Saturday, 3 December 2016

Entertaining events

Dec 1
Meanwhile the entertainment, if it can be called that, continues here.
One of the volunteers went to the main market in the morning yesterday; she told us the police had appeared and locked the gates (usually happens at 5pm) to prevent the escape of some suspect. Apparently this fellow was a friend of the guy standing in the coffin last week preaching (I’ll use a euphemism) change. Eventually he was located and arrested, not necessarily in the market.
About 3 hours later we heard a lot of honking and yelling. Looking out the bathroom window (I spend quite  a lot of time checking traffic, weather and sunsets through this tiny portal) I watched a convoy(?) of motorcycles race past, many were carrying branches of greenery, hooting and hollering expressing some kind of joy or celebration. A lot of them. Many had passengers; some drivers and passengers were standing, doing acrobatics, fists in the air, mostly men but a few passengers were women.  (I have seen perhaps, 1 female taxi driver and 2 or 3 female bike drivers in the 3 years we’ve been here)  They raced down Che street towards Ntarikon. Then within half an hour they were  back and racing down Fish Pond Hill. I wish I’d had the presence of mind to take a photo… Any way it’s a one way street UP. More hooting, hollering and acrobatics down this rather steep street. They raced past the food market and turning left towards City Chemist. That’s the road I pictured with the tires burning in a previous post, the second picture of smoke and people in the street is leading towards City Chemist where the guy in the coffin spoke. It’s a round-about that turns right onto Commercial ave and SE towards Veterinary junction. Commercial runs approximately parallel to Che street out front of our building and Food market road down below us. Anyway a few minutes later, there they were again!   It was a celebration. The police had released the fellow.
Elke was scrolling through FB and saw a reference to some US Cameroonians who are requesting interventions from the US military, plus, they have collected 43 million francs for the purchase of (according to FB anyway) weapons for the struggle. You might imagine our reaction to this news. We are giving ourselves  2 weeks to pull our loose ends in, deal with our furniture and say farewell to folks we’ve met here… Unless things calm down.
Wednesday was supposed to be the end of the teachers strike, no word on the lawyers yet and nothing about any negotiations with the government. Then we heard that the teachers asked the parents of all students in English residential schools to receive them home. That will make the buses busy.
  Traffic is back to normal, noisy and backing up on the hill. Tonight the bars are full with patrons watching a football game. Everytime Cameroon scores, there is a roar of approval.
And we heard our first Christmas carol broadcast from somewhere down below.

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