I haven’t even updated my blog yet about my trip to Baltimore, but here I am sitting at the Washington Dulles International Airport awaiting a flight to Brussels.
Remember Johannes from my trip to Andorra from France? He’s back. He will be picking me up at the airport, a short 2 hour drive from his home in Germany. Not the crazy 10 hour drive to Arles like last time…
I’m going back overseas again to return to Cameroon. But, naturally, I’m always looking for a way to wring out more travel for nearly the same buck. This time, I found a way to tack on an extra week of vacation which will equate to an entire paycheck for me not working and flying on days that are so much cheaper than the weekends that it actually pays for part of my trip. Yes, Tuesdays are the best days to travel. And I’ve been putting in hours over the weekend to save even more paid time off.
Not only will I be returning to Cameroon in Africa and to France, England, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria (maybe more), but I will also be adding the following countries to my seen-it list: Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, and the Netherlands.
Johannes and I plan to go on a road trip from Belgium, Luxembourg, and France until we reach the heart of the Swiss Alps where we will go skiing and take an alpine incline, or so we hope. From there, we will loop back through Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany, visiting new cities and also spending the night at Johannes’s house. I’m interested to see his hometown. (We tried to get a couch surfing host, but we planned a little too late – we’ll see where we end up.) He will then take me to the airport and I will return to Douala.
In Cameroon, we will spend the first free day in Limbe seeing the wildlife. Monday next week we will have a meeting in Douala, then head up to the village. We will only work for about a week, then we will fly out of Yaounde – a new city for me, officially the farthest south I’ve ever been and the farthest east I’ve gone in Africa.
When I land in Belgium again, I will leave my teammates and hit the street yet again. My student pass still works in Europe, so I’m going to head to Calais, France and take a ferry to see the white cliffs of Dover. The best part is, I have a whole sack of sterling left over from the last trip – maybe enough to pay for my whole day. After I’ve seen the cliffs and enough of Dover, I’ll return to France, pass back through Belgium, and finally get to see Amsterdam and the Delft. There’s a construction project I’ve raving about for the last 2 or 3 years and I’m so glad to say I will finally visit it.
I’m such an engineering dork.
I’ve just been so happy with how willing my friends are to see me in Europe, like Johannes and potentially my friend Carl from home and Ryan whom I met in Benin. (Carl is studying abroad and Ryan moved to Paris.) I’m also very pleased by the response I got at work when I asked for boot donations. I received a large box full of donated construction boots that I gave to one of the students to bring to Cameroon. We will donate them to the village. This has earned me a feature with the office in our newsletter. Oh, and not to mention my wonderful friend Jeff made a shoe contribution, picked me up at the airport yesterday when I had to return a rental from another trip, gave me snacks for the airport, bought me cat food that I couldn’t get when the store closed, bought me dinner, bought me lunch, and handed me a monetary “donation” when I refused to accept fiscal assistance. What a guy. And my friend Jess is driving from the west side to periodically check on my cats. Shout out to all y’all!
Now I just need to remember to keep taking my malaria pills and not get anything confiscated by a corrupt government official…because, yeah, that’s happened before. D: