I’d never payed much attention to Africa and its history, probably since it was never taught in our schools. I don’t think that even if we did want to teach it, we could, as Africa is made up of hundreds if not thousands of different tribes and nations with history that goes back thousands of years but because it has been shared orally thru generations, it is steeped in mysticism. Teaching people about “Cameroon” or “Nigeria” would still be a Western history lesson.

My experience in Bangou was chance to see and live in a culture that not many whites got to see. I use their term, because to them, coming from America and with my lighter skin, I am a white man. This is a loaded title but I won’t go into that right now.

I got a chance to, in a small way be part of the history of Bangou. I integrated, ate, laughed and cried with them. I really did. At a funeral for one of the elders of the church I attended I indeed shed a tear for my sister.

These people became my people, Bangou became my village, and my friends there are still my friends now that I am in the US.

I want to help the village, help Bangou be the best possible village in Cameroon and even West Africa. I see Bangou being able to keep its tradition and culture, the history of the hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who have been Bangou, alive in a way that Africans understand and our people have long forgotten. The wisdom of the earth, where we came from and where we will one day depart to, is in a real way still alive in Bangou. The feeling that we are not above, or over the earth, but part of it and that our history and ancestors live on to teach us lessons and help protect their people and land is being practiced in Bangou.

This is the main thing I want to save, this hard to describe, mystic quality which we in the Western world, surrounded by buildings and things we have created, and noise from everywhere, have lost.

If you’re able, help me save this way of life from becoming extinct from the world. The NGO I started; American Association for the Development of Bangou (AADB) will put all its efforts into saving the way of life we are quickly destroying. 100 percent of all donations go to projects to save the culture and tradition of Bangou and help Bangou have a good education and healthy living environment.

Donate at americansforbangou.org

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