And she wasn't even that old, in her fifties, I think. She actually keeled over in her garden one day and when she was rushed to the hospital they said she had low blood pressure and complications from diabetes. She was unconscious (in a coma?) and she never woke up. A week later she died.
Now I am no doctor. Far from it. But I can't help thinking that if this had happened in the US or Europe, she'd be alive. Low blood pressure and diabetes are both things that are dealt with all the time, almost as a matter of routine. It is mind-boggling that she could have died from this.
At any rate, we took up a collection on Friday, some of the women in the compound cooked and this afternoon a large group of us went off to the burial and to be with Godlove and Lillian, his wife. We didn't make it in time for the burial — Njimikom is quite a ways from Fonta — but we spent the afternoon with them and celebrated quite nicely. The two main events were watching this (long) Nigerian movie called "Never End" which was about a land feud between two tribes. It was quite gross because each chief had a group of gangsters with machine guns who would just spray bullets into groups of people. . . There was a whole "Romeo and Juliet" thing going on with the son of one chief and the daughter of the other, but it didn't follow Shakespeare's line in the end.
The other main happening was Mr. Fru decided to take the tack of "initiating" Godlove into the club of "complete orphans" — that is, people who have lost both parents. There were 7 of them altogether and they did a whole series of rituals over the course of the afternoon. I'm not sure if this particular schtick is African or Cameroonian, but the concept of including him in a group seemed very African to me. Among the things they did — shot pistols (and they were some ancient, ancient pistols. Practically muskets. . .). That was not my favorite part, but apparently it actually *is* traditional at a funeral. And they killed, cooked and ate a chicken together. There was also general hymn singing and dancing. "Move on, move on, do not be frightened. The saviour understands."
Njimikom — the town Godlove and Lillian are from — is a beautiful place. On the other side of the hills that I see off in the distance from Fonta. It rains there even more than here, so it is incredibly green and lush and the mountains are quite breathtaking in places. I didn't really get any photos, but I'll be back that way at the end of the month doing site visits with micro-loan recipients, so I'll take photos then.
Here's half of us — Mr. Sama's Toyota Carina looked like it might not make it back up the hill if it rained, so Louis took it back up to the tarmac and parked it. Don't worry — those guys are not gong to ride on the back like that for long! In the pink shirt is Abednego Njamchu, aka Panjam, next to him is Mrs. Fon, next to her is Mr. Sama. Sitting is a guy whose name I don't know who is going to the teacher's college in Bambili and is related to, and lives, with someone on the compound.