Clean Water

A watertank under construction

Day 9: In Ntseni. Meetings.

A fairly frustrating day, if I'm honest. We'd planned to have a meeting with the whole water management committee; we spent most of the morning hanging around waiting for them to show up. However, this is Cameroon; there's nothing to do but wait in such situations, I think. Eventually everyone turned up and we had the meeting. We'd also been promised a visit to another storage tank, which didn't happen because the meeting was late starting (which I'd had an inkling would be the case anyway); and neither did our gas cooker turn up, which we'd also been promsied (on Wednesday), which we needed to sterilise some of the water testing kit.

The meeting, when it did happen, also was short and not very productive. We managed to talk to a couple of communtiy members not on the water committee who'd turned up, which was helpful, but we didn't get as much chance to talk to anyone as much as I'd have liked. As soon as the meeting was over, a couple of people brought out some beers, and we chatted away long into the night, until almost 7 o'clock when it was pitch black outside. The conversation was interesting and stimulating, so at least the end to the day was fun, even if unproductive in a professional way; what I enjoyed most was talking to the older people, a couple of the village elders, and asking them how life in Cameroon has changed during their lifetime. It was fascinating hearing their responses, and finding out what was important to them and what they cared about. Finding out about other people and the culture here is, after all, a good part of the reason why I came. I suppose that's something to be thankful for about the slower pace of things here - it makes work much slower, but instead it leaves more time for appreciating the moment and relating to people.

Days 10 and 11: A hospital, a palace and a cooking lesson

© Aidan Reilly 2013