Sunday, November 19, 2006

Site Visit to Tourou

Leah and I just had our Site-Visit. What does that mean, right? Well, it means that we now know where were going to be for the next 2 years, and a general idea of what projects were going to be part of. Our site is Tourou in the Extreme-North province, next to the city of Mokolo.

We didn't bring our camera, but the place is beautiful and not as hot. Sometimes you can wear a jacket in the mornings. It's in the mountains and overlooks a famous geological formation called Rhumsiki at some vistas.

We're taking over for someone who is considered by some the most effective volunteer of all the volunteers our group is taking over for. No pressure, right?! Eric has been working with water and wells for the most part. Over his service he helped organize a community organization to begin digging wells in the community. Lines at certain wells in the dry season could be as long as 60 people, but no more. Eight public wells have been dug over the past year or so, and 30 more have been mapped and planned in the community. What's more is that I'll be working on other agroforestry techniques over the next 2 years and maybe helping a team of engineers create ceramic water filters in the community.

Leah is essentially opening a new post in the same town as me. She will be working with the doctor based in Tourou and doing presentations on health issues. It's possible that we'll be working together quite a bit on health/water issues. Right now its all overwhelming. I have a feeling it will be for about two years honestly.

I'll have pictures for the blog by Christmas I hope, but until then I'll just say that the land is very open and desert-like. The difference here is that all parts of the land are being used. Every tree has been "topped", meaning the branches have been cut off and new branches have resprouted. This method creates more cooking wood for the people. And the mountains are cropped all the way to the top. If there is a crack in a rock, someone will put a seed in it. The land is populated to the extent the Tourou's population is capped at 44,250. It sounds sort of large, but it's 16 villages, or cartiers, spread out over an area of about 100 sq. miles. Don't quote me on the size though.


At 6:05 AM, Blogger ischallert said...

Hi Brad and Leah,
I just sent your birthday cards about a week ago to the YAOUNDE address. You may never get them. I am glad you have a permanent post. It sounds exciting. You always did want to do water harvesting, Brad, with ceramic basins. Go For it. Leah, always wear good gloves, in your work. Gloves are important for any health aide. I am so glad it is cooler. Talk about trees, I had tree trimmers today and there would have been cooking wood for months. They made it into sawdust instead. AMERICA, GO FIGURE!. Love both of you, take good care of each other and yourselves.


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