onsdag 3. februar 2010

A different weekend

This weekend Idunn and I went on a trip with Benjamin the contact person, Mama Jeanne the extra mom and Aggée the driver. The goal for the trip was the women's center in Touboro, a village about a four hours drive from Ngaoundéré.

Centre Findinki Bebwe in Touboro resembles the Centre Socio Menager in Ngaoundéré, where we work twice a week. It is a school for girls where they learn practical skills as cooking and sewing, and also how to write on the computer. The centre in Touboro, though, is a bit newer and bigger, and focuses more on women's rights, and how they can live lives free from abuse and injustice. It was really interesting to visit, and if we find the time (not so much left now...), we hope for a whole week there in the beginning of the next month.

Saturday the five of us went to the great market of Mbai-Mbum, that is said to be the largest market in Central Africa. In spite of the lately decrease, it was still a lot to see (and we, the nasaras, were seen by many...). After having been here for four months, though, I did not find it very exotic, except from the people carrying swords, knives, bows and arrows, as if those were natural items to go shopping with. That is not something you see every day in Ngaoundéré (I did not dare to photograph them though)!

(not so exotic anymore)

Little boy selling pâte d'arrachide - peanut paste

For girls who like to travel, one of the peaks of this Saturday was to cross the border to the Central African Republic. We did not go far, only to the nearest village, but we were there! 

One thing I have learned here in Cameroon, is that guests are important (maybe especially if they are white), something we got to experience to the utmost in church in Touboro; we were placed on the podium, together with the preacher and the reverend, facing the congregation. No matter how hard we try to fit in, we are continually reminded that we are different...

Home in Ngaoundéré, we are reminded too, by being followed by nasara cries everywhere we go. They are used to us, but people shout anyway. In the small villages, though, we learned that we apparently are quite scary, as the children ran away as soon as they saw us (some even started to cry). But people in the countryside are friendly and welcoming too, as we learned when we visited Mama Jeanne's relatives on our way home. It seems like wherever you go, you are welcome if you want to stop by, and I am no longer surprised when dinner is served (even if the visit was unanounced).

This was a really refreshing weekend, full of different experiences. Different is good!

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