I left to my post at around 9am. Although it’s only about 30 kilometers away, the ride can seem like a lot longer since you have to take a bush taxi to get there. A bush taxi is a early to mid 80’s Japanese or Korean car (for some reason it seems like no new cars were imported to Cameroon after the mid 80’s) that is on the verge of breaking down, but you hope it has enough for one more trip. You take this small compact car and pack 8 people in it, 4 in front and 4 in the back, and you’re good to go.

As interested as I was to see my post and meet the people I’ll be working with for the next two years, the thought of bush taxi’s and riding in one amused me above all else. On my first trip, we managed to fit 9 people in the car, 4 in the front and 5 in the back. Sitting there on top of strange people you don’t know was amusing to me. On the way back, there were only 4 people in the back but also a chicken in a bag. Whenever we would take a somewhat steep turn, and there were plenty, it would cluck and I couldn’t help but smile. I hope the guy whose lap I was sitting in didn’t think it was at anything he did.

About my actual post, it’s a beautiful small town, with super friendly people. My counterparts, the bank president and two ‘notables’, who are ‘nobility’ appointed by the chief, are incredibly nice and helpful. The male ‘notable’ is in love with John Deere and tractors in general. I also went to the Chief’s house and ate dinner which is supposed to be a pretty good honor.

The bank functions ok right now, but there is definitely some work to be done, and I look forward to helping.

The house I’ll be living in is huge. It has 4 bedrooms and a bathroom, kitchen, huge living room and a big patio. No running water though, like everyone else in the town; or cybercafé or way of getting on the internet. At least we have electricity.

Most of my time was spent in the house reading (I’m reading War and Peace, it’s 1445 pages), because I didn’t want to go back out to the village and deal with people. People have told me I’m good with strangers and that I’m approachable, but the truth is that it’s hard work trying to act like you like every stranger you meet. My mom has a natural gift at that, mine is totally learned. It’s draining, especially in another language.

I stayed there for only 2 days, then came back to Bangante early, but then I went to Baffosam, which is the Chicago of Cameroon, on Friday for some quick shopping.

The exterior of my soon to be new house. it’s really big.

The interior of my soon to be new house.

Me and the big man in town

The richest people in town chillaxing at a bar

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