Today was the day we celebrated Naomi’s birthday and it was quite the event. I’ve repeatedly discussed the reserved nature of many of the people here in most situations…let’s just say Cameroonian children haven’t learned the trade yet.
Marceline enlisted my help to bake a cake for the event (I made a double layer yellow butter cake) and of course I happily consented. Baking’s fun and baking for something like a birthday party is even better because I get to feel festive or something. I think I mostly I like that people will be so happy and celebratory that no one will care if the cake is actually decent!
I kid I kid. Half kid.
Baking cakes has never been a forte of mine. I attribute this mostly to a lack of interest because I’m not really a cake person but this would not be an excuse to ruin this young girl (4 years old) birthday party. As you know, baking is usually pretty exact…well, this cake was being made much as I made the key lime pie: without measuring utensils, without proper ingredients, without a proper stove, etc. I seriously think I’ve been more proud of what I’ve put together here than anything else.
Well, long story short, the cake turned out really well. However, the kids at the party were something like little bacteria running around and touching (read: destroying) everything. What’s more, though I was told to expect a small gathering of 10, something like 38 kids showed up. On thinking of how such a thing transpired, I imagine the discussion went something like this.
“What you doing?”
“Heading over to Naomi’s house. What you doing?”
“Come with me! It’ll be fun.”
“I don’t know…”
“We can eat cake and touch all the furniture and food with our bare hands without washing them after playing outside in the dirt and touching the dog all while yelling as loud as possible and doing our best to defy authority!”
I refuse to believe that the conversation could have gone any other way. Upon walking back into the kitchen to cut up the cake, it suddenly seemed a lot smaller than I remembered.
I tried my best to make the cake last through all the kids but half way through I was starting to get warnings from the other volunteers that the slices were looking kinda big and wouldn’t last through all the kids. As the slices got smaller and smaller, the looks on the kids faces as their slice was handed to them was somewhat tragic yet comical at the same time. Clearly Baku was not pleased to watch Noya happily smack on a full slice of cake while he was handed some crumbs with icing (not literally). In the end we made it through and the adults even got to try some so it was a success of some sort.
I went to church today with Sally, Adam, Sabrina, and the children. It was a very interesting service. The service started at 0900 but we got there at 1000 as we had to bathe and dress the children before leaving the house. We then walked up the street to the church where Genesis is a pastor.
We entered to the crowd standing in song. They were singing that the fire of the Holy Spirit rain down upon us. And rain it did. Not long into the service it began to rain harder than I had witnessed before in Cameroon (although I recall a time in Ohio being worse). About twenty minutes later the rain abruptly stopped.
Then the preacher began raining down screams and yells, telling us that God did not tell us to be satisfied but only content. He said that we should not be satisfied but tell God that we need more of him. It was quite a contrast to the Catholic services that I grew up with.
In the end (1230), neither Adam nor I were converted. But, it was surely a experience that spoke to onces soul/spirit/mind.
Tonight we took the Cameroon-Denmark World Cup game in a bar. Cameroon scored within the first 12 minutes and the bar erupted into shouts and cheers. The man next to me violently threw away his table and hopped onto of it. Towering above the crowd he made his voice heard above the din as he hollered and danced about. The celebration was so intense that the large screen television on which the game was being viewed became unplugged.
Shots on goal were celebrated just slightly less than goals – a pair of women threatened to pick each other up each time a shot was made and playfully sparred with each other in the process.
I was completely comprised by the lack of bemoanments after Denmark tied the score. Furthermore, the bar patrons didn’t even protest the call of the referee which were at times bad. It was an interesting contrast to the host of jeers aimed at referees commonly heard while taking in a game at a bar or with friends in the states.