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
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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