Barbecues and Wrestling

This post is going to start off with some random photos with brief captions.

Children playing outside Henry’s house

Mary, one of the members of the Eyole disabled group, and Dan, the blind man who weaves baskets.

Some of the volunteers met Pavel, a Czech volunteer with a different organization here, at the internet cafe and we try to schedule barbecues at his place every once in a while. Pavel and I usually take care of the fire and then, once it’s good and going, I let the others do the cooking :-)

Before cooking

After cooking

Many of the volunteers like to buy the roasted fish from the street vendors and eat it at the bar. I don’t like fish, but apparently it’s delicious.

Bram and I took a trip to Douala to pick up two new volunteers, and the trip involved a pre-airport stopover at Henry’s wife’s brother’s wife’s parents’ house in Douala to welcome the in-law, as she was visiting from Germany (the husband, Henry’s wife’s brother, stayed in Germany). So, we were at the house of our friend’s wife’s brother’s wife’s parents, and Henry and his wife had never even met her! It was great! These are two of the children we met there:

The crowd at a special football match of the local Mt Cameroon team vs locals who have played or currently play overseas, including our friend Japhet who played for Sparta Rotterdam and has just got a new job with a team in Cyprus after recovering from an injury.

And now, not so random photos. In the villages here they have a form of traditional wrestling, called palla-palla, with rules and a committee and everything, where the people from each village stand in a particular place around the sides of the wrestling ring to cheer on the wrestlers from their own village.

You can see the drummers on their perch in the background, keeping time with a particular beat during every match:

Bram, a Dutch volunteer who you saw eating roasted fish above, decided to try his luck in the ring. One of the porters from his trip up the mountain is also a palla-palla coach, AND the official refereee at the palla-palla matches. That’s not a conflict of interest at allll…

And the winner is….


At the end-of-season awards ceremony a few weeks later, they invited Bram and gave him a special award for being the first and only white man to participate in palla-palla. His prize: an umbrella, which was very useful considering it’s the rainy season here.