Life in Cameroon (or on setting up a business)

Well, here I am in the middle of nowhere sitting on my bed and waiting for
the laptop battery to go flat. No power since I’ve arrived in our area of Loum,
and the state power company ENEO doesn’t seem to be able to find a replacement for the burnt transformer in time..

Here people accept the situation in stoic silence, there’s no use in getting
furious or complain about it, it won’t change anything. Sometimes the pieces
have to be ordered and delivered by the French, and until the things are getting
fixed weeks can pass easily.

Loum is a city built around banana and other fruit plantations, according to
different sources the place has about 100’000 habitants, but I ask myself where
they live. There’s nothing such as a city center here, just wooden and brick
one-story houses, paved and unpaved roads, and when you’re looking for name
plates on doors or even letter boxes or road signs you’re in bad luck.

Besides an elderly French ex-teacher named Michel I’m the only white guy in town, Michel himself seeming to be a ghost since I have never seen him anywhere here, or at the weekend pissups in one of the bars here where you can listen and dance to loud local Cameroonian Makossa or Bikoussi music until you fall of the bar stool.

So we’re busy loading batteries for a couple of hours of work and connection,
life being probably half as fast as in Europe or the US, you take it as it
comes, Internet being slow but still available. World problems seem not
existent, daily politics which occupy us all the time in the west not being present in an environment where survival is still the main occupation.

A simple Malaria can be life-threatening when money for drugs is lacking, and
Typhoid and Cholera are always a threat and can break out unexpected.

But as we are here to set up our small hotel afrôtel to welcome guests to
Cameroon for an adventure and sharpening of the mind for the problems Africa
has, I’m happy here. We progress, and hope is the driving factor of us all.

….and: Investors are still welcome. We’re only beginning, and you can find
me here in Loum, maybe just writing for LinkedIn :-)

BTW. I was just told that the sicknesses could keep people from coming and/or investing. Maybe I’m dramatising a bit – I drink tap water here, and of course the safety of our visitors and guests will be assured !

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