“La vie est la drogue.”

Can you believe that it is already March? 
Where did February go? What have I done in this month? What happened to the first 2 months of this year? Wow.
And I still have so much more to tell you about our Cameroon trip.
So, while I am trying to wrap my mind about the fact that 1/6 of the year is already over, I will take you all the way back to January.

On our 2nd day in Kribi, we went to a Pygmie village and to the Lobé Waterfalls.

It was a very controversial trip that sparked a lot of discussion among us.
 

We boarded a pirogue and enjoyed a wonderful, quiet ride on the Lobé River. After about 30 minutes, we arrived at the Pygmies village. We walked around for a while before the chief of the tribe showed up. Our guide commented on the fact that the chief was clearly drunk with the words:
“Sa vie est la drogue.” And that drug is called palm wine.

Despite drinking hard wine the way we drink water (even the babies drink nothing but wine and mother’s milk) and eating hardly anything, walking 100 km a day is not unusual for the chief who is about 60 years old. However, he cannot be sure of his own age because they obviously do not have any kind of birth certificate and they do not have to go to school or any other official institutions. So, the mother determines the age of the child. They can get older than 100 years despite their self-destructive behavior and way of life. 

The chief of the tribe was much smaller than me (I’d say he was about 1.40m tall), but his children and grandchildren were already much taller. So, it is clear that this type of people won’t exist much longer.


I am not certain about the morals of going to that village, walking around and watching them as if they lived in a zoo. On the boat ride back to the landing place we had a lively discussion about the morally, Christian and humanly “correct” thing to do (if such a thing even exists), and we did not come to a conclusion; quite naturally. I have to admit that my curiosity, my thirst for knowledge and my fascination for other, alien cultures won and I looked into their huts and I talked to the chief with the help of our guide who also served as a translator.

Since I was 11 years old, I have been reading many, many autobiographies about people who grew up in cultures so different from ours that it is almost impossible for us to even fathom their way of life. So, I have always been fascinated with this subject. My husband does not and did not understand my “behavior”; he could not look into their huts because it goes against his principles and he felt ‘very’ uncomfortable’ during our time in this village. He is probably the better human being for that, I was just captivated by everything I saw.

In the end, it is up to each individual to decide what he thinks is justifiable. What are your thoughts?



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