Friday, April 23, 2010

New job, new city and a new date to come home

After months of debating and weeks of waiting, emails, meetings and some traveling... I've got a new position in Cameroon! I'll continue to be a Peace Corps Volunteer but I'll be working with Plan International, a large development organization that works with children and families in 48 developing countries. If you want to learn more about what they do in Cameroon visit their website here. My role with Plan is still being developed and maybe I'll even get a fancy title but I'll give you some idea of what I'll be doing.


First I'll be moving across the country to Bamenda, the capital of the North West Region of Cameroon. The NW is one of the two Anglophone regions so that means I'll be speaking ENGLISH. If you couldn't tell by the caps there, I'm really excited about it. Bamenda is also one of the best cities to live in Cameroon for other reasons. It is a hub of dozens of other development organizations and has a large expat community. In addition to a few groceries stores in town (thats a big deal) they also have the best produce selection in Cameroon including broccoli, mushrooms, and celery. Bamenda is in the mountains, surrounded with gorgeous green hills and it's often a little chilly, some even say cold!!! I am moving out of the hot and humid rainforest. YES.


The work that Plan does is incredible and I can't describe how excited I am to be working with them. I'll be with Plan as a special advisor and supervisor as apart of their Child Survival Program. The program works to help mothers and children prevent some of the top contributors to child mortality deaths under 5 years of age. One part of the work will be helping them improve their operational methods on a pneumonia research project in a village not far from Bamenda. The second part of my work will be overseeing and strengthening ngos, associations and other community based organizations trained by Plan in giving health seminars. I'll be able to observe the health animations the groups present and provide constructive feedback for improvement. Again, I can't tell you enough how excited I am about this position.


Plan is just as excited about this partnership as I am and would like me to be in Bamenda in just a couple weeks. That means, I've got to close up my bank account, wrap up my projects as best as I can here, figure out what to do with my dog, etc, etc I won't bore you with the details but I'm going to be busy. I'm really happy to be getting started working right away though since this project is only going to be about 7 months long. Do you know what that means???? I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR. I'll be the one in flip flops and a sundress at the Burlington airport in December but I'll still be there!!!! No set date yet, I'll keep you posted. Life couldn't get any better.

Many many MANY thanks go to my PC boss James who is fantastic. A huge thanks to family and friends that have supported me, encouraged my career ambitions even if it meant being far away and sent so many amazing care packages (I’ve probably gotten at least 30 - SO spoiled) that has made living half way around the world that much easier. Definitely tastier too.

with love, Siobhan