Thursday, December 17, 2009

O.M.G. WHAT?!


To you, the above picture is just a normal gas station that you stop in all day long to pick up a soda, a cup of coffee, some snacks. For me, I almost fainted when I walked into this fancy gas station in the town of Mbouda.

Mbouda is a town 30 minutes car ride from Bafoussam - the provincial capital here in the West region. I have never seen a gas station like that in Bafoussam, or even in major cities like Douala or Yaoundé. But of course, I am not usually on a hunt for fancy gas stations.

Anyway, yes Mbouda is a happening place, but nothing like a major city, not even close. By happening, I mean there is a market, a bakery, gas stations, bars, etc. Not New York City. You can imagine my surprise when I walked in. Okay, maybe you can't imagine. Let's just say I was completely caught off guard with this fancy set-up and was freaking out for at least 10 minutes, and then spent the next 15 just wandering around in this well-lit, organized place that has actually cold drinks in the fridges and also air conditioning?!?

The workers were really amused by my reaction. I kept saying, "c'est comme chez nous!" (it's like where I'm from!)

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was a PCV in the West Province (Bapa) from '97-99 and Mbouda was quite possibly the most awful town in the whole region. I didn't even like transferring bush taxis there. It makes that gas station store even more shocking...

I donated to your library project last year and just read about you in WorldView. Congratulations on such a great work!

The fact that you have internet access and I can follow you on Twitter is almost as shocking as the gas station. I guess Peace Corps and Cameroon have changed in the 12 years since I was there.

Sincerely,

Ron Dean
RPCV '97-99
Bapa, Cameroon

Wendy said...

Bapa is the town next to me. One of the schools there is in the Books For Cameroon project! I love it there, it's beautiful!

Thank you for your support with the project! We are really moving forward!

Despite of the corruption and all, Cameroon is changing rapidly due to the advent of technology. Internet access is becoming even more prevalent even since just the beginning of my service in 2008!

thylawyer said...

I was a PC Vol in Mbouda in 1967-69, and it seems to have changed quite a bit. Paved roads! Big football stadium! And now a full-service gas station a l'americaine!

I got to know many soldiers by photographing their children or the family and giving them prints, so I became very popular with the bush taxi drivers. We were ever stopped when they saw me in the taxi.