Monday 2 May 2011

Ngaoundere to Bertoua - Easy Trip!

Today marks the beginning of six weeks that I will spend away from site and in the Grand South of Cameroon. Usually, I would take an overnight train from Ngaoundere to Yaounde, but luckily, there is a Peace Corps car driving down! What does this mean? I will travel in an air-conditioned land cruiser that takes a third to half less the time as normal transport!

And in this country, when you’re squished into a van with twenty-eight people and three goats when there should only be twenty-two people and no animals, the PC car is a gem!

Right as I get into the car, I learn that Osama bin Laden is dead! Without constant access to internet, news can be slow moving here. We spend the next hour discussing everything from his living in a mansion to the helicopter mission. Crazy that it’s almost been a decade.

At Meiganga, we visit fellow SED PCV, Claire Hutchinson, and eat banana bread at her house for forty minutes or so. Otherwise, with public transport, you would stop for ten minutes and you can’t count on any public bathrooms in this country! We stop for another half an hour or so in Garoua-Belai to enjoy a delicious lunch. I have intestine with rice.

Once at Bertoua, we met up with other PCVs and a Fulbright scholar to eat at “Secret Fish Lady.” She owns a grilled fish stand in a parking lot - you eat there too.

There’s no water or refrigerator at the PC transit house in Bertoua, but it’s okay as I got to ride in the PC car for 735 kilometers. That means that a usually 16-hour trip was done in 9 hours - sweet!

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