Friday, October 11, 2013

As the Seasons Change

My favorite time of the year in Indiana without question is autumn. When I decided to study abroad during the fall semester, I lamented not being able to see the leaves change from green to a mixture of oranges and reds and yellows. I dreaded not hearing the crunch of newly fallen leaves under my feet as I walk to class. As I type, I can only imagine how beautiful Butler’s campus looks at this moment. Here in Yaoundé, the seasons are also changing. The end of the rainy season is coming, which basically means that it rains more often and the rain lasts much longer. It has definitely been a change for me to get used to the frequency, but there are many ways that it is soothing. I love the sound of the rain. There is something beautiful about the constant rhythm of raindrops hitting a tin roof. There is something comforting about looking out over the city and knowing that the rain will eventually stop. There is something amazing in knowing that these droplets of water will bring life. There is something beautiful about the rain.

 This is a short video of the rain. It is not the highest quality, but at least you can experience a little bit of my daily reality here in Yaounde. 

Here is a picture during the rainstorm in the video. The amazing thing about rainstorms here is that the sun still shines. It is a beautiful combination!

Besides weathering the weather, I have also had some absolutely, overwhelmingly amazing opportunities since my last blog post. We left Dschang, made a stop in Bamenda (which is in an English-speaking part of Cameroon), and came back to Yaoundé. Below is a picture of me with the chairman of the Social Democratic Front (the leading opposition party in Cameroon) at his residence in Bamenda. Just marvel with me for a moment—the chairman of the SDF. Can you even imagine meeting the highest authority of a political party in the United States? It is still amazing to me that I had this opportunity.

John Fru Ndi (the chairman of the SDF) and me. 

Now that we are back in Yaoundé, we have started to meet with different development organizations. We had our first meeting with an organization yesterday. We met with the founder of LAGA (the Last Great Ape Organization). The NGO is a self-titled “law enforcement” organization. LAGA works to enforce the animal protection laws in Cameroon and in other Central African countries by finding traffickers and alerting law enforcement. It was truly a unique perspective on the world of development and the organizations that work towards it. This afternoon we are meeting with an organization that is working for the maintenance of mother tongues in Cameroon. More organization visits are coming next week!

Peace and blessings, 

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