Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Great splodges of rain started to fall and it seemed uncertain whether it was actually going to rain, but the way the local people rushed to unload our luggage at our hosts' house in Ote told us it would.  For a couple of minutes everyone ran back and forth from the van and ran into the darkness of the half built mud brick house and dumped our things in a heap in the main room. Almost immediately the Toyota pick up crew turned around and drove back towards Mamfe.  Apparently they wanted to get at least as far as the part of the road where the track is out of the main forest and is easier to pass.  In the rains, the forested section is dangerous as trees fall and block the road and they fear a fall onto the vehicle.

The rain suddenly became torrential and we just stood in the doorway of the house looking out at it and people came to greet us and we went around to say hello to them.

Darkness was also going to come soon so it was important to put our tents up in the remaining light but we could not go out and find ourselves a good camp site or anything like that.  We merely waited about half an hour and in a slight lull we hurriedly erected our tents between the house and the river.  Our Cameroonian NGO friends put their tent at the back door of the house so that everyone would have to walk around it all the time, but we politely put ours a little distance away, Gill and I put ours near the kitchen house which is separated from the main house, and we put Brian's a few yards beyond.

Despite the lull in the rain we still got soaked and had to change all our clothes and put them on the makeshift washing line hanging across the sitting room.

The rain carried on all through the night and did not seem to let up.  We were worried that the tents would leak, but we need not have worried.  We talked about the Glastonbury festival where we raised an appeal in 2011 and people kindly donated their tents.  This was also where Brian and I met when he was doing fundraising and I was working for Festival Information Services which also acted as a collecting point.

We managed to get to sleep despite the noise of the rain, but the temperature went very low during the early hours as the rains stopped, and I was very cold since Brian had forgotten to pass me my sleeping bag as we rushed to get to our tents in the rain.  We slept badly mostly due to the discomfort and the noise of the rain, then the cold, and finally just before dawn, the cockerels started to crow just near us.  Finally as the sun rose, the warmth touched us and we just lay relaxing and basking in the comfort of our new camp which will be our home for the next five days. At the noise of activity we knew it was time to get up and start our work.

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