I have spent the last two weeks in the Center region in a small town, Bokito, helping to train the next group of future community health PCVs. I will spend one more week here before going back to my post for 7 more weeks. This is all just a little too real in some ways. The trainees that I am now working with will be replacing myself and my stage-mates. As a group we are leaving in two months or less. This means that my home for the last two years will no longer be my place of residence. I am saying good bye to my friends all over again – the difference here is that keeping in touch will probably be a little more difficult. So I have 7 weeks to bring activities to a close, prepare my community for a new volunteer, and say good bye. I am getting a surreal feeling about it all.
But on a positive note, I will be in the Lehigh Valley in two months – December 10 to be exact! I will be there for a month. This will give me a chance to see everyone and stock up on supplies for my final year. Please get in touch with me so that we can meet up.
Back to training…It has been really nice to help out with the new trainees. Seeing the new excitement is really inspiring and reminds me of the energy everyone had when we first got here. Also I love being able to share my experiences with a new set of people who really want to hear everything I have to say. For the first week we did not have electricity and the town was very quiet. Once the electricity came, it feels like the town woke up and there is a buzz in the air.
The election was this weekend. It was disappointingly quiet. The town shut down for the election so there was no place to hang out and observe how everything was going. I am thankful that there is no political turmoil, but it would be nice to hear the people supporting the election process. Hopefully by the end of the month, we will hear the results because paper ballots are used. Paul Biya is expected to be the winner with little to no competition (as there are 21 other candidates).
Kevin has been back in our village while I have been helping out with stage. It will be nice to go back and see him this weekend. He has applied for and received a receipt for a carte de sejour (residence card). This means that he is free to stay for at least a year, maybe even two. Logistics of this were difficult and he was doing it all while I was in Bokito. Thankfully everything seems to have worked out and we will be able to be in Cameroon together until my extension is over.