Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Days of Firsts...

Saturday was a day of 'firsts'. Antoine's first recorded statement, two people who asked to take 'our' photo, and an invitation to join a group for some dinner and refreshments. All three of these events were 'firsts' for us.

It feels like the momentum of our campaign has begun a life of its own. These responses, all on the same day, tell me that others are now actively participating in our campaign. We are no longer alone in this journey. It is becoming a two way activity wherein others are with their actions engaging with us.

Monday was a day of another first. As you will see with the photos posted, a group of almost 50 people surrounded Antoine while he was discussing with some young people; at one point you could not even see his brightly colored chapeau in the middle of the crowd. This is also a first. Never before have we stayed in one place for almost two hours and had people coming and going which before we left had amassed to such a sea of people.

The general mood was one of curiosity and questions which revealed the deep sense of betrayal these people, particularly the young live as they walk the streets themselves, on a daily basis. They might begin listening to Antoine as skeptics, but time and time again, when he speaks to them, patiently answering each question posed, they come back and invariably nod their heads in agreement.

What we are sharing with all are concrete ideas which when given the chance can and will become real solutions affecting each citizen in a positive way. While listening, most grasp the fact that the face of Cameroun will change dramatically when we reach our goal, fulfill our mission, our destiny, and their children will not have to grow up under the same hardships. One man made a profound statement, "I was thirteen years old when this President took office. It is now twenty-five years later and I stand before you with nothing. I am now an old man. I have no possessions. I have no hope that I will see anything different that will change that now." This was of course, his opening statement to Antoine and which by the end he decided he could just maybe hope that tomorrow will be better.

The look of defeat is on the face of most Camerounians we meet in the streets. Even the Indomitable Lions were defeated Sunday in the 2008 Africa Cup. This was to me a profound example of how the fighting spirit of Camerounians who won their independence in 1960 today has become a mere shell of their former selves, totally defeated on all levels.

We come in peace and are promoting solutions, viable solutions, not armed revolution. As we know with all democracies, the power is with the people and ultimately their voices will be heard, one way or another. It is the way of things, the way of life. We all know it, and Antoine and I are feeling their intensity each and every day we don our "campaign uniforms" and take to the streets.

We continue to invite you to join us in this journey. It is the story of a lifetime, and we thank you for all being a part of it.

So again, stay tuned...

God bless us all. God bless Cameroun. God bless Africa. Amen!

Anita Lynne NDEMMANU