Handicrafts and Appropriate Technology

Cameroon Blog

The first lady

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There’s something wonderfully iconoclastic in Biya’s gigantic, expressive mane. The 39-year-old first lady of Cameroon has popularized her “banane” and other flamboyant styles, pairing them with bold clothes (she favors designers like Hermès and Christian Dior) to come up with a complete look that is known in Cameroon as—what else?—“the Chantal Biya.” That said, it’s unlikely the bananes and Biyas will look as fantastic on anyone but Chantal Biya. [Via]


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 8:14 AM, ,

B.U.S.T - Prof Asanji Prof Dr. Norbert Pintsch Mr Victor

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11:33 AM, ,

Michelle Obama hosts UN spouses at NY farm

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Michelle Obama and Chantal Biya

First lady Michelle Obama gave her healthy eating initiative a global showcase Friday when she hosted spouses of world leaders at a farm north of New York City, treating them to a seasonal lunch featuring bounty from the farm and the White House garden.

The spouses, who came from places as diverse as Cameroon, Mongolia, Swaziland and Latvia, toured the Stone Barns Center about 25 miles north of New York, which is both a farm and an educational center working on sustainable farming — a cause close to the first lady's heart.

And it shares the premises with one of the most renowned restaurants in the New York area, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where the women lunched on sungold tomatoes from the White House Kitchen Garden, eggs harvested minutes earlier from the farm's chickens, and chicken with eggplant and ratatouille — also from the White House garden.

Addressing the spouses, Mrs. Obama, wearing an appropriately floral-and foliage-themed print dress by designer Tracy Feith, emphasized the importance of children learning directly about the food they eat. Also participating in the day's events were third-graders from two local schools, who helped prepare the lunch (and their own, too) by harvesting eggs and collecting herbs.

"Many kids may never learn that ketchup comes from a tomato and french fries from a potato," Mrs. Obama said. "Because they're disconnected from the food they eat."

And speaking of tomatoes, the first lady related a story about how daughter Sasha had been a tomato-phobe — until she made her own tomato, mozzarella and pesto sandwich in a cooking class at school. "Do you know those hair tomatoes?" she asked her mother, referring to heirloom tomatoes, Mrs. Obama recounted. "Now THOSE are good tomatoes!"

Now, Mrs. Obama said, Sasha is a fan. "We can do that with our children," she added.

Given the farm tour, many opted for comfortable shoes — Mrs. Obama wore silver ballet flats, for example — but a few guests showed up in stiletto heels, which made for an interesting trip along the dirt paths.

When the spouses arrived at the chicken coop, they joined children already there, who were placing eggs into small baskets and dutifully depositing their baskets with a farm staffer.

Next stop: the herb garden, where Mrs. Obama told the kids: "We're counting on you for our lunch today!" Joining her in the garden was Hayrunnisa Gul, the Turkish first lady, among a few others.

The day's meal was prepared by the restaurant's top chef and co-owner, Dan Barber, as well as three White House chefs who flew up for the occasion: Cristeta Comerford, Bill Yosses and Sam Kass, who is active in the first lady's anti-obesity initiative.

The spouses were serenaded by a string quartet from the Juilliard School in New York City as they ate.

And yes, there was dessert: sacher cake, a chocolate treat that was accompanied by red jacket apricots and "White House honey sorbet."

The guests left the farm well fed but also not empty-handed: Mrs. Obama presented each one with a maplewood basket containing pickled, hand-picked goods from her Kitchen Garden; chamomile seeds, also from the garden; a clay tea canister; and a soy candle with a silver imprint of the White House on both sides.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:40 PM, ,

International Day for Technology and Property Rights

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International Day for Technology and Property Rights was celebrated at the Chamber of Commerce in Yaounde on Monday 13th September. It was highlighted by an exhibition of inventions produced by some Cameroonians. On the sideline of the exhibitions, some inventors were lectured on how to obtain protection for their products through the acquisition of property rights, by the Director in Charge of Property Rights in the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Technological Development.

They were also informed on some measures by government in the sector notably; the putting in place of a fund to assist inventors in Cameroon obtains author’s rights and the creation of a data-based centre for their creation amongst others.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 1:51 PM, ,

Top Cameroon Blogs

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Every country is best characterized by its bloggers and the quality of blogs coming from there. Given my interest in Cameron, I have been looking for top Cameroon blogs and bloggers. Here is part of my selection.

Scribbles From the Den
River Of Prawns
Young People in Action
Lonely Planet on Cameroon
PNT's Attitude
Bright Fuh
Poverty News Blog 
Cameroon Tribune
Cameroon - A Paradise of Bees
The African Gourmet
The Chia Report
Cameroon Tribune
Wandering Savage

Suggestions are welcome. Please feel free to indicate if I you know any Cameroon blogs or bloggers. I am sure there are many.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 10:44 PM, ,

Wild bush meat and French pastries

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Wild bush meat and French pastries.

If you’re going to stereotype Cameroon, that’s just about the best way to do it. This unusual food combination stems from Cameroon’s origins, in 1961, when this African country formed from the union of two colonies, one British and one French.

Like most coastal African countries, the people on the shore towns of Cameroon rely on fish, serving them up grilled, fried, steamed in banana leaves, or stewed with plantains, corn, yams, or beans on the side. Further inland, dinnertime gets a little more bizarre, as mice, snakes, and monkeys are hunted in the bush and stewed with a little water, tomato or peanut sauce.

Most meals are served with fu-fu (soft, starchy mixtures pounded into a paste – often cassava), millet, or rice.

Peanuts, called groundnuts in Africa, are particularly plentiful in this region. They make their way into sauces, stewed vegetables (like bitterleaf greens), breads and desserts. Spicy peanut sauces are poured over fried fish, chicken, and meat. Perhaps the most addicting way the urban Cameroonians eat peanuts is spread on baguettes or in croissants, then heated in the oven until warm and gooey.

Cameroon grows many tropical fruits, including the mighty mango. One traveler recounts the mango daiquiris on his trip to Cameroon as the best daiquiris he’s ever had. This is surely thanks to the high sugar content of a perfectly ripe mango, nectar so sweet it makes your eyes water. [Via]


posted by S A J Shirazi @ 3:05 PM, ,

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