My Peace Corps Experience in the West Region of Cameroon
Leigh Marie Dannhauser gets sent by the Peace Corps to be an agriculture volunteer in the West region of Cameroon, specifically to Baleveng, a village of 15,000 people spread out over 88 square kilometers in the heart of Bamiléké country. There she faces the challenges of adapting to new customs and the absence of amenities common at home, she undertakes a job assignment of improving food security through improved agricultural practices with nothing more than 10 weeks of Peace Corps Training.
Working hard to become a part of the Baleveng community, Leigh learned how to not just survive her two years of service but to fulfill her job assignment. She had successes and faced setbacks, went to ceremonies, and learned how to farm the Cameroonian way in order to help where she could. In the process, she learned what it means to be a true Bamiléké while also learning about herself away from American society.
Nothing Works But Everything Works Out describes her journey and her two years in a village that became her home that is now just a memory.
Leigh Marie Dannhauser served in the Peace Corps as an agriculture volunteer in the West region of Cameroon from September 2017 to November 2019. After journaling her experiences in Cameroon almost daily, she saw an opportunity to share her story with. Born and raised in Bronxville, New York, Leigh has a B.A. in journalism and in religion from Washington & Lee University and M.S. in commerce from the University of Virginia. She is an aspiring human rights attorney and plans to start law school in August 2020. Leigh currently lives on Cape Cod.