Walking Dschang

Dschang 2
There were nature trails. They weren’t labeled so. The walking was good, so I did a lot of it. On my second hike up the hill from the Centre Climatique, I noticed a young boy following me, so I thought my privacy might be breached. I don’t mind being followed as long as the ulterior motives are clear. I put some small bills in my shirt pocket, and considered giving the boy some money and asking him if I might continue on my own.

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Homicide Fine, Fax Not so Good

Yaoundé_ambaixada_EUAThe day came for the NEC opening. Our inspired ambassador thought to stage a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the old building site, symbolically showing that the closed off street downtown would revert back to the city, and traffic could flow once again. We got TV cameras ready, lined up taxis at both ends of the old embassy block. As the master of ceremonies, on cue I said into a loudspeaker, “Gentlemen, you may now pass.” Three taxis from each side of the street proceed through a previously closed area, showing it was now liberated for public use. It wasn’t much of a cymbal crash, but anyway it was on video tape for the local TV. Continue reading Homicide Fine, Fax Not so Good

My Three Weapons

amt_hardballer_by_dalttt-d6ku6uoIt went like this:  a smile, a business card, and a camera. With these three WMDs we faced down an armed police squad and ran them off a property they had invaded.

Yaoundé, 2006.  Jim (not his real name) had picked Cameroon off the internet and came on a one-way trip to perform a religious mission.
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Turf Issues

Ronnie the Rat scowled at me from the opposite end of the largest living room I’ve ever been in. He was like a science fiction mutation, about the size of a nearly full-grown pony. Well, about a foot long, plus another foot for his tail and you get two feet from head to tail tip. I mean, really. Continue reading Turf Issues

An Artist’s Finest Moment

In 1988, Joseph-Francis Sumégné, here pictured, began collecting and sifting trash in the streets of Douala for his magnum opus. An untutored sculptor, he saw patterns and spirits in objets trouvés: coke bottle caps, empty coffee tins, discarded batteries, wicker fans, cloth remnants and a thousand other items from the litter choking the streets of Cameroon’s gritty seaport. Continue reading An Artist’s Finest Moment