Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lunch at Sita Behle's in Souza

The road to Souza
While we were in Cameroon in February, I finally traveled to "Abo," the region where my mother-in-law was born. Unfortunately we were not in her village in the northern part, but in Souza (Abo-Sud) to visit the cassava crop farm I wrote about in an earlier post.
Sita Behle
In Souza, we met Sita* Behle, who welcomed us with a big smile. Not knowing visitors were coming, she had not dressed up or anything, but that was the least of her worries! When I asked if I could take her picture, she readily agreed.
By the time we finished visiting the cassava crop farm, it was incredibly hot, and it was lunchtime.
Souza's "green house"
Sita Behle's house is the original "green" house--the exterior wall is covered with greenery, an unexpected sight. I was standing outside and realized that everyone else in my travel group (5 people in all) had entered the house, so I followed them inside.
Palm nuts
Sita was in her kitchen, a traditional Cameroonian kitchen. The village doesn't have running water, not to mention electricity, stoves or refrigerators. I asked her, in Duala, which most Abo (Bankon) people speak, what was she cooking? She told me "Fufu--do you want some?" To which I answered, yes, most certainly, and we all ended up at her dining room table, eating freshly ground fufu (made from cassava), with a palm nut sauce with bits of dried fish in it. Palm wine was also brought, which helped the good mood even further.
At the lunch table
Sita sat with her husband of many years; they were joking and teasing each other. When we asked them since how many years they had been married, they laughed and said they couldn't recall!
Traditional kitchen

Fufu with yellow palm nut sauce

Young cassava plant
We left their home, not only satiated but happy from the good cheer and the pride we encountered.


*"Sita" is derived from the English word "Sister" and is a respectful and familiar way to address a woman.


Palm wine being poured
Sita Behle after visit, in new outfit