Have Yourself a Very Kribi Christmas

Happy holidays from Cameroon! I'm writing from my lovely beach side hotel in the coastal town of Kribi, South Region as the waves crash against the shore and the air is filled with the scent of salt water. Oh, I love it! I'm one of the few (only?) volunteers who isn't traveling out of Cameroon during their service and won't have family or friends come to visit me either. I'll be the first to admit that it is very hard. I'm homesick, miss my friends and family, and also just get a bit tired of the same old same old here in Cameroon. Seeing as I've also been completely stationary at my posts besides traveling for banking or my beekeeping conference last August - I haven't traveled around Cameroon at all! 

So as a Christmas and New Years present to myself, I decided to chop a lot of money and spend the holiday season sipping tequila sunrises on the beach with a good book and surrounded by a few of my closest friends. I deserve it after the year I've had! While I could wax poetic about the garlic curry shrimp and French cheese pizza I ate, or the colorful cocktails I drank, or how warm the ocean water was, I'll save my breath and instead focus on doing mostly a photo post for this one. 

On one of the beaches there was this cute little spot to eat fried breadfruit, drink coconut water out of the coconut, and eat freshly caught shrimp. After drinking a sufficient amount of boxed white wine on the beach all day, we decided it was best to hydrate and go for the coconuts. Hot damn, nothing tastes as good as that - and if you needed proof, just check out Liz in the corner of this picture with her face stuffed in her coconut.

Our Kribi Christmas group. That's Brian, who is in Ngaoundal, Liz in Danfili, and I. We represent half of the best cluster in Cameroon (perhaps I'm biased). I couldn't ask for better friends or clustermates - I'm so lucky! If one needed proof as to how amazing my cluster is - when I got stung by a jellyfish on Christmas day (what more of a Christmas present could I have expected given that I always have some health problem here), Liz immediately cracked open the box of wine and melted dark chocolate for my immediate consumption, knowing that was the best remedy, and Brian offered to pee on my leg, not once, but several times. Seriously, what better friends could one ask for?!

Brian led us on a shoreline hike from our beach to Lobe falls. Along the way we found neatly decorated ship.

Kribi is the tourist hub of Cameroon now that the Extreme North isn't safe. As a result, there's an abundance of art and handicrafts for sale. While they're all knockoffs, the African art history nerd in me was eating up the visual feast while impressing the vendors about my knowledge of Benin bronzes, Yoruba twin figures, and Congolese headrests.

This warrants a bit of a story. This ship is from Lagos, Nigeria and was pirated by Nigerian pirates off the coast of Cameroon. Sadly, the boat was already in bad shape, so the pirates were easily caught and brought ashore. Liz and I went to go take some photos of the boat, and after about 5 minutes of taking pictures in front of a gendarme, he decided only as we were walking away to tell us that taking pictures is 'forbidden' - as if the fact that I was taking pictures would be the only proof there is piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Ha, he wishes.

Some nearby Cameroonians chewed the self-important gendarme out, and I whipped out my now rusty East Region sass (which was aided by the half a box of wine Liz and I shared shortly beforehand) and I gave the gendarmes a piece of my mind. He wasn't pleased. He made me open my camera and delete all the pictures, but I was sneaky and kept this one. The next day, there was no gendarmes patrolling the abandoned ship, go figure. 

A beautiful view of Lobe Falls, which are far more beautiful when I saw them last dry season. A perfect end of the Christmas portion of the trip. Up next: Kribi New Years with Pax and Amy!

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6.1.15

    Our son is in the Peace Corp, assigned to Mbinjong (Near Mamfe). He has six months left. My wife and I just returned from a visit with him over the holidays. We visited Yaounde, Limbe and Kribi. Transportation was by far the most challenging aspect of our trip. The weather was not as bad as we had heard, the food was.....different. We did eat at the fish markets in Limb and Kribi, and pizza too. Our experience in Kribi at the beached ship was just like yours, the gendarmes were very sneaky and motioned for us to delete the "one" picture we had taken as well (right?). Seriously, put up signs or at least station them on the ship...We visited the falls, rode 3-4 to a motorcycle, crammed seven in the car and two in the trunk, took nine vehicles from Mamfe to Limbe....we will remember our trip for many years to come! Rewarded ourselves with a New Year's celebration in Brussels and returned to the states on the 4th..Safe travels.
    Mike and Chelsae Hackney ( Son Dylan)


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