Our Travels in Cameroon to date:
The biggest city in Cameroon is Douala. It has a port and an international airport. We arrived there at the end of our flight from Washington via Zurich. It is the place where most people in Buea and throughout this part of Cameroon go to buy supplies. There are western style supermarkets and other shops there. The 75 km drive from Buea takes a little more than an hour - mostly because of traffic and poor roads. It is much hotter there than in Buea and very crowded - we are always glad to get back to Buea!
At the end or our first week here, we went to Limbe by taxi to spend the day. This is a small seaside town which used to be called Victoria when the British were here. It's about 20 km from Buea. We went to visit the scene of the 1999 lava flow from Mt. Cameroon. It is quite spectacular! A big wall of lava that stopped just 100 m from the Atlantic Ocean, covering part of the local road in the process. We also visited the Botanical Gardens, which were created by the Germans for agricultural experimentation, and the Limbe Wildlife Center, which is primarily a primate sanctuary.
The following Wednesday and Thursday we went to the capital, Yaounde. The University arranged a car for us so that we could transport the 7 boxes of books and equipment which we had sent to the U.S. Embassy via diplomatic pouch. That city looks more modern that Douala - many tall and impressive buildings. It takes a good 4 hours to make the trip from Buea. The Embassy has the streets in front all blocked so it was a bit tricky carrying all the boxes to the car. Our hotel there was the nicest we have seen since we arrived.
One week later we took advantage of an invitation by the Vice-Chancellor (Dorothy) to visit Kribi. She was at a meeting of university rectors (presidents) there and thought we would enjoy going along. Kribi is a seaside fishing town - beautiful beaches. We spent some time swimming and relaxing. On the last day, we drove down to the border town, Campo (3 hours each way on a dirt road). Equatorial Guinea lies across the Ntem River. We unexpectedly ran into a young Peace Corps volunteer who has been there for more than a year teaching English in the local elementary school. He has had no electricity for more than a month! Fortunately there is a lot of fish available which he can cook daily.
Speaking of food, we have shown you a picture of a banquet table at a private home in Kribi. There is plenty of good healthy food here - fruit and vegetables and fresh fish. Some of the local dishes are very elaborate and take a long time to prepare. Most of them are hot and spicy. People really enjoy eating!
Buea is located in the Southwest Province. We are hoping to be able to visit the Northwest Province, which is the other former British province, some day soon. Yaounde, Douala, and Kribi are all in the French-speaking part of the country. Although we keep trying (and seem to get slowly better), our French is still fairly primitive! Stay tuned for more adventures!