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First, my deepest apologies to those of you who have been waiting for an update. Fortunately, the reason that I have not written is that I have been far too busy with the work that YOU have funded to sit down and write a proper update. But finally, a much needed, unscheduled weekend has arrived.

The work at school is going magnificently! All of the rooms have had their floors and walls cemented, the water is running clean, clear, and regularly, and the cement of the new staircase is drying at this moment! After too many weeks of construction, we finally restarted classes this past week in our new classrooms. The transformation is indescribable. The classroom acoustics are dramatically better – and noise from the neighboring classrooms is significantly reduced by the newly cemented walls. The whole academic environment has been revolutionized. To be inside sealed walls on a clean, concrete floor makes all the difference in the world. If all goes well, I will soon be recruiting a team of American study abroad students (from the same program I did in 2004; SIT: Cameroon - Culture and Development) to form a painting team and tackle the new walls of all the classrooms.

As for fundraising, I am in awe of the response that I have received from all of you. We have raised a phenomenal amount of money. As the money rolls in, it only becomes clearer to me that there is no end to the ways in which this money can be spent. Every day I have new ideas, and thanks to you, every day I am provided with the funding to turn these ideas into reality.

As we continue to modify the primary school classrooms (cabinets are being built and the ceilings will soon be closed to protect the classrooms from the elements), we begin preparations for the construction of a library across the street at the public high school, CES de Bafou-Sud. As part of a team of teachers and school-coordinators, we have been accepted as a project of the African Library Project (ALP). Books are soon to be on the way from the ALP and several teams of individuals in the United States and France. With these documents, the community of Doumbouo will be equipped with one of the only public libraries to be heard of in the region. Additionally, my kids at the primary school will be receiving shipments of school supplies (ranging from crayons to recess toys) from several schools and communities across the United States. The best way that I can describe the impact of these efforts is to say that there is already talk of the children that will be named after me and the contributors to this project. I am in awe. Let’s leave it at that.

Finally, I want to thank my family at home for making this whole project possible. Without the internet tech-skills of my brother, Matt, and the financial management of my mom and dad, none of this could have happened. To those of you who have made contributions and passed my story along to friends and family, thank you so much. At this point, it is not only the community of Doumbouo that thanks you, but the entire surrounding district of Bafou. Doumbouo is the talk of every surrounding village. I am continually receiving more credit that I deserve for the work that is being done. All I can do is explain to people that I am only one person among a team of individuals who have come together to make these dreams a reality. The response is unanimous: when will these contributors be coming to Doumbouo to see the work that they have funded? Our doors our open to you. Come on over.

From all of Doumbouo, Bafou, and Dschang, “un grand merci” et “on est ensemble!”


More New Photos!

Added 22 new photos of the construction and a new group of photos from La Fete de la Jeunesse, the national celebration of youth and education.


New Photos

Just uploaded four new photos of the construction! I also recently added some photos of the technical school and my family.


Work in progress!

Hi everyone!

First, to those of you who have made contributions and are gathering supplies to help this cause: There is no possible way that I can express through email the gratitude of the entire community of Doumbouo. I am not a religious person, but I am still moved when I hear that old women in all the neighboring villages are talking of the act of God that is taking place in Doumbouo. Ground is being broken, walls are being cemented, floors are being laid, and clean, cool water is running out of a brand new spicket. YOU have done all of this, and there is more to come. On behalf of the entire community of Doumbouo, THANK YOU!

Second, through the hard work and computer expertise of my brother, Matt, I now have my own blog! From here on out, updates on Doumbouo, Dschang, and me will all be available through the blog. Also, all the photos from the Kodak website are now available through the blog. If you would like access to them through Kodak so you can print them, just let me know and I'll send you an invitation. Pass this link onto friends and family and check in regularly for updates!

Finally, if you would like to know when I have posted an update, sign up for my mailing list. You will find the form on the front page of the blog. This way, if you don't want to be receiving these emails, you don't have to anymore. You can check the blog at your leisure. Keep in mind, however, that photos might be added more frequently than posts (since I can only update a few photos at a time with a lot of patience), so if you're interested in the photos, check in frequently.

With that, I must head home to beat the setting sun. I am exhausted after a long day of overseeing work out in the sunshine. Check the blog at the end of this weekend for more pictures of the work in progress. I have taken over two hundred photos this week, but am struggling to upload just four of them right now.

On est ensemble!


L'Ecole Primaire de Doumbouo

Here are some photos of primary school at which I work, my students, and my co-workers. These pictures were taken on the day that I announced to the other teachers that my plea for financial assistance from friends and family at home had been successful. We will start construction of cement floors and walls in three classrooms next week. I cannot thank enough those of you who have reached out to us here. The response of my friends, my family, and even people whom I have never met has been incredibly moving, both for me and for the community surrounding my school. Thank you for your generosity, and look forward to pictures of the refurbished school!