Sorry for the long delay, internet has been spottier than usual around these parts.
Yesterday my postmate and I had the privilege of sitting on a typical Cameroonian government meeting. We were discussing Youth Day, a big celebration that falls on February the 11th and is meant to showcase all the wonderful Cameroonian youth. We spent 5 hours talking about not much, though I’m pretty sure I was signed up for a committee—I’m not sure which one. The meeting hopped from pidgin to Special English to French, so now more than ever I am glad to have had language training in all three.
Today was meant to be a lazy day after I went to market and bought around ten dollars worth of produce—enough to make me take a moto back due to back pain and the thought of walking 10 minutes with all this stuff.
I wasn’t home for half an hour before some local boys stopped by. They’ve been very sweet to me and were some of the first to ask my name instead of christening me “whiteman”. Soon my postmate also stopped by.
Postmate Kate and I were chatting while the boys, probably 10 or 11, were playing with Njamma Njamma. Out of the corner of my eye I see one of them pick up my broom and start sweeping. Then, they asked if they could mop my floors.
Then they did my dishes.
…and folded my clothes.
…and cleaned my kitchen.
… and washed my dog.
…and made my bed.
…and washed my shoes.
…and offered to make me lunch.
All this was without being prompted or asked. I paid them a shiny 100 CFA piece each (around 35 cents) and they seemed thrilled. They later used the money to buy us all frozen yogurt from the market.I also let them taste a wedge of cheese, a spoonful of peanut butter, and let them ride my bike in my front yard after they washed that, too. The only downside was they attracted more little boys and before I knew it me and a half dozen pre-teens are chilling in my humble abode, listing to my iPod and participating in what can only be described as a Cameroonian interpretation of a WWE Smackdown. I held the camera.
I must say, I’m impressed with the work ethic of youth here. There was no way I’d do all that stuff, and certainly not with a smile on my face. I suppose being a Youth Developer does have its perks!