Mbalmayo Forestry School
The third and fourth grade classes went to the Mbalmayo Forestry School last week. This happened to be our first field trip of the year. The students really wanted a trip before the year ended. Next year, I will start earlier with field trips. I feel now that I have been in Yaoundé for a year that I am more familiar with different places.
The trip started off later than expected. As we drove through the city, we did not anticipate blocked roads. However, a lot of the main roads were blocked by military and police personnel who were practicing for the National Day (May 20) parade. The boys were especially excited to see uniformed people with guns.
The Forestry school is located in Mbalmayo, which is about a 45minute drive from Yaoundé. When we arrived we were eagerly greeted by the staff and given a brief history of the school. Around 300 students attend the school and after completion are prepared to work in any job that relates to forestry. There was a lot of talk about the deterioration of the school since the economic crisis in the 90s and with the departure of the Russians. This was evident as you walked past abandoned buildings, molded and crumbled walls, and an insufficient library.
Despite all of this, the campus is truly beautiful as it is surrounded by amazing vegetation and water life. The students not only took a tour of the school itself, but were able to walk through the tree plots and learn about trees such as the ebony and eucalyptus. The students had fun hiking through the forest and collecting leaf and bark samples.
By the end of the trip, the students were exhausted and hungry. They had a lot of fun while learning a lot too!!! You can’t help but be amazed by the natural beauty of Cameroon. I’m always astounded by the varying landscape. I think the students were just as impressed.