Thursday, December 10, 2009

Mama Cleaver comes to Thanksgiving

After a 2 week trip in Jordan and Egypt, Matt and his mom made it to Tourou the day before Thanksgiving. Perhaps the best way to describe the trip would be through the order of mishaps.

1. There was a little party planned that afternoon with people that Matt works with in village to meet his mom. Matt had lost his bag coming from Egypt (Ethiopian Air also lost it going to Jordan) which also happened to have the keys to his house. I also locked my extra set of keys inside his house so the choices to what the do next were: move the party to my house and then cozy up there for the night or cut the lock off of Matt's door and keep the party at the mansion. Needless to say, choice #2 happened. (For the record, this was not my fault. Who puts their house keys in a checked bag? That's just silly.) The party was a hit; everyone was really excited to meet family from the U.S. and see that they actually exist and still love us.

2. On Thanksgiving day we headed down to Maroua for the feast. I was thinking this would be the most amazing trip I would have to Maroua, travelling in a private car and all. After picking up Thea, the volunteer in Mokolo, all we had was an hour on a paved road to Maroua...if things went as planned. We had the first flat 5 minutes from Thea's house. The second and the third somewhere between Mokolo and the turnoff to Maroua. Five hours later we made it to Thanksgiving, only missing a half of a pumpkin pie that had kept us alive on the road.

3. On their mini safari they had three more flats. Just to say to any other future visitors, travelling in Cameroon is not like this normally.

When I got back to post, everyone was wondering when my parents were showing pressure Parents.

Kat and Cara's Glorious Adventure

After being chastised for pretending that nothing happened between July and November, I hope this post can remedy things a bit. Work wise, it was a difficult time because people were working in the fields. The start of the rainy season means a good 4 monthes of labor with millet, corn, black-eyed peas, beans, and okra. After that the drying and storing process begins with the goal to be finished before the end of December celebrations.

So, to that "ode" to that anonymous visit: Katherine! She decided that Mali was close enough to Cameroon that she could pop over before school starts again, so I was graced with a visitor. She's much more qualified to be a Health Volunteer than myself having lived in Africa for over a year, speaking French since she was a wee babe in England, and going to her 2nd year in med school. It's also a nice stroke to my ego to hear, "Wow! Your friend speaks much better French than you," but so does most people, so I handled it well. Unfortunately, she was the one who took all of the pics and I can't figure out how to get them from facebook.

It started out with some intense traveling to get from Douala to my post: 4 hour bus to Yaounde, 14 hour train ride to Ngoundere, 8 hour bus ride to my provincial capital, 1 hour bus to Mokolo, 1 hour moto ride to my house.

After a rainy market day, we headed to Rhumsiki, the nearby tourist trap that is amazingly beautiful. Hit up the wiki page: for more info. That afternoon we took a tour through the village and saw the crab sorceror who told us the future. He scoops up the crab in his hands and whispers the question to it before placing it into a special bowl with sticks and other things in it. After a minute he takes off the bowl's cover and according to what the crab has knocked down, the future is read. Apparentely, I'm going to be happy and successful with work and I will/already have many suitors and I'll have my pick. Afterwards we had an amazingly romantic dinner by the light of the moon. The next day we hiked into the valley. Well I hiked, Kat, after leaving her kicks to dry in Maroua, had to hike in flip-flops and almost tumbled down the mountain. It was kind of scary, but our guide decided to walk next to her afterwards so that he could catch her the next time it happened. Don't worry, we made it back.

Anyway, it was an awesome visit! If you have facebook check out Kat's album.