Sunday, February 15, 2009


I don't know anything about Cameroon. The last time that I was there I was eight years old and it was in 1980. The memory is faint, but the adventures stay with me to this day!

We were in Cameroon so that my parents could do an 'Africa Orientation Course.' My parents had grown up in Africa, but still, the experiences we had in Cameroon they had never had before and, to a large extent, would never have again.

We spent part of the time in Town. I don't remember which town. I don't really remember the time there either, except that my brother ran with a glass jar, fell and cut his arm really bad.

And there were the chickens. That was strange. I think it may have been near the end. All the people on this course were told that they had to kill and prepare a chicken. Some of them had never seen an animal being killed before, let alone do it themselves. There was a lot of screaming and chickens running around with their heads off. For some reason, at that age, I don't remember anything about being grossed out. We were laughing at how all the timid people in the group were reacting. Of course, it was probably a useful exercise, as most of the people in that group would be living in rural Africa (many of them still do, including my parents.) In Rural Africa you know where your meat comes from.

The other half of the time in Cameroon was spend in the rainforest. Now why my parents had to go to a rainforest to learn to live in the desert, I am not clear??? But it was fun for us.

We went and lived in these little huts in the villages. In that area the villages are basically on roads that cut through the jungle. The villages were just a row of houses either side, with the jungle behind them. Who knew how deep the jungle was, where the next roads were. It was real Tarzan like jungle.

While there we learned that the people would eat Gabon vipers (these huge fat snakes.) They would cut them up almost like slices of bread. Actually they ate everything. Everything. They made palm wine, and sometimes people where killed because they would go climb the palms to get more palm wine while a little drunk.

A very cool thing for us as kids where the talking drums. The would communicate with drumming from one village to the next.

The highlight was the survival night. Each person had to go into the jungle by themselves for one night (not totally alone, just spread out, so you were a little distance from your neighbor. I don't remember how far it was.

Of course, I didn't go alone. My mom went one night with my brother, and I went another night with my dad. I may have been scared, but I don't remember that. It was so exciting. We had to cut our way into the jungle. If I remember right, it rained the whole night. But in those jungles the rain is hot. There is a constant high humidity. I don't think that our bed worked out to well, from what I could remember.

The whole memory of that time is a little faint in my head. But it was so exciting. I was reading a blog about a guy who had been working on birds in the area, and couldn't help think back to that time.


  1. cool story, you're fortunate to have such experiences

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I've had some great experiences.

  3. Wow! an interesting story. Believe me its such an experience! All the best!

  4. Thank you Steve for the comment. I would be interested to hear your experiences in Cameroon. Do you go there often?