Monday, February 18, 2019

Ekok to Mamfe, Cameroon, February 18, 2019

I had a great sleep inspite of the bright flood lights in the compound, the rocks under my tent and the constant conversation by the police.  The generator's constant hum muffles a lot of the noise so that's helpful too.  There wasn't any shooting in the night so we all woke up alive and to soldiers gathered around the flag.  It was like a staff meeting with the chief barking orders to the men.  They fiddled with their rifles, twitched, shifted their weight and changed positions numerous times.  It was quite comical watching them!  Eventually I got bored - they were performing this right beside my tent, so I got up.  Soon the customs officials showed up and wanted to see everything on our truck.  I was the first to show them into my backpack and thought if I bored them they would not bother with everybodies things but no, that didn't work.  They painstakingly went through everything-

And the Oasis truck was next.  All of a sudden, a green truck pulled into the compound-

and voila, that was our escort!  We were excited and ready to move but then it drove away!  I guess they'd been told to return at 12 because the customs inspection would be over by then.

We sat around just killing time-

You're not supposed to take pictures of anything military but he didn't seem to mind-

Too funny!  I love the t-shirt-

I had planned to ride shotgun but soldiers hopped in the front with both Will and the Oasis driver Liam.  The soldiers took off in their green bulletproof truck, followed by Oasis and then us-

We drove close to 90 km/hour to Mamfe on excellent roads.  Because it's Monday, it's 'ghost day' and vehicles are not allowed on the roads and the villages seemed deserted.  People seem to be living in fear-

Another weird roundabout statue-

Once in Mamfe, we went to the police station for a few minutes, then they escorted us to a hotel with a great view of the river and the armoured truck.  There is metal covering the windshield and side windows-

We are spending the night and apparently in the morning we will be getting another escort south to Limbe.  We placed an order for supper: chicken and rice! and then I watched the cook pluck a couple birds while two others clucked around, waiting to have their heads chopped off!  You can't say the chicken won't be fresh even though it will be tougher than hell! 

I do not feel the least bit afraid - to me it's a great adventure and I'd love to be riding in the back of the green lead truck with a machine gun in my hands or else riding shotgun in our truck with a rifle!  Others on the truck are nervous wrecks!  I find that funny because we have seen nothing the least bit dangerous - it's all stories we've heard and news we've read.  It's interesting to me how fear, which is imagined, can control people.  I'm really looking forward to tomorrow!

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