Sniffling didn’t help the tears from falling as we pulled out on the poto poto road leading to my once-upon-a-time home. Njamma ran after the Peace Corps car, nipping at the tires. I prayed silently that they didn’t snag him. Nguti’s status as my village faded fast as we bumped out of town, villagers waves wishes us well…wherever we ended up going.
One week ago a security incident forced us to call in Peace Corp’s help. My postmate woke up to a man outside her apartment, the pouring rain preventing her from successfully calling the neighbors help. She called me instead and at 11pm at night we found a way to get her to my apartment, by way of a friend of ours. The man the next day threatened a few people in town, claiming Postmate Kate was his wife, and these people were keeping them apart. The mentally unstable man confessed he’d stolen her boots as proof of their love and claimed salacious lies were truth, a tale nobody in town believed. We decided the police needed to interfere and the man was arrested, his story never diverting from the crazed idea that he was married to Kate. The man also proclaimed himself the General, ruler of all Americans. After his arrest, Kate moved into my apartment while we waited further discussion with our administrative staff. Over the next few days our local authorities were unable to offer us a solution we found sufficient. With heavy hearts Kate and were declared in-need of an emergency evacuation, a preventative measure in case this man became more serious in the future. In less than 24 hours we packed and loaded our things into a Peace Corps vehicle, saying goodbye to Nguti.
Though we were only able to tell a select handful of people in Nguti that we needed to ‘come out’, the outpour from the community was amazing. People made us going away breakfasts, helped us pack, offered to clean our house, and most touching, offered to take care of Njamma Njamma, my beloved dog. Because the roads are so bad, along with the uncertain future lying ahead, I felt that bringing Njamma Njamma to Yaounde while I waited for a new post was an impossibility. I had grown to love this dog, and this town, and now both were in the past.
Peace Corps picked us up on Friday, and away we went down the infamously bad Kumba road in rainy season. Now I’ve made to the offices in Yaounde, where my program manager and I will figure out where I go next. Luckily I was called to Yaounde for two weeks to train before teaching the newest group coming in September, so the trip is not for naught. I’ll just try to hold tight here and not go crazy in the whacky setting that is the Yaounde Volunteer House. Meanwhile, I’ll post pictures in this entry of my bittersweet and mostly heartbreaking trip out of the village I love. I enjoyed immensely being Georgia from Georgia and Gootee from Ng
uti. The village will always have a piece of my heart, and I feel lucky I ever got to go at all. Thank you, Nguti, for giving me the chance to know you. We go see small time.