Hi everyone,

It’s Rachel here. I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this difficult time.

I left Cameroon at the end of February to head back to the UK, as Ape Action Africa had planned a fundraising event in London in March and there was a lot we needed to organise for it.  Within two weeks of being in the UK, news about the COVID-19 virus became worse and worse and as its impact spread, our event, like so many others, was postponed. As I was no longer needed in the UK I moved quickly to get myself back to the forest as soon as I could because I was anxious about being away during the pandemic. I successfully changed my return flight to Cameroon and, with my bags packed with lots of supplies for the orphans at Mefou, I was ready to leave, but, unfortunately, 48 hours before I was due to depart, Cameroon closed its borders. I was stuck.

So, here I am, still in the UK in lockdown. This is the longest in nearly 20 years that I’ve been back in the UK, away from Cameroon, and it feels strange. It is never easy for me to be away from the forest, but it is especially difficult during this very challenging time. I miss the forest, I miss the team and I miss all of our animals. I’ve turned my parents sitting room into an office, and it’s from here that I continue to work and communicate with the team in Cameroon on a daily basis, trying to keep everything moving as “normal” as possible.....whatever normal is now?

As I sit here, with a little more time on my hands than I usually have, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share this experience with you all - an opportunity for you to join the journey, to find out what’s going on in the forest, how the fantastic team in Cameroon are getting on and how I’m adapting to managing the project from such a distance.

So, grab yourself a brew and a comfy seat and let's see how this goes!


Read Rachel's next blog post here.