Friends in unexpected places

Cameroon being one of the world’s most corrupt countries, Kara and I were a bit hesitant to comply when the gendarme (police officer) hailed us from across the road and beckoned us over. There were two lady gendarmes on the porch of the station, quite close to the Kumba penitentiary, and two men inside resting or doing paperwork. But to our relief, truly all they wanted was to talk. (Given some of the random people we’d met on our walk to Lake Barombi and their requests, this was one we were quite willing to acquiesce to.)
After a brief sit-down chat – half in French since the ladies both came from the French-speaking part of the country – we made our excuses and said our goodbyes. The ladies had been curious where we were from, how we liked the food in Cameroon, how we found the weather; commented on how they’d seen Kara walking for exercise (good, they asserted), and expressed concern over whether we’d burn in the hot sun. They invited us to stop by again to talk any time.
I guess they’re bored.
Nice to have friends in the gendarmerie!


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