I have always had a deep interest in Cameroon. I don’t know why. I know nothing about Cameroon. I think I just like the sound of it: Cam-e-roon. It sounds wild to me. When I was a kid, Erik the Pilot and I would play a Nintendo World Cup soccer game where you could run players over and kill them with slide tackles. There was a team from Cameroon on this game, and one of us would always pick it so that we could make jokes in African accents. It never occurred to me that Cameroon was a real place, and that I could go there. Cameroon just meant far away. I liked the sound of that. Then, when I got a little older, I realized that I had no idea where Cameroon was, I just knew it was in Africa, and that it was way different than where
I lived on a farm in Upstate New York. One day, I decided to find it on the large National Geographic world map that hung above my bed.
There it was. On the map. Cameroon then became real to me.
I still do not know anything about Cameroon, other than I really want to go there. Then a week back I received an email from Andy the Hobo Traveler mentioning something about Cameroon. I nearly jumped out of my seat, and quickly agreed to meet him there. He wrote me back a few days ago inquiring about time frames, May sounded good to me, so I said that I could be there then.
As much as two vagabonds can make plans, we made them to meet in Cameroon. How will we get there? I don’t know. Will we really get there? I don’t know. But it sounds like a good place to try for. Andy and I have never met in person, why not meet in Cameroon?
Some years back I worked on an archaeology project in the mid-west USA with a guy from Cameroon. He was funny. Had a big smile and was always laughing about something.
One day the crew was riding in the truck out to the site and he asked out of nowhere and in complete, blunt seriousness, “Is it true that people really have bad days?”
The crew just kind of looked around at each other for a minute before the chief answered, “Yes Epie, people really do have bad days.”
“Oh,” said Epie, and he paused as he thought hard for a moment, “I have never had a bad day.”
I liked this guy, and just being around him made me want to visit his country even more. Later on in the project a girl that Epie thought was pretty sent me an email full of naked pictures of herself. I think she liked me. With these pictures she included the stern request that I should not, under any circumstances, show the naked photos to Epie.
I showed them to Epie. I couldn’t help it. Those pictures made his day. I think I enjoyed his smile while he was looking at them far more than the photos themselves.
So I may find myself in Cameroon sometime soon, influenced solely from Erik the Pilot making jokes in African accents, Epie Pious, and an off hand mention from Andy.
There is no better reason to go anywhere.
But I need to find a way there. Big obstacle. I have the Atlantic Ocean on one side, the Congo on the other, the Sahara to the north, and a long trail from South Africa in the south. Flying will be too expensive. I made a joke to Andy about finding a rich guy in Costa Rica or Panama with a yacht that could be convinced to let me work my way across the sea. I was just joking at the time, but now I am wondering if it could be a possibility.
I am sure that there are probably a whole fleet of yacht traffic traveling the water from Costa Rica and Panama to South Africa.
I am keeping my ears to the floorboards.
Any ship captains out there willing to let me work my way to Africa? Anywhere in Africa would be find with me. Yachts to South Africa, I beg to take me as a volunteer hand.
Listening to any whisper that meets my ear, passing on some words.
Searching for a ship to Africa.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
Heredia, Costa Rica
February 9, 2008
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