It has been fun doing this, by this i mean living in Cameroon for six months and experiencing the culture. I have learned so much about Africa, life and humanity that i'm amazed that my old brain has been able to store it all.
I remember being five years old and watching live aid with my sister, Yolanda. It was 1985 and there was a famine in Ethiopia. Between all the music it would cut to shots of malnourished children and people sitting around too tired to wipe the flies away from their eyes. I remember realising for the first time that there were people in the world who had nothing, and they were dying. It was hard for me to get my head around it but i'll cite this time as the moment i realised about Africa and the problems it was facing.
I marched through the streets of Edinburgh with a million other people in support of The Make Poverty History campaign to write off third world debt and increase spending on aid. That was an amazing day and i could feel sparks of something in the air that i couldn't put my finger on. Hope.
I was at the Live 8 gig at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh the day before the G8 summit. Nelson Mandela spoke to 90,000 people in a live video link and urged the leaders to embrace change and listen to the voice of the majority. It really was an incredible time and it made me feel proud to be part of the human race that day. We were all united for a common goal and i'd never experienced that before.
Then the bastards bombed London the very next day. Many people were killed and the spotlight shifted to that tragic event. I remember being extremely worried about my pal Phil, who lived in London at the time, he was okay but i felt so f!@#ing angry about the world and the people in it. I felt hopeless and sad for humanity when just the previous day i'd felt the most exhilerated i'd felt about things ever. That night i went on the internet and started searching for an NGO in Africa to volunteer with, now here i am.
I have always wanted to come here and in the future i would like to work for an international aid agency. My time here has opened my eyes and clarified all the preconceptions i held. Of course, it's a big continent and i have only experienced a tiny fraction of it, but now i know how i can help and i now know that i've got it in me to do it. I see practical steps to move forward.
If you've been reading this blog i want to say to you now, you should do it yourself. People say that not everyone can, but more people need to. Please give yourself to this wonderful continenet, your presence and your skills can help in all manner of ways. Please consider it. It'll be frustraing sometimes and you'll feel like you are banging your head against a wall. Time moves at its own pace here, but things are changing and you could (Should?) be part of it.
Meredith and i once discussed if we should write a final post when we get back home, we agreed that we shouldn't do that as this was intended only for my time here. Please check back though as i am going to overload this thing with pictures to all these stories i have told you.
So this is my final post, i don't know what i'm going to do with all the spare time that i'll have when not waiting for the internet to crawl up to speed, maybe i'll write a book, ha ha.
This has been an African blog and this has been an African adventure.
And this is Yer Man in Cameroon
Jason Wringe, signing off.
Mine's a pint mate.
Bye di Bye Bye