Because I am in the Peace Corps. And yes, Cameroonians always look this skeptical in pictures.
It’s so much fun to have my hair in braids… one of those things I could never get away with in a DC office! And this is how I show up at my bank job every day! The last time I did this was during the summers in high school. I can pull the braids up in a pony tail, put on a head band (a big piece of leftover pagne), clip a few back, or leave them to poke out of my head in all directions—all acceptable options! I love watching the Cameroonian reactions; they’re definitely not used to seeing white people with braids. I’ve gotten asked a few times if it’s all my real hair, and I’ve learned the meaning of the Fulfulde phrase mi mori—I am braided. It is a response to many many enquiries these days. (Statements of the very obvious are very popular here.) Sometimes I just like to sing it out, “Mi mooori, mi mooooori!” As I was walking home yesterday day I passed a wide-eyed little kid, who said quietly under his breath “nassara voooodi.” Nassara’s pretty! Hahaha. Who knew they’d be such an ego-booster?! I just hope they don’t make my hair all fall out.
PS--I was just able to add a few photos to the Youth Day blog entry--check 'em out below!