Befote leaving Gabón, i had so many surprises waiting for me, although my little head was already thinking in another new country, but somebody called me for one radio interview , I have accepted it, there everything went well, friendly easy going and also from there came out a surprise, another ones of those that makes Gambada, or this way of living, so interesting, or for me much better than follow those rules in our rich consumerist society, anyway to make it short, the journalist that interviewed me, mr Firmin invited me for the next day, as he said to one unforgettable cultural experience, an invitation that of course I didn,t refuse. That day I walked through markets, little alleys trying to discover what this surprise could be, but my little brain couldnt find the way to put words or images into it, but even though I was happy to have the chance to discover other realities of this country, and if possible I would discover as much as I could, but in a mean time I forget about , and I have enjoyed among colours and flavours, and of course people shouting all over the places, a tradition that I am sure I will never get use to.
The journey of the 13th,raise up grey like always in Gabón, the rainy season almost started, and the sun fights so hard everyday to find a place between the thick clouds, but it´s a lost battle because the sky stays grey and sad. Little after having had breakfast, Firmin called me to tell me to be ready in one hour, this is what I did, with the envy to discover, but him arrived as usual at the African time, more than one hour late, and he looked at me like it was so normal, oh well!! After words, we jumped into a broken taxi, droved by a Senegalese man so huge that it looked like a huge baobab, and not with out problems we got till the skirts of the city, a little walk between pretty little wooden houses brought us to one back yard full of mango and pomelo trees, and in the middle of there a pretty table with cloth included and under a useless umbrella, was full of traditional food. After all the greetings, hellos and welcomes, some beers and more shouts, we really enjoyed the food, that I have to say that it was delicious, and just after we finished it, Firmin tolled me to follow him,I did follow him with the doubt, but just some minutes later, I found myself into one house used as a temple to start a BWITI, private ceremony of initiation.
The Bwiti,is a secret doctrine known as a public utility, and that basically promotes the Eboga, which is one hallucinogen plant, and also at the same time promotes the Bwiti culture. For its ceremony the Bwiti needs a driver of the ceremony or like they call it a Relicary(priest),they receive the skills from their fathers or gran fathers, Firmin received it from hes grand,, that as he said, he died at the age of 115 years old (bloody hell a nice age for one African isn it?), anyway, I was there for more than two hours, it was interesting, weird and funny at the same time, specially for somebody like me that doesn believe on those things, but the most surprising was , when he was so excited he confessed me a secret, he tolled me that they have almost found the cure or remedy against the HIV , and other illnesses, he promised me that they already had tested with humans and it worked.
Oh well, from this certainty moment, after all those paranoias I just wanted this to finish, and he finished it , with more songs, music and a benediction to me, and also with a sentence that even if we dont believe, sometimes helps. The Relicary said see on you a big prosperity in your future, and a success in anything youl do in your life I was laughing inside me, but I have to accept that I liked those words, but this success didn last so long, because when I left the sanctuary I did it with the wrong feet, and when I tried to do it properly my head knocked the door and I felt with the step, oh sucks!!!, I said to him why dont you put a sign like mind your head he laugh. The Bwiti, something else that u believe or not , makes Africa so different, and for us finish the ceremony must be drinking the Malamba, the local alcohol, that if you drink more than one full glass, for sure youl knock another door. And with the sour flavour of Malamba in my mouth, a bump in my head, and full of Bwiti images, very very green colours, and the Gabonese people so angry with the results of the elections, I just headed towards Camerun.
Camerun, country that welcomed me friendly, where the green is still very green, where the rain dumps you as well, so I only had to enjoy, the pleasure of all those things that makes my life, lets say a little different, but that gives me the chance to realise how nice is living full of surprises, and making me feel that todayŽs Gambada is the best I can do, I said it loud even though I was alone, but saying it made me feel better, and like this I chase out the loneliness, the deception and I recover the wish of living with out caring so much about the future.
Camerun, offers me smooth tar roads, full of rolling hills that breaks my lazy legs, people are friendly to me, even though there is always somebody that seams that doesn like a white man travelling with a silly metal donkey in he country, but me I just enjoy and at the same time I am scaping as much as I can the heavy rain, that seams to follow me everyday, but wet or not I never refuse the pleasure of learning and knowing new people, new cultures, that for sure will bring me the chance to help or just having like a new world every single day. Mr Relicary (bwiti priest), I really hope that the BWITI, also hills all the damage that we all did, that we all do, and we will . keep doing in this wonderful continent, badly and wrongly named DARK CONTINENT THE Bwiti, ( mind your step)
HEALTH AND GOOD JOURNEY, NANDO.