Please bare with me as the last two weeks have been a whirlwind of editing, website updating, graduation and internship preparations, planning of the summer camp and so so much more. Please read the next couple of blog posts to get back up to date on whats happening in Buea with YAN!


There is A LOT in store for YANers in the next couple of weeks – Both for those reading from home and those in Buea, Cameroon working as students/interns!


As you have read in the last post, our main project in class as the school year was coming to a quick and sudden end was EDITING! Besides editing, students also had the task of making sure their websites were fully updated and completed with required information on their About, Home, Research, Vidoes/Photos and Advocacy pages. Every single day, including public holidays and Sundays (which is also considered a public holiday here in Cameroon), I had been meeting with students outside of our regular class hours to ensure that they had the opportunity to finish all of the work before graduation. Because we only have 2 computer for editing, it was necessary for me to organize meeting in 2-3hours intervals with 2 groups in each meeting. Anything shorter than 2 hours didn’t get too much accomplished and anything longer than 3 hours became boring to the students editing.


The most challenging part of editing was shortening the interview.
And hearing
the interview for that matter.


The voices were very quiet even when students increased the volume from 100% to 200%. Microphones are almost necessary because even after asking the students and/or the interviewee to ‘speak loud’ they continued to speak like a small mouse.


I noticed a big variety in the way students edited their videos. For example, some groups totally shared ideas on everything as asked opinions of all members before adding and editing parts of the movie – these groups usually also shared the actually physical task of editing and met more than one time. Other groups had more of a ‘master mind’ who was the brains behind the editing. I kept a close eye on groups to be sure everyone was taking their turn learning how to edit, add music, add photos, transitions, etc, but when I would turn my back and look again, the master mind would be back to work. I also had some groups who were so interested and let me even say blown away by the effects and neat things you could do to the video that they requested to meet again, again and again so that they could continue editing their video and making it unique. On the other hand, I had a couple of groups who met me just once, working for a couple of hours and getting just the bare minimum finished so that they would receive credit for their video.


Because in the past I noticed that students would literally take the entire portion of their interview and put it in their video (sometimes a 15min interview with no breaks) I required all videos to be less than 8min in length. There was one exception which was the group researching Practical Education in Cameroon – they had a longer video due to the fact that they interviewed more than one person. I allowed students to choose their own music which they gave me before they arranged to meet me for editing. Some students chose only one song while others had two. There was a big variety in music ranging from Michael Jackson and Shakira to popular Nigerian and Cameroonian hip-hop!


During the final week of school, 19th-23rd May, Monday and Tuesday were both declared public holidays! As if I wasn’t busy enough trying to arrange students during “Rasta Week” the government decides to give schools, students and staff 2 days off during the last week of school!


Tuesday 20 May was National Day which is similar to USA’s 4th of July but it’s not exactly the same. A brief history lesson: Cameroon was colonized by Germany but after WW2 France and Britain took over, hence the Anglophone/Francophone split now a days. The Francophone region (majority of the country, 70-80%) was given independence 1st January, 1960 while the Anglophone part wasn’t granted independence until more than a year later 1st October, 1961. This prompted the first President of the country, Ahmadou Ahidjo, to abolish the federal system of government and create a unitary country in 1972. After doing so, he gave the 20th of May the title of National Day: a day where Cameroon celebrates being united as one. The day is celebrated with “March Pass” similar to Youth Day but much more strict and selective on who can march.


As I mentioned, Sunday is considered a public holiday here – and by Cameroonian law – when there is a ‘regular day’ between two public holidays, that ‘regular day’ is considered automatically a public holiday! So, because National Day fell on Tuesday and Sunday is always a public holiday – Monday naturally became a public holiday as well.

In the end, 15 out of 16 student research
groups finished their videos!