10.21.2015

Paradise Found

Ngoundaba Ranch
Imagine this: Your at a ranch in the middle of a sparsely forested savanna, with nobody there except you and a pair of amiable, yet gigantic German Shepards. Outside your hotel room window is a spectacular view of a crater lake and an international protected bird area - cows are grazing, horses ambling among small cottages, and gourmet French food is being made fresh for you. This bucolic fantasy would be idyllic in America, but in Cameroon, where chaos reigns, it is paradise found.


After an extraordinarily tear-filled depart from Ngatt, I needed a getaway to distract me from the sadness of leaving "home". Leaving Ngatt was difficult, but leaving Cameroon won't be too hard, at least in my opinion. Ngatt is one of the few places in Cameroon that I find calm, everywhere else is full of noise and chaos. Finding reprieve in Cameroon is difficult, but I found it, though sadly it had to be at the end of my service.

The Ngoundaba Ranch is located about 40 minutes outside of Ngaoundere, and is situated within a small forest alongside a crater lake. I arrived to find the ranch deserted. Sole occupants: Me and the ranch's two amiable and ebullient German Shepards.

I spent the day happily enjoying the tranquility by walking the crater lake path and reading alongside the lake and nursing several Nescafes. In the evening, the ranch chef, trained by Italians, made me homemade whole grain bread with a blended vegetable soup, rotisserie chicken with garlic-infused sauce and vegetables, and sweet pineapple as desert. After drinking a Cuba Libre and nearly winning a game of pool, I began to think 'Cameroon isn't too bad after all!'

Looking Out on the Crater Lake

The following day was jam packed. Taking advantage of the cloudless sky, I played countless games of archery (ehem, I scored a bulls-eye!), billiards, and kayaking on the crater lake. The storms blew in and and my time to leave arrived. It was a perfect 24 hour escape from the stresses of Cameroon and the sadness of leaving Ngatt. Leaving the ranch signaled the start of my journey southward, which would culminate in my departure from Cameroon at the end of the month. While it was hard to leave a place as relaxing as the Ranch, it was an ideal way to part from the Adamawa. While some of my experiences over the past two years have given me a negative view of many things here, it was nice to leave the Adamawa with such a positive opinion of this gorgeous and friendly region.

A Bird Sitting and Waiting for Something to Fly into his Mouth
Archery
The Crater Lake

2 comments:

  1. Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for your incredibly detailed and captivating blog! I'm interested in doing the Peace Corps in a year or two, and having lived in Senegal for four months in college, am interested in returning to French-speaking Africa! Central Africa does seem different, but there certainly are similarities with West Africa, and I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into this blog. It has been a great resource for me to understand what serving in Cameroon could be like, and I have loved hearing about your diverse experiences. Thanks, and good luck to you in the future as an RPCV! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello! I just wanted to say thank you for your incredibly detailed and captivating blog! I'm interested in doing the Peace Corps in a year or two, and having lived in Senegal for four months in college, am interested in returning to French-speaking Africa! Central Africa does seem different, but there certainly are similarities with West Africa, and I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into this blog. It has been a great resource for me to understand what serving in Cameroon could be like, and I have loved hearing about your diverse experiences. Thanks, and good luck to you in the future as an RPCV! :)

    ReplyDelete

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