Between the sun, dust, and heat, it’s hard to believe that Christmas is just three days away. We just finished sorting through our stockpile of care-package goodness to decide what to make for our Christmas dinner; Mexican always seems to make the cut for any holiday meal. We set up a “Where’s Waldo” of sorts for our loyal blog readers: spot and leave a comment about your care-package item in the photo below and win a prize! Not sure what the prize will be, but, we can figure out that one later!
Maybe it wasn’t the same last year, or maybe I just didn’t notice, but Christmastime in Nkongsamba has been interesting to witness.
– Toys: There are toys laid out everywhere. Stores in the market will throw down a tarp on the unpaved ground to lay out all kinds of toys, dolls, remote controlled cars, and thousands of whistles. For whatever reason, whistles are the national Christmas present of Cameroon – I have no idea who thought that was a good idea!
– Prices: While Fred Meyer and Safeway are inevitably running promotions and competing for your business with lower prices, prices here have risen. The thousands of toys that are for sale are now more expensive, chicken has risen about $1-2 more than normal price (when a whole chicken normally only costs $5 and now is $7, it makes a difference), however, beer prices have stayed the same.
– Bars: Christmas day is a fête (party), and a national holiday. Between the party and the day off of work, almost everyone will frequent one bar or another at some point during the day. Many bars are in the midst of construction and make-overs to be new and appealing and win the business of the Christmas day bar hoppers. With three days left and the pace of Cameroonian construction, it will be interesting to see the final result of these bars on Christmas day. The Brasseries of Cameroon are making more deliveries, and bars are stocking up.
– Christmas Music: It also felt somewhat out of place when living down-under, but I can’t help but chuckle when I hear “White Christmas” playing in English in my francophone village near the equator.
– There are plastic Christmas trees for sale in the market, full of tinsel and ornaments. If you are lucky though, you will find the one that is decorated with Spiderman birthday party hats. That one is, so far, our favorite.
There’s a little insight into Christmas in Nkongsamba. We will spend the day hanging out at the house, undoubtedly telling the children to stop blowing their whistles, visiting with our friends and neighbors, and enjoying a nice (traditional, right?) Mexican fiesta for dinner. Merry Christmas, everyone!