Welcome to Cameroon

Elodie and I have landed in Cameroon, with the rolling green hills of the busy little capital city of Yaounde all around us now. It is hot and humid and we have been spending our first forty eight hours here tapping away at a long list of jobs including getting sim cards for our cell phones, sorting out our house, hunting down internet, supermarkets, and money changers.

Elodie will be working on an HIV study based at the main hospital here and concerned with a new 2nd line drug and its effectiveness and side effects. I will be visiting MSF and other organisations in the coming days with a view to a similar position as in the past, non profit logistics or management.

We are living in a basic three story building run by the organisation Elodie is working for, in one of four flats run for expat students and research workers. We are sharing with two others, one French woman studying for a masters, and another Swiss woman undertaking research into condom use and acceptance. The place is a bit rough around the edges, but some TLC and select purchases should make things a little more homely. We are on the top floor and have nice views above the tree tops from our little balcony.

Yaounde is a city of about one million, spread unevenly across an area of tree covered hills, with roads snaking at random in all directions. Situated at an altitude of 750m and about three or four hours drive from the coast, right now is the hottest time of the year, before the rains come and cool things down. There are a number of quite large architecturally striking buildings in the main city centre, all of which are government ministries except for the Hilton Hotel. There is also a more commercial city market a few streets north of here, which seems to be grid locked with traffic during daylight hours.

It will be interesting to see how many friends we will make in the coming days and weeks, and how our experience here compares to Senegal, Sudan, and other African nations. Yaounde is poorer I think that I expected, so it will be interesting to see how things are in other parts of the country with some weekend trips out of town. It will all be a great further learning experience of a country, its people and culture.


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