|A view of a small portion of the market from a 2nd floor balcony
We traveled again to the Cameroonian bush on friday, this time to the village of Ediki Bekoli Mbonge. It is a village of about 1,000 with a neighboring village of about 800. It was again incredibly encouraging to see the villagers so willing to help out in any way that they can. And did they ever. After we found the source, we began to survey the land leading back to the village. Much of this (perhaps 1.5 miles) was in the heart of the bush. Over streams and through heavy brush, they led us through with their machetes. While the Metoko Bakundo survey was hard due to the extreme elevation changes, this was a whole new level of difficult, as there was so much plant life in the way (and that we had NO idea where we were).
As the world cup has begun this weekend, we have been at several bars/restaurants to watch the matches with the local people here. We were pleased to see the US draw against England Saturday, but disheartened to see Cameroon lose a game they were expected to win against Japan. Now they will have their work cut out to advance.
We have been eating very well here, albeit I can’t remember the names of all the dishes we have had. Mark (our grad student) has made friends with several people here by making trips here year after year, and one of his friends, Carine, has helped us out a lot in making food. Fufu and okaru soup or arrow (which is a dough-textured ball that you tear off and grab the soup/sauce with your fingers), endola, roasted fish, and snails, to name a few things. Pepper is used in a lot of dishes here, and my pepper tolerance has steadily risen through the trip as well.
When visiting villages, we have also been well fed too. Usually meals consist of rice and meat, which is either goat or chicken. Meat is considered a delicacy here, and is usually reserved for special events. My partner, Wyatt, has realized that chickens should begin to fear us when we arrive. However, the one chicken that should be afraid is the rooster shown here. It is interesting how chickens are raised here. People own a small number of chickens that they feed/house in their backyard, and the chickens roam completely free in the city streets to find what they can eat. Free range chickens as they were meant to be. The rooster you see here is the one that lives next door, and regularly wakes us up from the perch of the wall at 5:30/6 every morning. Wyatt wants to learn how to cook a chicken with Carine, and I’m really hoping we get this one.
We leave for the village of Teke early tomorrow morning. The survey had been done before, but there were major issues/discrepancies, and we are visiting to ensure the designs already prepared will work.
Until next time, here are some other pictures of life here in Cameroon. Enjoy! [the rest of the photos are below the jump]
Photos below: Roosters roam free in the city here. This one wakes us up early, and should be quiet if it knew what was good for it; The first Thursday of every month is clean up day in Kumba. This is RUDEC’s accountant, Eric, cutting grass with a machete; A road in Kumba. Lots of missing pavement, but by far not the worst road; Road to Ediki Bekoli Mbonge. Only accessible by bike or 4X4 trucks. Deep ruts of perhaps 2 feet (at least). Worst road I’ve seen yet; A view of a small portion of the market from a 2nd floor balcony.