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
2:32 | 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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