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By Toktor

Istanbul In Africa

 

 

Last Monday I visited a school. A different school even for Africa standards. It is a school, meant for Islamic women who haven’t got their education. They teach the women basic things, gramma, algebra etc. This will give them more confidence and chance to create their own income stream independent from their family and husbands. Jumping to conclusion, this will lead in the end to a calmer life and smaller possibility for violence and suffering inside the family. You can read more in here about the project.

 

And obviously, my job was to create a good set of photos to promote the project. Sadly there were only three girls, as it was public holiday. But we will try again this week.

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As a bonus, view of Buea

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Time for a change

Without getting into details too soon, I have changed the organization from CcreadCameroon to Reach Out, where I do my daily activities. I have also changed my apartment and am living now in a new place with new people.

 

I have been here already for two weeks and my job has been rather interesting. I will not be starting anything new, as only to try to fulfill the missing caps in the visual field of the organization. To give you an example so far I have made portraits of the office workers, what they can use online, documenting ongoing project where they teach basic education for muslim women, photographing beneficiaries and different already running projects. Also created a flyers for fundraising and doing other basic what-ever-needs-to-be-done things. It is not to say that they didn’t do all these things previously, but by bringing my own equipment and experience on the visual field, I am freeing up peoples time so they can spend more concentrating on running the projects. Thanks to this the quality of the photos and other visual materials has improved a lot and through this, there will be a direct benefit of increased funding for future and current projects.

 

So, said all that, here is a choice of pictures from our first test run together near Buea where Reach Out has multiple projects running or already finished.

 

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City I am spending most of my time in here, Buea

 

 

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work in progress

 

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Person who is going to be directly benefiting from the project

 

 

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Person who has benefited already from running project

 

 

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The local Mafia

 

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This is the field your tea is coming from

 

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Created an employment for a young mother

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If you are intrested in currently running projects for Reach Out Cameroon, they are available here: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/9013/reach-out-cameroon-reo/

These are the projects that are directly benefiting the people you saw above.

[su_spoiler title=”Tõlge” icon=”plus-circle”]

Aeg muutusteks

Ilma detailidesse laskumata liiga vara, olen ma organisatsiooni vahetanud CcreadCameroon-ist Reach Out-i, kus ma oma igapäeva toimetusi teen. Ma olen ka oma korterit vahetanud ja elan nüüd uues kohas, uute inimestega.

Ma olen siin olnud juba 2 nädalat ja mu töö on olnud üpris huvitav. Ma ei alusta midagi uut, vaid pigem üritan tühje lünki täita organisatsiooni visuaalses pooles. Et anda teile ettekujutust, siis praeguseks hetkeks olen ma teinud fotoportreesi kontori töölistest, mida nad saavad internetis kasutada, dokumenteerinud käimasolevaid projekte, kus nad õpetavad algharidust moslemi naistele, fotografeerinud toetustsaanuid ja erinevaid käimasolevaid projekte. Ka tegin lendlehti heategevusürituseks ja teisi asju misiganes-vajab-tegemist. Mitte, et nad varem ei teinud kõiki neid asju, kuid tuues oma tehnika ja kogemuse visuaalses vallas, siis ma vabastan nende aega, et inimesed saaks keskenduda käimasolevatele projektidele.

Tänu sellele, fotode ja teiste visuaalsete materjalide kvaliteet on tõusnud üpris palju ja otsene kasu on kõrgem toetus tuleviku ja praegustele projektidele. Seda kõike öeldes, siin on valik pilte esimesest proovimisest Buea lähedal, kus Reach Out-il on mitu projekti käimas või juba lõppenud.

Linn kus ma enamus oma ajast veedan, Buea

Töö käib

Inimene, kes otseselt saab kasu sellest projektist

Inimene kes on juba käimasolevast projektist kasu saanud

Kohalik maffia See on põld, kust tuleb teie tee

Tekitatud töökoht noorele emale

Kui te olete huvitatud praegu käimasolevatest Reach Out Cameroon projektidest, siis on need saadaval siin: https://www.globalgiving.org/donate/9013/reach-out-cameroon-reo/

Need on projektid, millest saavad otseselt kasu inimesed, keda nägite ülevalpool. [/su_spoiler]

Korup National Park

Couple of weeks ago we visited Korup National Park. It is the most accessible park for tourist, in the whole Cameroon and has one of the oldest and diverse forest in the Africa. Compared to everything else in here, it is quite expensive, although still cheap than Europe. Although we only saw flora (supposedly we heard the Fauna part) and I got sick halfway there, it was still worth the visit.

 

First thing first, getting bus from Buea to Kumba was easy. After that came the 8 person 5 seat car drive, this time to Mundemba. Luckily driver was fast, and it only lasted around two hours, where it was supposed to be five hours. We arranged our tour to begin next morning at 7, as one can’t enter the park without guide and enjoyed our stay at local cheap hostel. Next morning, wanting to make my life specially hard, I packed my bag with 6l of water and all our food for two days. The entry to the park was nice, as promised from the pictures on the web, we saw bridge, crossed it and entered the park. That was probably the only fully delivered promise for us. And the next four-five hours was forest, some more forest, and more forest. Although locals call it bush and it seems to be more suitable name for the place. There are few big trees, mostly it is just thick and not-too-tall vegetation. There are supposedly African Bush Elephants, the biggest and meanest of elephants, that we didn’t see. Maybe for the good, as last time locals met them, only elephants left from the exchange on their own feet. Though, the diversity of flora and everything living, that we did saw, was fascinating. I would have wanted to spend at least couple of days in there, just walking around slowly and photographing local bug life. Our guided trip was arranged only for two days and I got quite high fever by the next morning (probably from the ceiling fan in the hotel the previous day). So the trip back, from the forest all the way to home, was quite a blur.

Still, here are the pictures mainly from the day we entered the forest.

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Mõne nädala eest külastasime me Korup rahvusparki. See on kõige ligipääsetavam rahvuspark turistide jaoks terves Kamerunis ja seal on üks kõige vanem ja mitmekesisem rahvuspark Aafrikas. Võrreldes teiste parkidega on see suhteliselt kallis aga Euroopa mõistes ikkagi suhteliselt odav. Kuigi me nägime ainult floorat (fauna osa me pidavasti kuulsime) ja ma jäin poolel teel haigeks, siis oli see seda väärt.

Esimesed asjad esmalt, saada buss Buea-st Kumba-sse oli lihtne. Pärast seda tuli 8 inimese ja 5 istme autosõit, seekord Mundeba-sse. Õnneks juht oli kiire ja see kestis ainult kaks tundi, kuigi pidanuks kestma umbes viis tundi. Me korraldasime oma ekskursiooni järgmise hommiku kella seitsmeks, kuna ilma giidita ei saa parki siseneda ja nautisime oma aega odavas hotellis. Järgmisel hommikul , tahtes teha oma elu võimalikult raskeks pakkisin ma oma koti 6 liitri veega ja kogu söögiga järgmiseks kaheks päevaks. Parki sisenemine oli kena, nagu kodulehel pildid lubasid, me nägime silda, ületasime selle ja siis olimegi pargis. See oli tõenäoliselt ainuke kindel lubadus, mis meile täideti. Järgmised 4-5 tundi oli mets, veel metsa ja siis veel metsa. Kohalikud kutsuvad seda võsaks ja tundub, et see ongi sobivam nimi sellele. Peamiselt oli paar suurt puud ja nende vahel mitte väga kõrge taimestik. Seal elavad kuuldavasti Aafrika “Võsa” (inglise k. “bush”) Elevandid, suurimad ja õelamad elevantidest, mida me ei näinud. Võibolla parem ongi, sest viimane kord, kui kohalikud neid kohtasid, siis ainult elevandid lahkusid kohtumiselt jalgadel. Kuigi floora ja kõige elava mitmekesisus, mida me nägime, oli lummav. Ma oleks tahtnud vähemasti paar päeva seal veeta, lihtsalt aeglaselt ringi kõndides ja putukaid fotografieerides. Meie giidiga eksukursioon oli kokku lepitud ainult kaheks päevaks ja ma teise päeva hommikuks tekkis mul suhteliselt kõrge palaviku (tõenäoliselt hotelli lae ventilaatorist eelmine päev.) See tähendas, et teekond tagasi metsast koju oli suhteliselt hägune.

Siiski, siin on pildid peamiselt päevast, kui me metsa sisenesime. [/su_spoiler]

 

 

 

21 days later

A lot has happened since last post.

In the next couple of days, depending on will the internet access hold, I will try to catch up with current activities.

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Couple of weeks ago, we went to Douala Edea Wildlife Reserve. It was supposed to become a national park, but then they found oil in there. So how was our trip? Did we see anything of interest? Well… the car above was our three-four hour ride there. It fits around 8 grownups inside.

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This was the best there was to see. Doula-Edea wildlife reserve is undeveloped for tourists. And that meant, when we arrived in the central village, after suffering through crammed car for four hours, locals were asking what are we doing here?

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We did manage to find a place to stay, in the small village with only one street. And we discovered that the only tourist who came here are really rich and just rent a boat for couple of days or have everything they need with them. That means a good offroad car and a guide.

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When we started going back on the next day, the car was in much better shape. Or so we thought. Check out the front wheels. Still, 8 people in a car. And it does not matter, are the people big or small, fat or skinny. It is 8 persons in car and that’s it. We didn’t get lucky with skinny people.

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Back in Doula, on our way to home.

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[su_spoiler title=”Tõlge” icon=”plus-circle”]21 päeva hiljem

Palju on juhtunud viimasest postitusest.

Järgmise paari päeva jooksul, kui internet vastu peab üritan teid kurssi viia praeguste tegevustega.

Mõne nädala eest käisime me Douala Edea Looduspargis. See pidi saama rahvuspargiks, aga siis leidsid nad naftat siit. Kuidas meie väljasõit siis oli? Nägime me midagi huvitavat? No….eelnev pilt autost oli meie 3-4 tunnise teekonna sõiduk. Sinna mahub umbes 8 inimest.

See oli parim, mis seal näha oli. Doula-Edea looduspark pole väljaarendatud turistide jaoks. See tähendas seda, et kui me lõpuks kesksesse külasse jõudsime, pärast neljatunnist piina kitsas autos, siis külaelanikud küsisid, et mida me otsime siit?

Me suutsime leida endale koha kus ööbida, väikses, ainult ühe tänavaga külas. Ja me avastasime, et ainukesed turistid, kes siia tulevad on tõeliselt rikkad ja nad lihtsalt rendivad paadi paariks päevaks või on neil kõik mis nad vajavad juba kaasas. See tähendab head maastikuautot ja giidi.

Kui me järgmine päev tagasi hakkasime minema, siis auto oli enamvähem korras. Või nii me arvasime vähemalt. Pöörake tähelepanu esiratastele. Ikka 8 inimest autos. Ja pole vahet, kas need inimesed on paksud või peenikesed, pikad või lühikesed. See ei muuda ikka fakti, et kaheksa inimest on ikka kaheksa inimest ühes autos ja nii ongi. Meil polnud õnne peenikeste inimestega.

Doula-s, teel koju. [/su_spoiler]

The surreal circus of saving the world

Disclaimer time!
Please bear in mind, this is a westerners view of Cameroonian(or African) way of doing things. This does not mean that local way of doing things is wrong, it is different.

 

It’s strange to the extent that the mind cannot decide between farce and genuine help. Perhaps the truth resembles a small 100 francs silver coin, with its “heads” and “tails”. Maybe it’s not even a 100 francs coin, since that would make a reference to 100% effort, when actually the performance resembles more to a 25 francs coin. For small and tiny help you get in return the feeling of satisfaction, a blown-up ego and a few (too many) pictures that will remind you, every time you go into a crisis, of how humane you are and how much good you’ve done to the world. I wouldn’t have minded if they kicked us out of the place.

-Milena, Volunteer

On Tuesday, although it was supposed to be our training day, instead we visited two hospitals. And it was surreal. But let us start from the beginning.

We visited two hospitals. Both were first time receiving help from CcreadCameroon. The first one we visited with quite a big group of people and it was probably the most surreal thing I have experienced until now. It was all acted out like we were saving the world, only by giving them some basic stuff. It must be fake was the first thought I had watching this situation unfold in front of me. This is circus. Later though, considering how things are run here, I guess this is the way hospitals welcome all the gifts, because the helpers expect to be considered saving the world.

The second visit, gave me some more insight of what was wrong in the first visit. This time though, only four of us were visiting, three volunteers and one intern from CcreadCameroon. The head of the hospital was in the middle of letter to community asking help for some basic stuff and it felt way more sincere. He was more than helpful to show us around and tell us about how they run things. As there was only four of us, we also managed to get a better overview of the place. It was the common man hospital. They are missing almost everything, but they are still working. We gave them gifts of sterile birthing kits, but in reality what they need are beds, financing and running water.

So what went wrong in the first hospital? Well we arrived in big group of well dressed group of people, walking around with iphones and taking pictures like tourists. We looked like we are here to save the world. They acted as we expected them to act. In the second one, only I was taking pictures and I really tried to stay in the background. They mostly communicated with intern and had way more intimate conversation about hospital. They seemed sincerely happy to receive the things that we gave and we felt better giving them without expectations to save the Africa in return. I mean, my job will be documenting and taking pictures of these occasions, but this can be done without such a big fanfare.

And what is my conclusion? Well, things are happening and mostly the change is a good thing in this case. The culture might be different, but it shouldn’t be stopping people from trying to help. And at least we can all agree on the idea behind it, even when the way how something is done here does not fit straight away with me. Culturally different.

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Going to save the world. Or that one common man hospital.

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The room for giving birth.

 

 

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There are hospitals with better equipment, but they also cost quite a lot more. A common man does not have money for the fancy hospitals.

 

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This is what I think is the head doctor, asked to take pictures of us.

 

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Going to the other hospital.

 

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Laboratory wit Ebola expert and our spanish volunteer.

 

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Pharmacy.

 

 

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And the portraits of the other two volunteers

 

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Ama from Spain

 

 

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And Milena from Macedonia

 

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The street our office is located. Notice it is paved!

 

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These are on the street, counting your water usage.

 

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[su_spoiler title=”Tõlge” icon=”plus-circle”]Sürreaalne maailma päästmise tsirkus

Vastutust välistava klauseli aeg.

Palun pidage meeles, et see on lääne inimese arvamus kuidas Kameruni (või Aafrika)  moodi asju tehakse. See ei tähenda, et kohalike viis on vale, see on erinev.

On imelik, et mõistus ei suuda otsustada farsi ja ehtsa abi vahel. Võibolla tõde sarnaneb väikese 100-frangisele hõbemündile, oma “kulli” ja “kirjaga”. Võibolla see pole isegi 100 frangine münt, kuna see oleks viide 100% pingutusele, kui tegelik suutlikkus on võrdne 25-frangisele mündile.Väikse abi eest saad sa rahulolu tunde, ülepaisutatud ego ja mõne (liiga mitu) pildi, mis meenutavad igakord, kui oled kriisis, et kui humaane sa oled ja kui palju head oled teinud maailmale. Ma ei pahandaks, kui nad meid meie kohast välja viskaks.

–Milena, Vabatahtlik

Teisipäeval, kuigi see oleks pidanud olema meie koolituspäev, siis selle asemel me külastasime kahte haiglat. Ja see oli sürreaalne. Kuid alustame algusest.

Me külastasime kahte haiglat. Mõlemad said esimest korda CcreadCameroo-ilt abi (Tõlkija: CcreadCameroon on organisatsioon, mille kaudu antakse abi, praegusel juhul vabatahtlike näol.) Esimest haiglat külastasime suhteliselt suure grupiga ja see oli tõenäoliselt kõige sürreaalsem asi, mida ma kogenud olen praeguseks. See näis välja nii nagu me päästaks maailma, andes neile ainult elementaarseid asju. See peab olema võlts, mõtlesin ma esmalt, kui see situatsioon minu ees lahti rullus. See on tsirkus. Hilisem mõte, võttes arvesse kuidas siin asju aetakse, tundub, et see on viis kuidas haiglad võtavad vastu kingitusi, sest aitajatelt oodatakse maailma päästmist.

Teine visiit andis mulle rohkem vaadet seestpoolt, mis oli valesti esimesel külastusel. Seekord külastasime ainult neljakesi, kolm vabatahtlikut ja üks intern (Tõlkija: intern- katseajaga töötaja/väikse kogemusega) CcreadCameroon-ist. Haigla juht oli poole peal kirjaga, kus küsis kogukonnalt elementaarseid asju ja see tundus palju siiram. Ta oli rohkem kui abivalmis näitama haiglat ja kuidas neil asjad siin käivad. Kuna meid oli ainult neli, siis suutsime me palju parema ülevaate kohast saada. See oli tavalise inimese haigla. Neil puudus peaaegu kõik, aga nad siiski töötavad. Me andsime neile steriilse sünnituskomplekti kingitusena, aga tegelikkuses vajavad nad voodeid, rahastust ja jooksvad vett.

Kuid mis läks siis valesti esimeses haiglas? Me saabusime suures grupis hästiriietatud inimestega, kõndides ringi oma iphone-idega (Tõlkija: iphone=nutitelefon) ja tehes pilti kui turistid. Me paistsime välja kui oleks siin, et päästa maailma. Nad käitusid nii, nagu me ootasime, et nad käituvad. Teises haiglas, tegin ainult mina pilte ja üritasin jääda tahaplaanile. Nad enamasti suhtlesid interniga ja rääkisid palju detailsemalt haiglast. Nad tundusid palju siiramalt õnnelikud asjade üle, mis me tõime neile ja me tundsime ennast paremini andes neid, ilma ootuseta päästa Aafrika vastutasuks. Ma mõtlen, et minu töö saab olema dokumenteerimine ja piltide tegemine sellistel juhtudel, kuid seda saab teha ilma nii suure kärata.

Ja mis on mu kokkuvõte? No, asjad liiguvad ja enamasti muutus on hea praegusel juhul. Kultuur võib olla teine, kuid see ei peaks peatama inimesi proovimast aidata. Ja vähemasti me kõik saame nõustuda ideega selle taga, isegi kui asjad ei käi täpselt nii, nagu mina neid ette kujutan. Kultuurselt erinev.

[Piltide alused tekstid]

Läheme maailma päästma. Või seda ühte tavalise inimese haiglat.

Sünnitusruum

On haiglaid, kus on parem varustus, kuid need maksavad ka märgatavalt rohkem. Tavalisel inimesel pole raha peene haigla jaoks.

Ma arvan, et see on peaarst, ta küsis kas saab pilti meist teha.

Teel teise haiglasse.

Laboratoorium Ebola experdiga ja meie hispaania vabatahtlikuga.

Apteek.

Kahe teise vabatahliku portreed.

Ama Hispaaniast.

Ja Milena Makedooniast.

Tänav, kus meie kontor asub. Pange tähele, see on asfalteeritud!

Need on tänavatel, mõõtes vee kasutust.

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