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
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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