Dancing our joy

On the Saturday before my departure from Cameroon, I was witness to the immense joy and gratitude that water brings to a people who struggle so to provide for their families. The village of Meluf, with a population of over 6,000, is spread across the hills and is divided into11 quarters or neighbourhoods. Natural spring water flows into a catchment built with OK funds and on the day I visited with Sister Cathy Molloy, pipes were laid in the 1.2 kilometer trench that had been dug by the villagers down to a storage tank closer to the village. Men laid the pipes and women backfilled the trenches with short-handled hoes.

In the midst of all this activity, Sister Cathy and I could hear voices raised in celebration much farther along the trench. By the time we reached the other end, the village women were in a joyous frenzy of singing and dancing. We were surrounded and greeted and invited to join them in this happiest of occasions. The music accompanying all the harmonious singing was provided by a young teenage boy who beat his stick on an empty plastic container!

The gift giving that followed, typical of the village people, included bags of yams, potatoes, and live fowl. The extent of their gratitude delivered quite a shock when Cathy and I saw a goat being led by a tether. This extremely generous gift is an example of their appreciation of a partnership that allows them to participate in the task of improving their lives.

We all had every reason to dance and sing our joy!

Alana Forrester-Verge,
Ottawa, Canada

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