light to send later-see photos.
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4:47 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We spent the night at a 'rest house' where other volunteers are staying, people start warning us about how hard Cameroon can be.

Our 'short' journey to Fundong is our next experience.  After waiting almost an hour for the taxi to fill, literally speaking that is, as it didn't leave until 7 passengers had taken their seats.  Us two, our guide, a guy with a load of bread, a granny with a bucket full of bananas, a busineess suited guy and our luggage (4 suitcases and 2 backpacks).  Finally we made it to Fundong with the underparts of the car scraping along the floor.

We've spent the morning meeting the people from Berudep who we'll be working with here, there seems no rush to begin work.

We'll leave you with photos of our new house- a gas riing, cold water and power cuts from dusk, basically just when you need electricity.

I'm afraid that you'll have to see the photos in the Spanish version of this web page as internet conection here is extremely slow to load photos.
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4:38 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
We´ve been travelling for 30 hours and we still haven´t arrived!

Douala, heat and humidity.  Enoch was there waiting for us.  7 hour bus ride to bamenda, 250km, you can imagine the state of the road! More than buses, they seem like mobile markets.  People tried to sell us everything; bananas, soap, torches, fruit and kebabs through the windows.
We can't feel our backsides after so many hours on a wooden bench.  A girl spends the whole journey touching our hair. Absolutely exhausted but haapy.
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8:50 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
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10:51 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Vaccinated up to the eyebrows and cases almost packed.  The countdown is coming to an end.  Summer has flown by and in just three weeks we'll be in Fundong.  

10:41 | Author: La Vuelta al Mundo de Dan y David
Fundong, Cameroon, our home for the next few months.

After, our ticket will take us to



Using all we've saved over the last couple of years, leaving our jobs and going!  As easy or as difficult as taking the decision.  Madness?  Follow us to find out.