Lemons, Lemonade and a trip to the Motherland

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Life and lemons comic strip

Bee: If I am being completely honest, 2017 started off shitty. I went on involuntary furlough, separated from my business partner and decided not to have the birthday shindig I’d been planning for over a year! Yup, it was that bad, but because I am learning to make lemonade whenever life hands me lemons, I went ahead and booked myself a trip to Cameroon for 3 weeks! Life is interesting you know, had I been employed I don’t think I would have been able to take that much time off work, but thanks to my lack of work, I was able to do just that. And not like my lemonade needed any more sweetness, I did score the sweetest deal on flights. I purchased a round-trip ticket to Cameroon with Air France for under $1000!!! There, there. Close your mouth. Flies are a-buzzing. Truth be told, that was my reaction when I saw it too. So yeah, I packed up my bags and hauled my travel buddy with me to the motherland.

Douala Airport

Douala International Airport

Leo: I was not too concerned about the sister’s furlough. To be honest, I thought it was a blessing in disguise that would allow her to find her true calling and reach her true potential. When she told me about her lemonade, I thought it tasted quite good.

Toddler tantrum

Dreaded toddler tantrum

Bee: The trip was pretty uneventful which is always a great thing when traveling with a toddler because I always tell myself that we are one flight away from a tantrum. So far, we haven’t had any: fingers crossed. Ms. Thang slept pretty much from take-off to touch-down and woke up just in time to ask for milk from Starbucks at CDG. Once we got milk and snacks, she was good. We barely had time to check out the Longchamp store before I realized we were running pretty low on time. We got to the gate and boarding had commenced already.

Air France plane at Douala International Airport

Our ride. Courtesy of MattDenver.com

As usual, the “mbenguistes”: Cameroonians who live abroad, typically Europe, where no one knows exactly what they do as long as they keep sending money back home, did not disappoint with their faux-fur trimmed coats and mismatched designer prints. Again, the travel gods blessed me with a knocked out toddler. If you’ve been to the tropics, you would understand that February at the Douala airport is not winter clothing friendly. So about an hour before we landed, I changed the little one into a more appropriate outfit to avoid her getting a heat stroke on arrival.

Arrival gate at Douala International Airport

First glimpse of Douala Airport upon deplaning. Courtesy of MattDenver.com

Bee: By now I’m sure you’re thinking I had it too easy on this trip right? Yeah, wrong! By the time we made it through the airport and all its checkpoints, we arrived at the baggage carousel and found that 3 of our 4 suitcases did not make it. Thankfully the lone one that did was Ms. Thangs and I had packed a few things for myself into my carry on. After taking what felt like forever to fill out the claim form for the bags, we were ready to head home 2 hours later.

Douala international Airport baggage claim

Organized chaos at Douala International Airport baggage claim. Courtesy of MattDenver.com

Fun fact: most airlines in Cameroon do not keep permanent staff at the airport. They contract out their services to ADC whose Customer Service skills I won’t comment on. I did forget to mention that my dad had no idea we were coming, so imagine his surprise when we got home and my mum handed Ms. Thang to him in the dark. He was quite overwhelmed with joy but somehow still managed to promise payback. I’ll be waiting. And since I know he reads this, I’ll go ahead and say “ Hi Daddy”.

Stay tuned for more tales from our adventures in Cameroon

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