Safely Settled in Mbokop
Great news readers, the team has arrived at their destination!
Lisa here. Rachel thought you might appreciated a new voice on the blog for a change, and I found this to be a great excuse to scroll through some pictures from my past trips to Cameroon! I will try to keep the nostalgia to a minimum and get you some facts about how our awesome team is doing on the Implementation Trip.
After two long, bumpy days of travel through the mountainous countryside of Cameroon, EWB-DC was warmly welcomed back to Mbokop.
A new route: The team’s journey from Douala (circle, bottom left of map) to Kumbo (rectangle, top of map) went very smoothly. This is a much longer first leg of travel than our teams have completed on past trips to Cameroon. (See map.) However, we knew it was possible based on some tips from our allies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (one of the extremely helpful fellow EWB chapters working in Cameroon), and the advice of our partners from the Peace Corps, who kindly accompanied our crew on this journey. By extending the first day’s travel all the way to Kumbo, the team was able to maximize day light hours for the journey into Mbokop, the bumpiest of all segments (and definitely best accomplished during daylight hours).
Collecting the team and supplies and getting on the road again: In Kumbo, the team united with our in-country construction experts, additional Peace Corps contacts, and our ever dependable and generous local partner, Julius (pictured here, with me). Also while in Kumbo, the team was able to pick up many of the supplies necessary to begin building the spring collection system, which is the first phase of construction in the Mangi water supply system. From Kumbo, our growing group (now including our construction crew, Peace Corps resources, and, of course, Julius) traveled to Mbokop.
In Mbokop: In Mbokop the team united with our in-country NGO partners and the community. Construction has commenced and is reported to be going well. In addition to breaking ground on the new water supply system for the Mbokop settlement of Mangi, the team has been able to visit with community members and leaders throughout Mbokop. They have been participating in key meetings and supporting capacity building efforts that will be critical to a functioning construction project and a sustainable water system for the years that follow.
The team continues to report that they are healthy and happy, and, not surprising, everyone is working extremely well together.