We are family



Today, I learned several things. For one, I learned that my two teenage brothers Justin and Alain are in fact my cousins, as they are the nephews of my mother (the sons of my mother’s brother); Guy, the twenty-year-old, is the cousin of my host mother (her aunt’s son). The two young boys who are five and three are the only biological children of my host parents. It has been almost two weeks and I am just now discovering this. C’est Afrique, I suppose. Super complicated, except not at all. In this collective culture, it is not uncommon for a family to take in the children of another, whether they are related or not. There are many reasons for this. My mother took in her cousin and two nephews so that they could attend the technical school in Bokito. Their biological parents might aid in the school costs, etc., but I do not know at this time. Adults do this to help out their friends and family, and they consider these children their children, and address them in that way. My female cousin Chimene is my sister, and my fellow trainees are also my brothers and sisters. This is the way of the Cameroonians.


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