|Google Spells My Village Incorrectly. Curse you, Google!|
Living in limbo in Bertoua is only bearable because...dun dun duuun... I've finally got a new village: Ngatt (pronounced like in-GOT). Get it? I Ngatt a new village? Ha ha! I know, it's not
I'm extremely excited for my new post (note: I tried to avoid using about 8 exclaimation marks after this sentence). I know little about it other than the fact that I'll be its first Peace Corps Volunteer ever. Ngatt is located in the central Adamawa, 30 minutes from the somewhat big-ish village of Tibati, which is now the furthest west Peace Corps post since the Banyo cluster was evacuated in March due to a Boko Haram threat. Therefore, I'll be part of the tiny Tibati cluster, which currently consists of my best friend Liz in Danfili, another health PCV named Dale in Mbakaou (who seems pretty awesome from his blog), and a new YD PCV that will soon move to Tibati. We are few, but I'm sure the cluster is awesome. Ngatt is 30 minutes east of Tibati, and just another 30 minutes east of me is Liz in Danfili (yay for future girl's weekends!). About an hour and a half from me will be a YD from my stage named Pax, who is also wonderful. Pax is in Ngaoundal, which is where I'll take the train anytime I need to go to Ngaoundere for internet or to bank. And then just on the other side of Ngaoundal is Alexi in Dir! Most of my favorite people will all be along my road! Life couldn't be better!
So here I moved from being 6ish hours from the nearest PCV and having 2 postmates who were sometimes there, to living alone in village, which I think I will like much better and will allow me to integrate much better, and being within a half hour to a few hours of most of my favorite people in country.
As for the house - it is under construction, which is precisely why I will be living in limbo in Bertoua for the foreseeable future. My future home still needs cement, painting etc, but from what I hear, it'll consist of a living room, bedroom, kitchen, indoor latrine (which I'll probably only shower in since it's attached to my bedroom), and an outdoor latrine (which is probably where I'll do my #1s and #2s, if you catch my drift). In other words - my house is way larger than I anticipated! I'll live in a stick-fenced compound with a family, whose size, ages, sexes, and (more importantly) number of household sheep I don't not yet know.
My village is estimated to be between 1,000-3,000 people, so very small and very tight-knit. It doesn't have any stores, which is one thing I'll miss about Lomie, and Ngatt doesn't really have a market...so there really won't be any food (umm...yay, weight loss?!). But thankfully, Tibati is just a 30 minute ride away for the times my body really needs a fresh...tomato. Additionally, my village is primarily Fulbe, so I'll be learning more Fulfulde, which I'm so very thrilled about. And rumor has it (Djouberou told me), that lots of honey comes from Tibati - so, beekeeping project continuation? We shall see!
The main industry of the area is fishing, since Tibati sits along the Mbakaou lake (check out Dale's pictures here). The area is ruled by the traditional Muslim leader, the Lamido, who is centered in Tibati. Apparently there is also a large missionary hospital in Ngaoubela (15km from Tibati), which oversees the medical needs of the region and has a constant stream of American and European ex-pats rolling through. But of course, I'll be paired with the local centre de sante integre of Ngatt for my host organization.
It appears as if my future village will be quite the opposite of my old village: I'm trading Baka pygmies for Mbororo herdsmen; I'll be trading Nzime for Fulfulde; I'll be going from having electricity usually to never having electricity; I'll be trading my well-stocked daily market for a once-weekly market with only manioc; I'll be trading my isolation for a bit more social interaction; and I'll be trading the humid rainforest for the cool savannah and hills of the Adamawa. I think this 180 degree change is exactly what I need and I'm looking forward to seeing what challenges and excitement Ngatt will offer. I Ngatt high hopes! (I had to end with another cheesy play on words - I make no apologies.)
|I Can't Wait for Some Awesome Fantasias in Tibati!|