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The Arrival

The air in Cameroon is unlike any other – landing in Douala, I step out of the airport into the cloying humidity and plunge into a sea of people. No matter what time I land in Cameroon, it is always rush hour. As we leave the city behind and head towards Buea, the air becomes a beguiling combination of sweet and spicy. I close my eyes and breathe.

The next morning I’m woken by birds I’ve never heard before. I take in the stunning view from my window, reminded of why my senses are in overdrive each time I come here – everything is so unlike my home in Canada, yet these differences are incredibly familiar.

I remind myself to appreciate these moments of solitude, because this trip – like the others before it – will be incredibly busy. Who will I visit first: the little boys of St. Valentine’s (who are just down the road – I’m tempted to move in with them for the week); Columbus and his tailor shop (which was still a dream on my last trip); or the children of Hotpec orphanage (where my not-so-little Docas lives)? I want to see everyone and go everywhere in one day, but I’ll need to pace myself. (On my last trip I lost my voice by day three!)

I already feel like I’m behind schedule and I know there are bound to be surprises along the way that I could never anticipate. This trip will be as exhausting as it is exhilarating, with beautiful highs and agonizing lows. All I know for sure is that I will leave with my heart full and my determination renewed.

I’m so happy you are here to share my journey.

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