Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kribi Again

Even after several trips to Kribi over the course of the past year, with Chris and other friends, I was eager to go again, this time with a large group of (mostly) RFIS teachers on their October break. This trip is a tradition that goes back several years, so these folks have figured out how to maximize the enjoyment while minimizing the cost.

Kribi is such a lovely place.

Even lovelier when you add some friends and spend a few days there.

We stayed at Maison St. Benoit, a guest house with several rooms and a few small kitchens, plus a nice big porch and a sheltered deck that overlooks the ocean. We were 16, so we occupied four sleeping rooms and two kitchens. There were lots of other SIL folks staying nearby, enjoying the October school vacation on the beach.

We brought all our own food, and enjoyed some delicious meals as a group out on the sheltered deck, with the sound of the waves as a backdrop to our conversation.

Janell, Mandi, Christy, and Ruth are all very pleased about enchilada were we all!

Even the lizard had its own little insect buffet going on overhead, right next to the light bulb.

We arrived on a Monday afternoon and left the following Thursday afternoon, so there was plenty of time for playing games, taking walks, reading on the porch, swimming, and relaxing with friends. Here Christy gives Julia a shoulder massage, while Julia models her new side ponytail flip hairstyle!

Tuesday was Liz's birthday, so we had a little celebration for her that night. After a delicious spaghetti dinner, we invited all the nearby SIL neighbors over to our deck, as well as a hilarious French guy who was also staying nearby. Christy performed a rap she had composed for the occasion (with Lois and Julia and me serving as back-up rappers), and we all ate chocolate cake.

There was a rousing game of 'around the world' ping pong, involving much hilarity and many shenanigans. (That's the French guy with the shaved head and no shirt on.) A large group of us spent quite some time running frantically around the table, hitting the ball back and forth, and laughing uproariously.

Jenny crouches in readiness for the next hit, as Christy runs with all her might to the other end of the table. Go Christy go! By the way, I noticed that my left-handedness put me at a disadvantage in the game, since most people leave the paddle with the handle to the right. The breakneck pace of the game often forced me to pick up the paddle in some funky way, since there's no time to adjust. So if you're playing around the world ping pong, lefties beware!

On our last night, some of us went out for dinner and ate some delicious seafood at a restaurant right on the beach. It was the very same restaurant where Chris and I ate with our friends Alison and Jordan when we were there a month before. The food was still delicious, and the chef (Adolphe Mesmer) remembered me.

One day, a bunch of us went to see the waterfalls at the south end of town. They were beautiful and the water was flowing much faster and higher than the time Chris and I saw the falls last December. There was a mist of spray in the air.

Here we are, trooping over the rocks. We spent a few hours there, some folks relaxing on the rocks, some playing in the water (cold!) or throwing the frisbee.

Liz and Ruth had their own special adventure at the waterfalls. Both very athletic and stong swimmers, they decided to swim across the channel, something Liz and others had done in years past. But the current was incredibly strong, and it was impossible for them to stay in the narrowest part of the channel. Both of them were swept quite far out toward the open sea, where the crossing was two or three times as wide. Liz eventually reached water shallow enough that she could walk to the other shore. She's the tiny speck on the bank in the photo above.

Ruth was swept even farther out, until a friendly pirogue came and picked her up.

The boat man went to the other shore, picked up Liz (much to her relief -- she was worn out!) and rowed both of them back to us.

Oh, did I mention that there were dogs? Maison St. Benoit must have about a half dozen resident dogs who hang out on the beach below. Here are four of them.

Beyond this rock outcropping was our favorite swimming area. You could walk around the rocks except at high tide, when you had to go around on a road above. The water was lovely, the ocean floor was sandy and even, and the waves were decent, but sometimes a bit too calm for body surfing. One moonlit night, there was even a contingent of ladies that took a dip in the altogether, if you know what I'm sayin'. (Apparently this is also a tradition.) You bet I was one of them!

I missed Chris, and he would have loved being there with everyone. However, he did call to say hello on the night of this sunset. All in all, it was yet another wonderful time in Kribi.

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