Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Jungle

Let me start by saying yesterday’s run with the Hash House Harriers should properly be named a hike.

To get to our running destination, we drove to the outskirts of the city, bumping over dirt roads with caution. We finally arrived at a more rural area that lay outside of the city. It had rained earlier that day, making the red earth turn into mud. We began our run down the main dirt road as children smiled at us, dogs barked, and adults stared. About two minutes down the road we turn into the bush that lined the road. We pushed through trees, bushes, branches, and vines. At one point, we went the wrong direction and had to backtrack.

As we went further and further into the brush, I was wondering if we would ever get back to the road to run. I would later find out that, the run would be nothing more than a hike through the perimeter of the jungle! We pushed through the bush, and arrived at a clearing. Out in the distance and down the hill a bit, spread in front of our eyes were huge green trees. That was our destination! To get to these trees we essentially had to carefully walk down (remember it was raining so everything was slippery) the slope that led into the jungle. Once we entered, it was a most amazing adventure. We passed through mud that came up to our ankles leaving our shoes emerged, we jumped over fallen trees, and we pushed through tree branches and vines. Looking back, it was quite an adventure, but to be honest with you, I could only think of one thing and that was the possibility of a parasite or some sort of worm entering my body. Every guidebook talks about these parasites and worms. The books tell you to stay away from standing water and mud. And here we were, trekking through these things. We saw millipedes, caterpillars, and various types of plants. As we passed through some of the jungle, Amy cut her leg on a thorn. Her leg began to bleed. A lady, who ran with the group, took some leaves from a bush, ground them up with saliva in her hand and rubbed it on Amy’s leg. Amazingly, her leg stopped bleeding and stinging. I was quite impressed.

At one point, we passed through a narrow area that contained lots of ants. It was as if it was out of nowhere that these ants appeared all over me. They crawled every direction. I think a few of them bit me (we all had red marks on our arms afterwards). You could feel them all over you. And here I was jumping up and down, yelling, trying to brush them off.

It was great fun though. The group members helped us up the hills and motivated us all the way to the end. One of the guys of the group held my hand going up the last hill to make sure I would finish. It was such an amazing adventure. I have one cut on my leg and am still hoping that I didn’t catch anything. Oh, but that wasn’t the end of the adventure. I was very excited about taking a shower to rinse all of the mud off my legs. But guess what? We had our first water outage! How convenient. In our kitchen we have a huge trashcan filled with water for emergencies such as this one. However, I couldn’t get a hold of any clean buckets so I ended up washing myself with a bottle of filtered water that I hadn’t drank!! It was easier to pour over myself than using water from a bucket!! Next time though, I will have to use the emergency water.

Later that night we went to the Briqueterie to eat soya. Soya is kind of like a meat kabob, which was seasoned and then coated in your choice of pepper or hot seasoning. The man cooked the meat on his grill right in front of us. It was very delicious. The pictures show the soya cooking on the grill and us having fun.

Today, Sunday, is a very good day for Cameroon!! They won the soccer match against the Ivory Coast, making them slightly closer to the qualifier for World Cup 2006. We watched the game at co-worker’s house. It was a very exciting game. I was kind of worried about the outcome. But, they won 3-2. After leaving and driving home, the streets were filled with people dancing, cheering, and yelling because of the victory. The next game supposedly will be played here in Yaoundé. I hope so. And I hope we go. Have a good one.


Anonymous Silent_thunder said...

I see that your really enjoying the different experiences your encountering. I was just wondering, did you by any chance find out how much the soya costs per stick> also about how many sticks averagely do people eat there?
Did you get the name of the place you went jogging to? You should if you didn't. I believe it will add some more fun with you knowing some names and maybe how they came about.
Is communication Still a problem between you and the Locals? Pidgin being a broken up mixture of french, english and some non existent words serves as a way of communication between some of the lower class. Have you learned any pidgin yet?
You got the vibes in the way you write your blogs.

Keep it up....
I know Cameroon very well to an extent and i can tell you, YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET as concerning the fun you can have in village and animal life.


5:21 PM  
Anonymous Che said...

Wow! I agree this blog really rocks and so the blogger. It is really great to read all your postings. I guess you had the first feeling of soccer fever. I went to work 3 mins late as I had to finish watching the game. It has really been a while since I was nervous. Thank God things worked out fine and I had a great day. Do attend the next game as they are really fun and very intense.
It is really cool that you get to exploit the outskirts of the city but just be careful of certain reptiles. You may end up participating in the mount Cameroon race, one of annual sporting events in the country. Parlez vous Francaise comme une Camerounais?
I will holla later.
Peace and Love from Long Beach.

7:57 AM  

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