Wednesday, May 23, 2007

National Day

20th May was national day here in Cameroon. This means it is a public holiday. We have just had a 5 day weekend (although we kept working as usual). Thursday was Ascension, Friday was declared a day of national mourning for the victims of the plane crash (although because Thursday was a public holiday no-one would have gone to work on Friday as there is no point for one day!) Then Sunday was national day so Monday was a public holiday in-lieu. So all government workers have had a nice long weekend. So National day is like many other public holidays in that there is marching to celebrate. This time the police/ army/ gendarmes/ prison officers march first, followed by schools then associations and political parties. so my group HINT-HED went to march with the associations. We got there early so we could go round talking to people first giving out flyers about HIV and red ribbons. It went well, we were only 10 but made the most of it. One member marched with the prison guards then did a quick change and joined us.

After the event I made a bee line for the beach to join Joe and the football boys for a party on the beach. We had a whole pig on the BBQ and the president got the snout to eat. The pork was delicious and with a beer it was almost perfect. The ants meant it was not perfect. The grass was full of these evil ants who had a vicious bite. You had to pull their nasty little teeth out of you foot to get them off, it hurt.

I then had great fun trying to teach the boys how to float on your back in the sea. Not many of them can swim (there are no public swimming pools, so you can only swim if you came to the beach) so it was not easy. I kept hearing calls of 'madam Joel, teach me how to float like that'. I tried and in most cases did not succeed but it was fun.

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