Cameroon is indeed a country filled with love, hospitality, and some of the most sincere people I have ever met in my whole life. My first step in Cameroon was embraced with heat and a sense of relief. After a long trip filled with stress and nervousness, I made it there successfully all by myself.
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The first whole day of Cameroon I was shocked by the healthy, gorgeous environment. The lush, rich scenery was so different compared to the couple of trees you might see in New Jersey.
We would make our way out of the main city Yaounde and go to other towns and villages. After a four-hour bus ride to the town Limbe, we arrived at my mom’s friend’s house and stayed there. The simple one-story house was equipped with a simple living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms.
And the lack of hot water and electricity in the bathroom couldn’t shake the love within the walls of the house.
The next day, we quickly left to see more of the country and meet some of my mom’s friend’s family. I couldn’t help but admire the genuine caring his family all had: they would welcome you with the type of warmth friends for generations have.
Friday, we woke up early so my mom and I could talk to the girls in a town called “Tiko.” When we got there, I was surprised to see the school conditions. The school was made out of brick and was all on one floor.
They welcomed us with flowers and a beautiful song from the school chorus:
My mom went on telling her story and sharing that they have to empower themselves and their sisters. Even though this school was anything but fancy, the students’ pride and joy overshadowed all of that.
When I asked them questions, I saw how thoughtful and intelligent they all were. Every answer came from within them, and they were eager to hear more insight. It touched me when I saw they didn’t have one computer in the whole school.
Watch me asking the students questions here:
We made our way out of the rocky roads to Buea, which is up in the mountains. There, we saw the orphanage that held more than 30 children in a two bedroom. Even though they didn’t have much, happiness was felt everywhere.
Connecting with the orphanage kids was one of my favorite experiences in Cameroon!
I loved the way they would all laugh at my American accent and the way their eyes would light up when we compared schools.
Connecting with the girls my age made my heart flutter, and the simple gesture of requesting my Facebook information was enough. Speaking with people that really want to know you was something different from my normal experience.
The next several days were filled with meeting more family members and visiting other towns. One day I will always remember is going to the village of Tombel. The rocky roads and the reckless driving all made this journey more exciting. We passed through a long row of shrubbery and jumped in our seats over the boulders in the dirt road.
The miniature village looked no more than 50 people. The rocky street was surrounded with one-story houses. Children played on the rocks with ease. The village had a great sense of unity and that’s what made it so different from the cities of Cameroon.
After meeting more family members, going to a Cameroonian church, and getting caught in a rainstorm, we made our way back to Yaounde. The next day was spent cracking jokes, eating more good food, and exploring the zoo. The simple but eye-opening zoo contained lions, snakes, and monkeys.
The lions were majestic but fierce. Their gleaming eyes left me feeling at home. Valuable relationships and friendships is something we all need.
Until next time, Cameroon….
Mirembe Fisher is 14 years old. Her mother’s people are from Uganda and Ghana and her father’s people are from Guyana. She loves to play volleyball competitively, read, and watch YouTube videos on the latest fashions and makeup products.
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