C’est le Cameroun!

– Juliette Michenoud

After almost 2 days of traveling, we are here! The plane rides were bearable, thanks to the volunteers that kept me company, as well as a Cameroonian woman named Juliette who chatted with me on the plane from Paris. I feel such a great sense of community. She called me Cherie and told me to come to her house! I felt like an instant addition to the family. While we were sitting in the airplane, waiting to leave Douala, I noticed Juliette speaking very casually in French with a man that was sitting across the aisle, and then I saw her use his cell phone. I wondered if they were friends. I asked her if she knew the man. She repeated my question and then she laughed and replied, “Non, je ne le connais pas! C’est le Cameroun, ca! On est toujours comme ca!”- “No, I don’t know this man. This is Cameroon. That’s the way it is.” That’s just the way Cameroon is”. I’m getting really excited about host family “adoption” on Thursday.

This journey is not about you, but about the work that is done through you. Then you will realize, this journey is about you!

– Isiak Holiday Jr.

I arrived on Wednesday, walking into another volunteer even before walking out of the terminal. There are lots of us here! There are 40 of us who expect to join the 99 that are currently in Cameroon. The butterflies in my stomach come and go, and I’ve found very early on that I am not alone. It has been stressed to us throughout the staging orientation, through activities and discussions, that we are to be each other’s family for the next two years. The motto of Cameroon echoes throughout this community that has quickly formed: “Nous sommes ensemble”, or “We are together”.