April 15, 2014

Photos from Cameroon West Africa -- The city of Douala & the village of Dschang

My cousin Patricia on tiptoes

This was an amazing trip. I have around 1000 pictures in all -- so here are just a handful of snapshops that showcase an abbreviated story. I think the pictures of Cameroon -- the scenery, the faces of family and friends, the food, the wildlife...the pictures of it all -- are the most valuable thing I brought back to the states with me. Because they do a lot of the remembering for me. And will always be here in digital space for me to look back on. I'll also be (trying) to keep a memory blog of my trip here on this blog I created. It's more just for me, than it is something I'll be actively sharing. But all who are curious are welcome to read it. There's a lot more pictures and memories where these come from...
The view from the upper level of my Uncle Blaise's home -- that felt like a sanctuary

Pastries at a nearby shop/p√Ętisserie where we stopped for a midnight snack one night after a long day on the open road
The largest single avocado I've ever seen -- hanging from a tree in my Uncle's yard, growing next to a papaya tree

My cousins' pet cat--sneaking a few bites from Jeff the dog's bowl of rice and leftovers
The window view from the car -- along the drive to a relative's
A shop along where we stopped to visit a family friend while travelling to the village
Dinner on the road -- no Starbucks, no Burger Kings...but grilled fish and plantains are way better than either
The stairway descending from the red clay road to my uncle's house in the village
A maternal relative of my cousin and her baby standing in the cooking area
A family friend's driveway in the village
My cousin, distant cousin, eldest direct aunt, and cousin's maternal grandmother & great aunt sitting along the porch of the house where my father was born -- in the village
Dinner--that would be killed, butchered and cooked later
The view from the porch at one of the village houses--directly overlooking my grandmother's village house
The butcher's shop at the market in town
The back seat of our taxi -- which carried the driver, my aunt, myself, and 2 huge bags heavy with the weight of several pounds of frozen whole fish, vegetables, spices, and steaks of butchered beef. My first time riding one of those...I held on tight.
The marketplace
My cousin's relative cooking outdoors
A shrine for Mami (my grandmother) with cassava and an assortment of other offerings
Two little goats
My dad (center) and two of his brothers holding on to the casket of Mami at the ceremony at the morgue
Myself--on local school grounds
My uncle Blaise planning one of the ceremonies to take place there, at the local school
My cousin, Niquaise, and I at one of the ceremonies at the school. A few people said we resemble each other.
A family friend/distant relative leading the ceremonial dancing the day of the burial at the village -- "Dance! Mami est mort" she would say. Dance, Mami is dead.
My grandmother's grave (right) -- burried next to my grandfather's tomb. (Traditionally, after 10 years, the descendants dig up the skull. The tomb on the left holds both the head of my grandfather and the head of his father.)
Breakfast at the village
Posing with (from left) Alex, Ariane, me, Maurice, and Mireille (my cousins) and my nephew, Patrick, kneeling below.
My cousin Maurice posing -- of all my cousins, he looks the most like my dad.
Dish washing
Rat meat
A tailor's shop in Douala
"One doesn't piss here."
Mutzig -- one of Cameroon's favorite beers -- mixed with Grenadine soda.
A road leading to my Aunt Francoise's house
My Aunt Francoise's driveway
My dad and I at my Aunt's house
The mall
Hanging out at my Aunt Antoinette's laundromat
Tired at work--at the market nearby my Aunt Antoinette's house
A mommy and baby shopping at the market
The tailor who sewed me a fitted and custom dress -- after I drew her a picture of what I wanted and she took my measurements. This dress was $8 and was beautiful.
My cousin Justine and I at my Aunt Antoinette's house
Shopping in town with Justine and family
Dried assorted fish
The view from the car while driving along the Wouri river
The mall again
My Aunt Antoinette and dad buying dried meat
A lost pair of shiny shoes
Saying farewell over Mutzig at the Douala airport

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