topmenu
棕櫚灘華人基督教會 Palm Beach Chinese Christian Chapel

Dr. Palm African Trip

 

I spent six weeks in Cameroon in December and January. I was there helping Mr. and Mrs. Victor Chamberlin who have been missionaries there since 1996.

Cameroon is on the west side of Africa. It is a "tall" country. It touches the Atlanta Ocean and then goes far into the interior where the Pygmies live. Cameroon is called the "hinge of Africa".

About 16 million people live in Cameroon. It is a very poor country. The average salary in the area where I visited is about $2 U.S. per day. Their money is called the "franc''. For $1 U.S. you get about 500 francs. So, a bill of money with 10,000 makes you feel rich until you realize that it is worth only $20 U.S.

Cameroon is located very, very near the equator and so it is hot and humid all the lime. There are no seasons there, except for dry and rainy. During the six week I we there, almost no rain fell. It was the time of year called the "homitan|'' when winds in the north of Africa shift and blow sand down the continent-tons of sand-it mixes with the humid air and it is like living in a fog.

The people very poor and seldom have enough to eat. The children are hungry most of the time and usually go to bed hungry. They have very little variety in food. They eat ground corn meal that is mixed with water and then steamed in a banana leaf. This is called "corn foo foo". Along with this is usually served a dish called "ndole'' which is made of green vines cut very fine   with some onions and ground peanuts mixed in. This makes a sauce to eat with the corn foo foo. They also eat sweat potatoes or yams, dried beans and rice, and they fry plantains (like a banana) which they call "doe-doe''.

Cameroon has many nice fruits but most of the people can afford to eat only bananas which are about 10 cents U.S. per pound. Huge, beautiful, sweet pineapples could be bought for $1 U.S. But that would be half a day's wage for the people.

I did not see any fat children and all of them had the most beautiful teeth...they do not have sweets to eat.

I went there to help in a school that has about 250 students. I taught both the teacher and the students. They have so little. I saw only one ball for all those children to play with. Children do not have toys. The school had 20 pairs of scissors, but they have no materials for art. They have no library. The classrooms are very primitive...no fans or overhead lights. Still, the children are very smart and   very eager to learn and they are very happy. Because they have almost nothing, anything and everything   is special and appreciated. They love to sing in the classroom and the school has a choir.

Most of the children come to school hungry or they may have eaten something if any was left from the night before. They call this "eating food that has slept". Almost none have a refrigerator and so, in that heat, the food is sometimes spoiled and the children get sick. Therefore, the missionaries there give the children one meal a day, M-F, and a glass of powered milk three days a week. The food is cooked out of doors or under a shed in huge pots. The children come to get a plateful and take it back to their classroom to eat it. One day, I saw them putting something on top of the corn foo foo. It was one-half of a chicken gizzard. Since the children almost never get meat, this was a special treat for them. These meals cost about 20 cents U.S. per child per day. They are paid for by people in the United States who want the children to have food. It is always a struggle to keep on feeding the children, but Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlin will continue to do so as long as they can.

The house in which I lived was very near the Atlantic Ocean. I could see the fishermen going out in their dug-outs to catch fish. They sell their fish fresh or smoke it, since they do not have refrigeration. They take the long eels and wrap them around some kind of post (metal or stone) and smoke them until they are quite black. When they take them off the post they are curled like a corkscrew! Thank you for letting me share a little bit about the far away country of Cameroon, West Africa. If you have questions and would like to write them to me, l would be very happy to answer!

Connie Palm

10930 SE Stonehill Ln

Hobe Sound, FL 33455

 

 

Join us to reach more people for God!

 

Global Footer

Copyright© 2018     Palm Beach Chinese Christian Chapel     7145 Lantana Rd, Lake Worth, Florida 33467     561-357-3211