Into the West


The CIBAEEVA Orphanage in Dschang

Last weekend the Youth Development trainees got to go on a one night field trip to the West Region of Cameroon. So last Friday after lunch we piled into a little bus and were on our way to spend the night in Bafoussam, the regional capital. The bus was a hot tin can until we opened some windows and let the wind blow in our faces. The landscape was green with periodic patches of burgundy soil.

We didn’t have anything in particular planned for our evening in Bafoussam, but the cooler Western air was a welcomed change to our Bafia routine, as were the shawarma sandwiches and fries we got for dinner, and the hotel showers. Really though, that shower was amazing: warm with just enough shower pressure. My hair felt so clean after mine. Kevin took two.

The next morning it was back into the bus, and farther into the West Region until we got to a town called Dschang (as far as I can tell the D and S are silent). In Dschang we were able to visit the CIBAEEVA Orphanage, which was started by a Cameroonian school teacher and cares for many children from the community whose parents are either dead or, more often, unable to care for them. CIBAEEVA keeps the kids in school, as well as giving them a place to eat in sleep, and here in Cameroon school can be expensive. Even if there are no fees for government primary schools, there are often mandatory PTA fees, and books and uniforms have to be bought, too.

Next on the itinerary was a cultural museum, also in Dschang. I thought it was very well put together, but after learning about the orphanage and playing with the kids, it was almost noon by the time we got to the museum, and we had to get back to Bafoussam before we could have lunch. Then it was back to the hot, humid heat of Bafia. Of course Cameroon would just start to get hotter in November.

I did upload pictures of the trip to my Flickr photostream a few days ago. In case anyone hasn’t figured it out yet, you can find the link to that by scrolling to the top of this page and clicking on the link that says “Pictures.” If anyone is still having trouble, though, let me know.