Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anything is possible, Cameroon

Fair warning:
Your Prude is an Olympic junkie.
For the next 17 days I’ll spend a bit of time writing about the Olympics and the rest will be spent watching them. My poor husband. My poor dog.

Did you know competition has already begun? Soccer.
The few fans in the arena yesterday saw the women’s team from Brazil trounce the ladies from Cameroon 5-0.
It was barely a competition.
However, this is the first time they have even qualified for Olympic competition.

The Cameroon women range in age from 16 to 29. They have names like Ajara, Claudine, Ysis,Drusille, Bibi and Jeanette. They come from an area of western Africa tugged and fragmented and fought over for hundreds of years by Bantu settlers, Muslim nomads, Germans, French and British. Its borders finally jerrymandered into some semblance of what Europe called a nation, Cameroon declared its independence to become one of the most corrupt nations in the world. The vice-riddled government and dishonest law enforcement have exalted bribe-taking to an art form.
Its fractious, fragmented citizenry fight over rubber and oil and rain forests and their future.
Cameroon has one of the highest literacy rates in Africa, but that rate for women is only about 58%.
They offset this by outliving the men by 3 years. On average a woman from Cameroon lives to be 54.
This means that many of the young women on the soccer field yesterday are long past the half-way point of their life expectancy.

The tough little soccer women of Cameroon face overwhelming odds on the soccer field but even greater ones back home.
Maybe that accounts for their fighting spirit despite the demoralizing loss to Brazil.
‘...this is football,” their coach said, “and anything is possible.”

Keep fighting, ladies of Cameroon. And don’t quit fighting when you get back home.
Anything is possible.


Robin J. Steinweg said...

Everything I didn't know about Cameroon in one quick little blog post. You rock, Prude.

Thanks for doing my homework for me! And thanks for the Olympic update. I wouldn't have known about it otherwise, not having the passion for it of a soccer mom. It sure pays to know one who was!

Lori Lipsky said...

I grew up with parents who were Olympic Games enthusiasts, so I'll be happy to hear all of your Olympic reports, and I enjoyed learning about Cameroon today.

Sue Vick Finley said...

I will be delighted to read your posts about the Olympics. I hardly ever get a chance to turn on the TV lately. You post today was great. Thanks.