22 November 2010

Mom in Cameroon

Wow this has been an interesting two weeks. My mom just left Cameroon after spending two weeks here. We spent almost a week in my village seeing the kinds of things that I do and some traditional ceremonies and then we spent a week seeing Bamenda and Limbe. Overall it was very different than I expected. I enjoyed getting to share my life with my mom and just getting to see her, but I think in some ways I was not prepared to take on the ‘mom’ role.

I know how to get around in Cameroon, how to speak French, and generally how to live here. All of this was very knew for her, though. So I had to go back to what it felt like when I first arrived. Ok so here is a short review of everything.

The first night she arrived around 9pm at the Douala International airport. I was not allowed to go to the baggage claim with her, but the driver I was with was able to go and help her through. Then we had crazy teenage boys carrying our bags and ripping the $2 tip out of our hands when we finally made it to the car. The first night neither of us slept very well because we were too excited to sleep.

The next morning we left bright and early from the hotel to get an early start on the day. We went to the bus station and then proceeded to wait for 7 hours before our bus finally left. I was so upset at this point because I knew there was nothing we could do but wait. Finally we left and made it to Bafoussam by nightfall. Right as we were about to go to Ben’s house, Mom realized that she had left her wallet on the bus. It was a crazy taxi chase to the next city. We met the bus there and the kind lady sitting next to us had found the wallet with everything in it! So exhausted after that.

The following day we saw the market in Bafoussam for a bit and then went t Mbouda. Alain and Rose met us there to pick us up with all our stuff. It was a long ride on unpaved roads and I think Mom was glad that I was in the car with her. We made it to my house at nightfall with no electricity, of course.

The next few days we went to the health center, went hiking, attended a few meetings, did market, etc. All of the normal things around village. Rose and Alain were very accommodating the whole week being great hosts. They were super grateful for the health supplies that my mom was able to bring over (a whole 50 pound crate of them!)
Finally we left for Bamenda and Mom got to ride a moto! I think she liked it. We stayed with Kelly in Bamenda and saw some art stuff. Mom bought some pagne is having a nice traditional dress made  I also found a few movies for myself and some pagna.

Then it took a whole day to travel to Limbe and we made it to our very nice hotel by nightfall. The black sand beaches were amazing and it was a much needed rest after our eventful trip. I am so happy that my Mom was able to see Cameroon and experience how I live first had. She took lots of pictures and video so I am sure that soon most of you will be seeing everything I just described.