Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Long weekend - Yaounde style

Like any good vacation - our long weekend began with some laughs with our pals the Smiths. This is Stacy (Mom) and Ivy - who Lincoln loves to point out is a baby.

Saturday night was bit of a step back in time for us - as we hosted a Latin dance party - changing our play patio into what turned out to be a very happening dance floor

As you see if you look closely enough- we even scored a disco ball from the student council at the American School

With apologies of the soft-porn, I had to share the essence of cutting rug chez Swaney. Tragically Dad's trademark backspin move was let out of the bag, shocking his colleagues and Cameroonian guests. Luckily, it was not caught on tape.

After a day of rest we celebrated youth day (the excuse for our 3 day weekend). Eli, our clothes hound, went shopping with Mom, while Graham went of a hike with Dad and our friends (you guessed it) the Smiths. Since Yaounde is nestled in some serious hills, we basically drove to the edge of town, eyeballed a hill and went at it. Suburban sprawl - African style - went on for a good mile

Eventually we turned up the slope and made our way past one plot after another that was being used for slash-and-burn agriculture (cut everything down - burn it to fertilize the soil and plant bananas or casava for 1-3 seasons, repeat).

We eventually reached the summit - which was quite satisfying despite the somewhat undefined cemetery that was there.

It was also nice to get a view of a city that is incredibly difficult to navigate, partly due to the topography, but mostly due to the poor planning, and the fact that a stream or small ravine that wouldn't put even a small kink in the road in the U.S. create wildly winding roads.

Yaounde from the "quartier" of Mendong. Our neighborhood lies beyond the hill on the left