Jules and I did some collaboration work with Joe in Bangem at the end of May. Of course we did the work we set out to do, but the trip involved a considerable amount more "recreational activities" than any business trip really should. I had wanted to go check out Joe's post at some point because he was always talking about how scenic it was (I was not disappointed), and I hadn't really done anything since IST aside from work, read, play guitar, and wish that the power would come back, so the trip seemed like a good idea. I stopped off in Yaounde to pick up some official Peace Corps literature to display and hand out, and then headed out to Bangem.
Surprisingly for me its actually a lot harder for me to communicate in the Anglophobe regions. Unless you hear it everyday the English they speak there is almost incomprehensible because the accent and word order is really strange, and those are the people who speak “grammar.” A lot of people speak pidgin which is for the most part a separate language loosely based on English which is for me is completely incomprehensible. I think its also odd for me because the only people that I ever speak English to are people I know, other PCV's, and Admin, and the few random people who like to practice speaking English with me. It usually takes me a few days after getting to the Anglophone regions to start speaking and responding in English to random people that I meet, and because their English is so weird sometimes I just stick to French anyways. I'm sure that the French I have learned here would sound as odd to anyone from France as the English sounds to me, but it gets me by. One thing that I always get from Cameroonians when I can't understand their English is them telling me dismissively, “I speak the British English, and you, you speak the American English, that why you not understand.” Well sir, with all due respect I can understand British English just fine, and had you been speaking it I could have understood you. At least I got to feel useful at the show when the few Francophones came through and I could speak French with them.
|The Mbororo, a mostly nomadic tribe from the North has settled near Bangem, they are known for their horses and cows apparently.|
|Setting up the booth. Joe presented some organic pesticide, and we all talked about what the Peace Corps does here.|
|There was an odd rasta man who sold handicrafts made out of plantain leaves.|
After the show we took a day long walk up an extinct volcano called Mt. Manenguba to see some crater lakes. It took a couple of hours walking uphill on slick muddy roads to get there, and we gained a ridiculous amount of elevation, but the lakes where as promised beautiful. The scenery looks like absolutely nothing else I have seen in Cameroon, and there is enough elevation that I had to wear the hoodie I brought which was nice. These two lakes are right next to one another and the pictures where taken from the same spot. I tried to stitch them all together but it didn't look right, so I just made two separate panorama's According to Joe the Female lake has one of the highest depth to surface area's of any lake in the world, which I am just going to go ahead and say is probably true. He did not however know why they are called the female and male lakes.
|Mt. Manenguba Male Lake|