"Your Language is the most precious element in life that still includes all major values of your ancestors. What does that mean for your children, and your grandchildren and their future?"
The news has been traveling among our SIL colleagues and our friends and family in our home country: we are going to do language development work on the Ndop Plain! This has been an exciting and long awaited development in our lives and careers. It's really the beginning of our work as linguists after many years of preparation.
What SIL calls the Ndop Cluster is a group of 10 languages comprised of two sub-groups. The South Ring languages are Babessi, Babungo, and Bamessing. The Nun languages are Bambalang, Bamali, Bafanji, Bamukumbit, Bangolan, and Baba. We are by no means the first to be assigned to this task of studying and describing the languages of the Ndop Plain. Much work has already been done by both Cameroonian and expatriate linguists and we will be joining a current team of ten motivated expatriates, along with many local workers passionate about seeing their own language put into writing and used among their people.
Although we do not yet have a permanent living situation, we are looking for accommodation in the villages of Babessi and Bangolan, which are on the north side of the Ndop Plain with a population of about 10,000
people. We look forward to this allocation and this new phase in our lives.