A Travellerspoint blog

Douala - The Characters

Les personnages

overcast 32 °C

In my last post I told you that I am living at an orphanage. While I have had a few less than stellar moments during which my patience has not been up for the challenge, for the most part the children are lots of fun. Though my volunteer work is not here at the orphanage I do spend most of my time here since I also take my French lessons in the house and do my volunteer work from home since the NGO with which I work doesn’t have an office. More on the volunteer work in a future post.

The Kids

The Kids


Maman Simone is the formidable matriarch of the orphanage. She takes a very keen interest in the safety and security of the volunteers, and considers us all her daughters. For the record she is only 5 years older than I. There are about twenty orphans and also Maman’s children (3). There is rarely a dull moment, lots of noise, and any desire for privacy must be abandoned.

Last weekend Sonja, one of the other volunteers, organized an outing for the children to an amusement park. I don’t think any North American parents would have allowed their children on the rides given their rather dilapidated appearance, but we had a lot of fun on the bumper cars and la manège (merry-go-round). I hope the children had as much fun as I did. A few days ago we all went to the park to play footbol (soccer) with one of the new balls I brought for the kids. We were they envy of some older guys who may have appropriated the ball for themselves if the kids hadn’t been accompanied. The photo of the footbol match shows me to the left of the frame. I would like to assure you that I was more appropriately attired before Mama Simone insisted I wear something sexier. I could not look anyone in the eye on the way to the park dressed as I was in shiny purple spandex pants, but I did it to make Maman happy.


The purple pants did not honestly make much of a difference since I stick out from the crowd as it is. Walking down the street people definitely take an interest in my presence, in the market there is a constant refrain of La Blanche, La Blanche (White), and Sonja has received numerous marriage proposals.

I have also made some good friends. Jean François is the oldest son of Maman and he has taken us out dancing with his friends, and Landry, another friend of the family, has vowed to make it his mission to make sure my French improves during my time here. Everyone is very friendly and kind. The other two volunteers living here are great and I am really enjoying myself.

Love to all back home!

Posted by LizDykman 12:56 Archived in Cameroon

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


Thanks for the update! Sounds like you are having so much fun. Wish I had some shiny purple spandex pants...

by sfulford

Liz, glad to hear you are having fun. We just got some more snow, 20 cm. MSWG are driving me crazy, we still do not have an agenda and we are going to have teleconferencing at the workshop. Argh. Love the shiny purple pants, it sounds like Maman is trying to marry you off.

by Gwen416

Looking good in the purple pants Liz!

by michmcd

This blog requires you to be a logged in member of Travellerspoint to place comments.

Enter your Travellerspoint login details below

( What's this? )

If you aren't a member of Travellerspoint yet, you can join for free.

Join Travellerspoint