christmas in cameroon

“Tell me, all of Cameroon wants to know …” a radio station reporter with recorder in hand ask,  “how are your Christmas

celebrations in Cameroon different from where you are from?”

The obvious answer blurted from our friend Catherine’s mouth a moment later –

“There’s no snow here!”

No snow, but plenty of singing!  After a mouth-watering dinner of Chinese stirfry and green onion cakes, we spent a good three hours last night at the Baptist Mission listening to round after round of hymns, sung by children of all sizes and their Mamas (teachers).

It was so impressive to watch eight to twelve year olds lead their choirs in song – or taking up the solos with boisterous strength and joy.  Just as heartening was listening to five year olds recite verses from the bible – in front in of worship hall bursting at the seams.

Now, we must admit … we didn’t know any of the songs, or understand much else!  Our Fulfulde isn’t that good yet!

Nonetheless, the sound of the drums and singing was glorious and the sheer joy on the faces of those gathered was like nothing we’ve ever seen.

After a long sleep – blessedly undisturbed by reindeer or the sounds of snowplows – we awoke to an Xmas morning blanketed in dust.  Oh wait, that’s the way it is every morning!

The inclement weather (yeah right) didn’t stop us from baking our traditional cinnamon buns (in a dutch oven/big pot on the stove) and listening to holiday music.  Pairing these with fresh guava juice made for a lip-smacking good breakyfast!

The most fun, however, was decorating our very special xmas tree!  It isn’t easy to tape decorations onto a big bunch of plantains! Mangoes, however, make amazingly festive decorative balls!

Since filling our food and fun quotient, we’ve been relaxing and reading to each other from the very serious chronicles of “A Wayne in the Manger”.  The rest of the day promises to be filled with more company and more food.  Just like at home!

Of course, in Canada the holiday tunes playing on our ipod wouldn’t be interrupted by the call to prayers at the mosque next door!  It’s Friday, so soon we’ll be trapped inside by hundreds of faithful praying outside our door.

Don’t worry, we’re prepared for the siege… we have chocolate and candy canes!!!

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~ by Greg Spira on December 25, 2009.

One Response to “christmas in cameroon”

  1. Love reading the blog. My love to you both. kisses

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