Anyone who has spent time in some of the more remote parts of Africa will probably shrug their shoulders at my observations. But as a first time visitor it’s hard not to feel like a bit of a celebrity, at least with the children. Wherever you go, kids stop and look. Sometimes they laugh or point and every now and then they wave and shout ‘white man!’
At first I was a little taken aback, but now it has become quite routine. Mostly I rather enjoy being the local novelty and giving a wave as I walk or ride past.
Earlier this week we visited one of GHAPE’s established centres in the lush countryside that surrounds the town of Bamenda. An elderly women was leading the group in a quiet prayer in Pigeon English. As she solemnly continued, a small child walked into the meeting, then stopped in the middle of the room and exclaimed loudly ‘white man!’
Just occasionally it becomes a little wearing. There is a gaggle of kids who play near my house who are always around to greet me when I return from work. The youngest girl, who is perhaps four, and very sweet, says ‘hello… hello… hello…’ repeatedly when she sees me. It doesn’t help to reply: she still carries on in her little voice, ‘hello… hello… hello…’
Further down the road there are three children who find me most amusing. As I climb the track to pass their house they always gather, smiling and waving. When I return the greeting they burst into fits of animated giggles. I thought after time the novelty might wear off, but it seems I’m still as funny as ever.
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