After a really hectic
spell, made even more tiring by getting about in the heat, life is about to get
a little quieter for me. Next year’s detailed development plans were handed over
to the schools by a member of the Inspectorate at a big meeting yesterday, so
there will be fewer meetings now. Schools finish for the summer on Friday but
staff and pupils started drifting away weeks ago, although they are all expected
to be in place on Friday for the issuing of the report cards. Mofou-sud’s
Mothers’ Association is well organised and will present prizes to the girls who
have done well. The mums have been donating small amounts of money since the
group was formed in November and are already making an impact on the school,
although I would like to see the Head teacher making them a bit more welcome. I
think he is scared of what might have been unleashed!
Saturday, Boudoum held its first meeting of the new village development
committee which has been formed to meet the needs of the school. They raised a
huge sum of money with many “elites” turning up from the south to give support
to their home village. The occasion gave us the opportunity to hand over the
tricycle wheelchair to Nafeesa, the young girl paralysed by polio, who has been
crawling on her hands and knees to get to the girls’ literacy classes 5 kms from
her home. We sent her a message and within minutes she arrived in the borrowed
ordinary wheelchair, accompanied by two little brothers. After a brief spell of
“training”, she shot off a high speed back to her own village. We just hope she
got there safely and wonder if her brothers were able to keep up with her. (Photo attached).
School the new classroom is
coming along quickly and is now at roof level (see photo). Windows and doors
have been fitted and the blackboard area has been chosen. After a bit of
adjustment for the very small head teacher, it should soon be in place.
Practical exams for the
senior pupils have been going on at Mokong, half an hour’s drive from here. All
the pupils have to get there under their own steam – no molly coddling here. See
photo for the cookery exams.
football tournament, or championship as Godam likes to call it, finished on
Monday with Mofou-sud, always the favourites for the boys, taking both the boys’
and girls’ cups. Boudoum girls were robbed. All the action was with them but
they could get nothing past the Mofou goalie. In some ways we were lucky not to
have rain throughout, although it is so badly needed here.
my first experience of a Cameroonian Hen Night last week in Maroua. There were
two brides: Aicha who will marry Irish volunteer Tom on the 6th June
and Fanta, who says she is getting married in July but nobody seemed convinced
that she has identified the man yet! It was a very sober affair attended mainly
by good, non-drinking Muslim girls.
When a light shower started, we were forced indoors to share a very smart
sitting room with a motor bike. This is absolutely normal here and had nothing
to do with the weather. (2 photos)
Until last night there had
been no rain for almost a month. Apparently if it doesn’t rain properly by June
15th each year, there is real danger of famine, as crops will not
have time to mature before the real dry season begins again. It still seems
pretty close for comfort and people have been resorting to traditional
rainmakers who apparently do something magical with stones to bring rain. Seems
to have worked this time!
when the temperature drops
below 30ºC we will have our Christmas pudding. It is still in the 40s most
Discovered a great
headache cure – a phone call to three of my
After the rain a month
ago, it looked as though the workload was diminishing. As the drought continued, however, more
and more patients were turning up at the hospital as there was no work to be
done in the fields. After the rain
last night, folk are busy again re-sowing and have no time to be ill. Just as well really as the Médecin Chef
has announced she will not be returning to
Cameroon after her leave next
month. A newly qualified
Cameroonian doctor has been recruited and arrives this weekend. There are also apparently two doctors
from the Congo who have said they’d like
to come but no definite word on that yet.
There is quite a lot of disquiet amongst the staff who feel they are
overworked and underpaid – and I would agree with them. Certainly, their colleagues working in
the state sector have a very relaxed working life and their salary is
significantly higher. The big
difference is that our staff are paid regularly; state employees are paid as
& when the state feels like it – can be once every six months or
Michaeli, the young lad
with the ghastly head injury is in Yaoundé and we are hoping he had his surgery
yesterday. More news to follow.
to try out the new 4x4 drive today.
After last night’s rain, there was a nice patch of mud where the road
usually gets closed. The hospital
driver says if you wait for 4 hours after the rain has stopped, it is safe to
drive through what looks like a lake, as long as you stick to the centre where
the ground is firmer. Well, we gave
it a try and just got through. It
was a bit disconcerting to see a local standing at the roadside applauding