Amongst the Dead Grass

You can’t drink water fast enough. You never thought you hope for clouds so much.  The dust jumps off the earth, as if the ground is too hot for even the dirt, and bellows onto everything as you slowly simmer in the balmy nights. Amongst the dead grass rolling over tired hills you have found magic in the heat. For one thing every yoga session is a hot yoga session. For another the improbability of rain makes any social event safe. And when nothing is better than a cold drink and fresh words your social life hasn’t been better.

In the past few weeks you’ve been to two very different picnics.

One on the breezy lake side of the crater lake Lac Tison with a bunch of hippie rastas. As men and women cooked together Bob Marley wooed our souls as we BBQ’d meat, made couscous (not the type you’re thinking about) with sauce and a refreshing mint lemon salad. After eating everyone dangled about like the growing mangos as trip hop music eased us into the night.

The other picnic was with rich Cameroonian bachelors, which is a totally different ball game. The parking lot the picnic was in felt like a desert compared to Lac Tison as two goats died to satisfy everyone’s hunger. Your taste buds were confused by the succulent meat, fun conversations and misogynist comments.

It had been a while since you let yourself be whisked off by friendships. You spent so long mellowing in a depression and carefully piecing yourself together with the ink of a pen and yoga that you forgot how to get back into the overflowing river that is Cameroonian social life. But man oh man is the water refreshing and fun. As your pulled from shore to shore, rock to rock, you are swept away by how caring and wonderful people are.

The other night a friend asked you what were some of your fondest memories. You recounted some cute childhood ones, but now you know that amongst the sun burnt hills and confused dust that the time you’ve spent here, the conversations you have webbed together, the friendships made, will be some of your best memories.


No poem. But in preparation for DEAR (Drop Everything and Read Day) day that is happening fashionably late by a week here is an image from a children’s story I made about three monkeys on Mt. Ngaoundere to share with the cute little prison suit Primary School kids.