Last Saturday was International Women’s Day. Each year, on March 8, women get a chance to celebrate who they are and the greatness in being female. In Cameroon, that means the women get to party! While most PCVs in the country feel like the women deserve far more than one day of recognition, it is still fun to go out and fête with them.
To celebrate this year, we invited some of our friends, both Cameroonian and American, over for waffles. Having a waffle iron in the Peace Corps is a pretty great party trick! In the afternoon, we were invited over to one of our work partner’s house for dinner. Justin lives in a smaller neighborhood of Nkongsamba called Poola, and he raises animals such as pigs, ducks, rats, and cane rats for a living. We were all invited over for a dinner of cane rat, a local specialty. I wouldn’t say the cane rat tastes like chicken necessarily, but it was served in a great tomato-based sauce, on the bone, with good tasting meat. There were plenty of sides to go around…bread, baton de manioc, grilled fish, and other traditional dishes. We finished off dinner with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes that Shaun and I had made during the day. It was a really fun night with some great friends.
After dinner, we all went to the club, of course! Here, for a party or big day such as women’s day, it is a great excuse to go out. We met up with a few more of our friends and neighbors and headed to their night club of choice. While I am not sure we will be looking for another reason to stay out dancing till 3am in the sweatiest, hottest, club I have ever been in, it was fun celebrating with our friends. Rest assured, we all slept in until midday the following Sunday and ‘recovered’ with a classic spaghetti omelet!
Cameroon, and many other countries, around the world have a long way to go for women’s rights, equality, and recognition for the role of the female. We wait for a day when our friends and neighbors here have the same rights as their male counterparts, but in the meantime, we will support, encourage, and of course, go out and celebrate with the women we love.
Hanging out with one of our favorite sandwich vendors in Poola; he runs the
‘Subway’ of Nkongsamba!
The crew at dinner.
Us with our hosts, Justin & Florence.