Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cameroonian Hospitality is Top Notch

The five weeks in Cameroon I spend most of my time in three cities Bamenda Yaounde and Limbe. In each city I am hosted by a family in my own room and safely tucked in under a mosquito net. Best of all, there is someone cooking for me. And although I am able to eat local food it is still somewhat adjusted. For example I still can not manage to eat peppe because it burns me from the inside out. In Bamenda I am hosted by the Anyangewe family. Susan can be seen here cooking fufucon over the open fire. The room is so smoke filled that I can manage to be inside only to shoot the video that is posted on our web site.

Moving on the Yaounde a very pregnant Melissa welcomed me. Her brother Steeve is my host, translator and guide in the french speaking capital. Melissa left her boy friend's home to stay with her brother to cook for me. What delicious dishes she cooks. Well spiced with plenty of fish and vegetable and fried plantains among other things. Melissa plans to name her baby "Roland" if it is a boy or "Regina" if it is a girl. I am so flattered.

My final destination is the smallest of the three cities. Limbe, a tourist magnet nestled on the foot of Mt. Cameroon and the ocean, I am welcomed by Rosemary, the principal of the PYC, Presbyterian Youth Center, a good sized church high school. Honoring is a sixteen year old student who cooks with the help of the elder Helen, also secretary of PYC. Helen and I discovered that we were born in very similar circumstances, both of our mothers worked to the last minute and dropped us almost on the doorstep to the hospital. Causing both of us to live a life running working and pushing ahead of everyone. We had such a good time.

One the left principal Rosemary and a neighbor stamping Achu - a delicious traditional dish that has to be eaten with one's fingers despite the fact that it involves considerable amounts of either yellow or brown sauce. The yellow sauce contains lots of potash which is very basic and not for my stomach. The brown sauce is sometimes agreeable especially when it has mushrooms in it.

My Honoring was very photo shy thus I just caught her running away. Young as she is one evening she gave us an education on Limbe's women of the night. They paraded in the small muddy driveway behind the school waiting for lovers. Honoring knew the house where they would go, who comes and goes and who the pimp is watching over everything. For us American hard to fathom that prostitution would be allowed to flourish so obvious behind a high school.

She came down with Malaria good for us I always know doctors. John came and fixed her up. He jokes that Honoring always gets sick when white visitors are about to leave, just to make them stay.... five weeks is little precious time and always comes to an end.

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