Implementation Two is Underway!
Even though it seems like our first implementation trip just returned, our second implementation team is on the ground in Cameroon! Traveling on this team are Jonathan, Angeline, Ashley J, and Harry.
Ashley traveled to Cameroon earlier in the week, and Jonathan, Angeline, and Harry joined her today. After leaving DC yesterday morning, they arrived in Douala, Cameroon this afternoon. From there the team headed to Manjo, where they are spending their first night. Manjo is the community where Ashley previously served as a Peace Corps Volunteer. The team will head to Kumbo tomorrow and arrive in Mbokop on Tuesday.
The travelers will once again be joined by Peace Corps Volunteers, local construction workers, and support from local NGOs SIRDEP and HEDECS. The general scope of the trip includes:
- catchment protection
- break pressure tank construction
- installation of part of the pipeline
- community capacity building
- health education and capacity building
Their schedule for the next two weeks packed and we’re sure that things will change on the ground! We’ll update the blog every few days to keep you posted on their progress! For now, keep reading below to learn more about our four travelers!
Jonathan is the trip lead and one of the Health and Safety Officers. He has been a key member of the Cameroon project since the project began and he traveled on the first assessment trip to Mbokop in March 2013. Jonathan says he “will never forget the experience of arriving in Mbokop late at night after a bumpy two-day drive from Douala on the first assessment trip. There was a full-town celebration to welcome the EWB team. We were extended the most gracious welcome and quickly felt like we were at home away from home. It has been wonderful to see the program evolve from the very initial contact with the community through groundbreaking for the first water supply system. After two years away, it is going to be fantastic to reconnect with the community members that I had the pleasure of working with on the first assessment trip.”
Harry is the second Health and Safety Officer and will be working closely with SIRDEP on catchment protection. He will also focus on community relations and capacity building. Harry joined EWB-DC in Fall 2014 because, as he says “what better way is there to utilize my engineering background, travel internationally, and make a difference at the same time.” He is looking forward to “getting the opportunity to learn about and experience a completely different culture. On this trip, I’m looking forward to meeting the people of Mbokop, learning about their culture, and building lasting relationships.”
Angeline is a self-described “EWB exchange student because I’m also the program lead for the Santa Clara Project.” The Santa Clara Project is EWB-DC’s longest running project that is located in Santa Clara, El Salvador. Angeline is serving as the traveling mentor/technical lead for this implementation trip. Angeline is most excited for the mountains and the people. Angeline describes EWB as “the perfect intersection of my interests because it involves travel, being outdoors, meeting new people, and using things I’ve learned along the way to help make people’s lives a little better.” We’re thrilled she’s joined us from the El Salvador project. Her expertise from the implementation of the El Salvador water system is invaluable as we continue implementation of the Mangi system!
Ashley joined EWB last fall, shortly after moving to DC for graduate school. She was introduced to EWB-DC through a classmate who is also a volunteer on the Cameroon project. Originally from Alaska and Colorado, Ashley has an innate spirit for adventure, which led her to the Peace Corps where she served as a volunteer in Cameroon. Ashley is looking forward to returning to Cameroon “with such an amazing team of individuals working on a project that I’m deeply passionate about.” Ashley will be focusing on community capacity building. Ashley says she is “excited to bring my expertise back to the grassroots level in Mbokop!”