Monday, August 26, 2013

I've got jokes! Cameroonian style.

Made a decent joke at my clinic today.  I make a lot of jokes naturally, but it is harder to do in French and in Cameroon.  As best I can reckon, their humor is about something bad happening to someone because they made a mistake.  Or possibly witchcraft.  They don't do sarcasm, which is unfortunate because I still use it endlessly.  They just believe me, poor souls, unless I state something so completely and obviously false they know I must be lying.

So the Chief of the Health Center walks into the clinic and, stating the obvious per Cameroon, says, "It's just us today; no sick people."  That's been incredibly common of late on account of a variety of reasons: Ramadan fasting means no meds allowed, fishing is out of season means no money, and rainy season means you might get wet (seriously, no movement allowed when it rains, but to be fair they are walking or riding on a motorcycle to go anywhere).  We've discussed these reasons ad nausium, but I blurt out, "Then we've done it!  We've cured all the diseases in Mbakaou.  Good job everyone; let's report to Tibati."   It took a moment for my strange statement to process and then endless laughter.  "Haha, there are no more sick in Mbakaou." 

I laughed too.  But a part of me felt suddenly sad.  They aren't here, because they are too poor.  They aren't here, because they are ignorant that they need to be.  They aren't here, because they have no faith in our help.  They aren't here, because we couldn't help them even if they were.  And they are all still sick.

Haha, you thought I was going to make you laugh, but then I made you feel feelings.  Suckers.