Impressions of Cameroon
Summarised, our impressions of Cameroon are: red and green; friendly people; rich heritage; beautiful fruits and vegetables; tough meat; and the oldest clapped out cars still running.
Red for the rich red volcanic soil.
Green for the lush vegetation covering the rolling hills and the vast amount of land under agriculture, including individual family plots.
Friendly people always ready to stop and say ‘good morning’ or ‘bon jour’ depending on whether you are travelling in an English speaking or French speaking area. People whose lives cannot be easy – hard physical work on the land without any mechanical assistance, or manual work hammering car repairs or hand making cement blocks in a mould. Women toiling in the fields next to their husband and children, carrying items on their head, and managing somehow to send their family members out into the community looking scrupulously clean despite the heavy rainfalls and mud.
A rich heritage dating back to the 14th Century and a government system based on kingdoms that is still relevant today.
Pineapples so juicy they almost look like the tinned variety until you taste them, firm sweet bananas, guava, water melon. Green beans and carrots that taste better than any others eaten before, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes and yam – all delicious.
Meat cooked in beautifully tasting sauces – it’s toughness a likely result of age.
And the cars! Dented chassis, torn interiors, multiple cracked windscreens, struggling engines, stripped gears – together with drivers who speed through villages and towns, who expect pedestrians to run for their lives, who drive on the wrong side of the road, and who overtake on blind corners…
Such are our impressions of Cameroon