I joined the diversity committee for the PC, mostly for an excuse to get out of the village 3 times a year to Yaounde. There were about 10 of us and we discussed how we were going to discuss diversity amongst ourselves, to trainees, in a country where we are the most diverse people. Afterwards, we were able to go out into Yaounde and go shopping and eat western food.

While at the market, I was walking along annoyed at how aggressive everyone was and how everyone was bumping into each other to get from one place to another, when I noticed my phone was missing. Someone had pick-pocketed me. I walked around looking for a guy with my cell phone, but of course that didn’t work.

I had my whole planner, all my numbers and a bunch of ideas for projects in that phone. Also, that is the camera I used for all my pictures here, so no more pictures from now on!

So I went back home to Bangou and for the last 3 days there has been no electricity or running water (I just recently got running water in my house, I’m one of very few) in the whole village. I haven’t been able to work because, surprisingly, I do most of my work on my laptop and based on the needs of the village, that is where my work has been steered. Because of the light situation, I’ve been going to bed at 19:30 every night, but waking up at 4 in the morning.

I’ve also been busy reading a lot. I had neglected French and my level has stagnated, I can get my point across, but use bad grammar everywhere, so I’ve been practicing that as well. In the last three days, I’ve read three books: The Universe in a Single Atom by the Dalai Lama, Enigma by Robert Harris and Syrius by some Olag something, a British writer. The first book has helped me understand Buddhism in the context of science and given me a respect for the Dalai Lama, Enigma along with The Firm, both which Antonio sent me have been my favorite novels I’ve read since being here (not counting War and Peace which is another level of novel) and Syrius, which is about a dog who has the brain of a man, but the body and instincts of a dog was a surprisingly good read. I started reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen by flashlight when the lights finally came back on.

I heard a big cheer outside; I guess people were happy to finally have electricity back. After three days of no electricity, I didn’t know what to do. I came out of my bedroom and found every light turned on, so I just turned them all off and just went back in my room and went to bed.

most of us are forced to do a lot of work by candle light.

sometimes, with no lights, and armed with only a cell phone, this is all you can do to amuse yourself. Not, I don’t even have that cell phone.