Paul Evanson in Cameroon
Why did you want to volunteer?
To gain some additional field experience with a view to working in the development sector.
Do you feel you made a difference, how?
By sharing different ideas and also making individual connection with the students and others in the area.
What did you do for fun?
Got to know lots of the locals and spent time with them, also met up regularly with volunteers from other organisations.
When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?
1. Showing the students/children some of the simple things that could be done on the computer or found on the internet that captured their imagination. 2. Separate from the project met an 18 year old boy who had a problem with his eyes and basically been almost blind for two years and had had three operations and had only been remaining in the (basic) house with family members during that time where he had no other stimulation or things to occupy him as the family had no radio etc. So I lent him my laptop for a few hours just to listen to music. He was so happy to have that opportunity and after the doctors were hopeful that there was some improvement in his eyes after the last operation.
Who did you make friends with and for what reasons?
Got to know lots of the locals to understand how lifeis there, also met up regularly with European volunteers from other organisations, it was interesting comparing notes on the different way that things worked and on their experiences.
What were the names of the best places to hang out and socialise
Various bars in and around the Squares district as it was the most happening area, with live band at BB91, dancing at Edwin’s Baretc.
Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?
I greatly enjoyed this opportunity and it gave me invaluable experience without costing too much.
Would you recommend Cameroon to a friend who was interested in volunteering, why?
Depends on the individual but yes to gain experience of alternate culture without being too remote and still having the basic comforts that we are used to like flushing toilet and gas cooking etc.