Right now I'm feeling… I don't know what I am feeling - though I know I am feeling. Phil Collins music is in my head and now playing through my iTunes.
Take me home; We said hello goodbye; we fly so close; Another day in paradise; Both sides of the story;
Of our expat friends in Buea we are the "old-timers". Those who came before us have returned home. Some came about the same time and are now leaving. And long time volunteers who came after we did have left. We have enjoyed so many short term volunteers (over 60 from 11 countries just at the health centre since the beginning of 2010, to say nothing of the many American, Australian, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, and so on, coming independently or through other organizations). We have truly have been blessed by each person.
The rains of Africa have come.
When the rains of Africa come to Buea the days are indeed gray. Even the brief sunshine of the early or late sun is muted. The fog rolls in and out and the mist settles on the furniture and linens. The dampness of nature mirrors the dank and dampness of the loss, one by one, each wave of the expat Buea family.
When the rains of Africa come to Buea, there are no tourists and university students go on holiday. When the rains of Africa come to Buea some shops close. Like winter in America it is like the season of endings.
When the rains of Africa come to Buea I am reminded of the cycle of life. Here the cycle of people coming and going seems faster than "real" life in America. At the very least those who come and go faster don't usually outnumber those who remain. And so life in American felt more "stable". That is to say the people coming and going in our lives, the closeness of our space and time changed much less frequently and in seemingly smaller numbers. Life in Cameroon, while having local friends who remain with us the percent of turnover of close friends seems higher.
As I continue listening to Phil these songs play: Two worlds; Find a way to my heart; Dance into the light; You'll be in my heart; and The Same Moon.
When the rains of Africa come to Buea we know the rains will not last forever. I know we have two great PCVs already in Buea. We know more will come. We continue to meet and greet even more very cool expat volunteers. With the new season more volunteers will be coming to Buea. In an interesting twist we actually have six volunteers and a friend visiting during the rainy season this year.
When the rains of Africa leave Buea the dry season comes -- the sun returns, students return, tourists return, out-of-door dining returns, and long walks return.
[see our Facebook page for some of our volunteers]