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January 4, 2002

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Since landing in Dakar, Senegal, we've driven over 11,000 kms, far enough to crisscross the United States, thru West African tribal lands to Douala, Cameroon. Douala is a fitting place to end our trip in this region because it's a quintessential West African city. It's 'falling-down' modern, pot-holed paved roads, modest high-rises, a rubbish bin river, crowded sidewalks, traffic police and broken traffic lights, and ad-hoc street crossings. Vestiges of German and French colonialism remain in old houses and patisseries. The German Quarter is a shaded suburb with some colonial mansions that Unesco protects as a world heritage site. One thing makes us feel as if we're in California, the power keeps going off every few hours in rolling blackouts that hit the entire city. Like most of West Africa, Douala struggles to develop its infrastructure.
One of the oldest buildings in Douala, an old house that dates back to the German colonial days over a century ago (German rule ended with WWI, the French took over after them).
This church is a good landmark for central Douala.
Say goodbye to the old truck and dusty roads of Cameroon.