Monday, June 2, 2008

Nous Avons Les Betes! (oops...Nous Sommes...)

Our first full day in Africa was successful: we went to the Embassy, exchanged money, and met with Dr. Nkeng of the school of Public works. Dr. Steve and Dr. Nkeng have a research collaboration for improving slow sand filters. The cameroonian student, Valentine, working with Dr. Nkeng seems excited about the project.

Our session with Peter Njodzeka was quite helpful. He's been working further north in Cameroon installing slow sand filters with the Hope College EWB. They report (1) nearly complete removal of bacteria, even from creek waters, and (2) significantly improved health with fewer illnesses reported. So we can anticipate similar success if all goes well in Bakang.

In Yaounde we are eating well. We ate a late lunch with our driver, Gui, at "Dolce Vita"... hamburgers, pizza, spaghetti, even ice cream! It was almost like being in America, except for that whole part where we had to order in french. In bamendjou our fare will be much more limited. For example, even Mr. Mukam's house has no refrigerator. Most cooking in homes uses an open fire.

We even finished our tasks a little early today, so we played a couple rounds of cards before a late dinner. Sam, card shark that she is, has taken everyones money and therefore the games have stopped. (just kidding!)

This is the first trip where we have 4 students returning to the 'roon, and only 2 newbies. The returning members are excited to show Taylor and Andrew the ropes. Taylor overslept a little this morning, but we will write this off as a rookie mistake. (hahah)

Thinking back to our previous trips, our crew seems less impacted by the crowds and conditions here. As a city Yaounde is in better shape than Douala and and most of us have already been through the initial culture shock. So far, anyway.....

Tomorrow we begin our journey to Bamendjou, where the real work begins. There are mixed emotions of excitement and nervousness here, as we are excited to finally implement but we are nervous because we understand what this new water system could mean for the community if it is effective.

Missing Everyone back in the states! Keep watching for blogs, but know that we will be very busy once we get to the village.

I-Team (Dream Team)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good luck with your water and solar work. It's wonderful that your efforts will have such a direct impact on the villager's quality of life. JD

Mother Sagett said...

So good to hear from you again. Thinking of you and wishing you success. Sounds like you have a good start.

nimeslo said...

Sounds like a great start. Cant wait to hear more.
gcbezerra

Anonymous said...

lol Taylor...you would oversleep. goof. sounds like everything is going well, i wish the best of luck for the rest of the trip to everyone!! i'll be checking the blog as you all keep progressing with your mission. I'll be praying for ya'll.

Flower....
Tanya

Laura said...

Salut mes etudiants! I love your title for this blog haha... shows that we did indeed teach you some useful French (although you may mean "Nous sommes les betes"). Anyway, hope your implementation goes well! I'll be following your progress... a bientot!

boyfriend sagett said...

Way to go guys! But more importantly, way to go Sam for beating everybody at cards! I'm so proud. The Dabe is proud too.

Jim said...

You monkey--Continuez votre bon travail

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (*^*)

Catherine said...

Yay Dream Team! Way to eat American food in Cameroon. Good luck with everything!

*Katie* said...

I can't believe you guys had to repackage?! It was gorgeous modern art what we sent you to the airport with. Anywho, sooooo proud of all of you, wish I could be there :)

doug and julie I'll take more R.H.S to the roon while you are away ;)

You go "engineers with successful travels"!