A Look into the Life of a Cameroonian Family

January 19th, 2015 by | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This is a long overdue blog post.  This photo essay features an upper-middle class, modern host family with whom I lived in Mengong, a rural village just outside of Ebolowa, during training.  The photos give the Americans and other foreigners an insight into the life of a group of Cameroonians in a home.  While most Cameroonians do household chores similarly, my host family certainly does not represent the entire population of the country.  Note the gender equality in the pictures as the males are also very involved in household chores such as cooking, getting water and ironing clothes.  In a modern and highly educated family, like my host family, where there are traditionally less than six children, males are usually more involved in household work.

My host father is both a high school math teacher and assistant principal of the high school located right in the village.  My host mother owns a boutique and sells household items such as packaged food, office supplies, and toiletries.  There are four children living with them. Two of them are their biological children.  The other two children are a niece and nephew of my host parents’.  In Cameroon, it’s very common for children to live with their aunt, uncles and cousins instead of their parents due to various reasons including work, illnesses, and finances.  My host parents also has a third biological son who I never met as he is currently living in Doula for university.

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My host siblings enjoying beignets, one of Cameroon’s very popular food.

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My host sister starts up a fire to prepare a meal. Cameroonians cook many of their meals over a fire outside.

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My host brother carries a big bucket of water which he fetches from a pump.

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My host father grinds the beans to make Koke, a traditional Cameroonian dish.

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My host siblings are doing laundry which is traditionally done by hand as washing machines are almost non-existent in the country.

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My host mother prepares the leaves for cooking.

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My host brother irons family’s clothes.

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My host sister prepares the fish for a meal.

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My host siblings prepare a chicken that they just killed for a meal.

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My host brother plays soccer with his neighbors.

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My host sisters enjoy dancing at home.

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My host sisters enjoy some cookies after a meal.

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My host brother uses a candle while the power has gone out for a period of time.

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My host family enjoys watching Michael Jackson.

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My host mother prepares Koke, a traditional Cameroonian dish.

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My host brother is only 11 years old and already has big muscles from carrying water on daily basis.

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My host sister helps her mother run her boutique.

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My host mother and sisters hang out at their boutique.

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