Edit Blog Post
Published: August 17th 2011
Where am I now, such a beautiful, weird place.. The waves wash the shore ten metres from our lodge in Campo. That’s a peaceful sound to fall asleep with.. Across the Ntem river, which meets the sea here, people speak Spanish, because that’s already Equatorial Guinea there. So we couldn’t get much further south-west in Cameroon. This is also a great area to see sea turtles coming to lay their eggs ashore, and that season is mainly from September onwards, really soon! The sea is rather rough right here, but the beach reaches a long way from here to both directions, so there will be chances to enjoy the water and sand.. hopefully some sun as well, although the rainy season is only beginning, so we’ll probably not end up worrying about getting burned too much.
Of course we need to pay for staying here, though. It’s one of the lodges in this region, and maintained by the locals. That’s all in all the thing, we’ve learned that it’s not so overly cheap to live here as we kind of expected. Food is mostly cheaper, and accommodation all in all not too pricy. We might also stay some days somewhere
else when visiting the villages for our interviews. But we need to pay to our respondents as well, and the village chiefs. Transportation in the area will add a bit of extra costs to that.. But well, we always knew we need to pay for these things, and luckily part of the research costs will be covered by our chair group.
Campo is a small town, quite far from bigger cities. Beach-resort Kribi is the closest of them, a rough two-hour drive north along the bumpy road through the rainforest. In the rainy season the road sometimes gets pretty bad, but hopefully we’ll make our way out of here when the time comes.. We will travel to the east and north though for the fieldwork, and the east-west road has just recently been repaired. That is for the purposes of a new hydro-electric dam being built in the river, and a new harbor which is being constructed in the shore just south of Kribi. We saw the place on our way here, it looked like it’s going to be huge.. they think there will be more traffic on the roads, more roads to be built, more people to be fed.. it might change the dynamics of this part of the coast here quite a bit.
Now it’s still pretty quiet here. Almost no cars on the roads, though quite many people have motorcycles. And that’s a way to get from place to place here, with a mototaxi.. someone said to us you need to pay extra to the drivers so that they slow down, because it’s not in their nature to drive slowly. Let’s see if we get to test that Our part-time supervisor Gilles lives just nearby, and the local WWF office is a few kilometres away. There’s a driver taking people there and back every morning and afternoon, but it’s a nice walk as well, through the village and the forest. The air frequently smells like smoke, from small areas of forest being burnt for agriculture.
We travelled here from Yaoundé and it took almost the whole day, nice and cosy at the back of the Land Cruiser with a few other students and biologists coming to Campo. Following the discussion in French is still difficult though, and it’s easy to feel a bit uncomfortable because of that sometimes. I just need to force myself to speak and take part in the conversation, and it will become easier..! Luckily there’s a few people around who are really eager to learn English, so we can teach each other!
At the moment we’re still only preparing for our actual fieldwork, for a few days at least. We can work at the office, talk and plan with Gilles and the other students as well. One of them is also doing a bushmeat study, and we can go work together with him..! That is great news to us, it showed we’re doing something someone else has also thought would be useful and interesting to do here again, and we can certainly learn a lot from each other and benefit from this arrangement. It’s great, to hear about the work people do here, feel that they support what we’re doing as well, and get very good tips and advice from them.. They seem like great people, really, and my spirits were lifted after today being so productive. Gilles will only give us feedback tomorrow, though, so hopefully some things will be finalized then!
Tot: 2.356s; Tpl: 0.074s; cc: 6; qc: 58; dbt: 0.0501s; 2; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb