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Discovering my World in Kribi - Cameroon | Seka Jean - Blaise

Discovering My World Day 1 

From Friday, March 5 - 7 2024, I embark on a 2-day journey of exploration along the shores of Kribi Beach as a recipient of the prestigious Discover Your World Scholarship Grant from Travel Unity. My goal? To unravel the intricate relationship between the community and the sea, to understand how the Beach shapes the lifestyle, culture, and traditions of the indigenous Batanga people who call this place home.

My adventure began with anticipation as I embarked on my Journey from Yaounde to Kribi. The journey felt eternal, but the moment I arrived at 3:37 p.m., the coastal charm of Kribi welcomed me with open arms. Opting to spend the rest of the night in the park for safety, I woke up at 6:00 a.m., eager to greet the sunrise by the tranquil waters. 

As I stood on the sandy shores of Kribi at 6:00 a.m., the world seemed to stand still. The gentle lapping of the ocean waves, the salty breeze caressing my face, and the first rays of the rising sun painting the sky in hues of gold and pink - it was a moment of pure serenity and wonder.

Before even checking into my hotel, I knew I had to greet the mother ocean, to witness the beauty of a new day dawning over this pristine stretch of coastline. The experience was nothing short of breathtaking, a reminder of the raw power and tranquility that nature holds.

Later in the afternoon, I had an amazing opportunity to taste some freshly caught fish prepared by the locals with some sips of some freshly harvested coconut water. The flavors were truly exceptional and unlike anything I've ever experienced before. 

On the shore, I had the privilege of meeting Lucas and Alex, indigenes of Kribi who shared with me the challenges they face as fishermen from increasing competition from industrial fishing operations to changing weather patterns. (The good fishing is mid-April to December without which the local fishermen spend weeks in water without a good catch). Despite these challenges, their passion for their craft and deep connection to the ocean was truly inspiring.

Discovering My World Day 2

As the sun painted the sky with hues of gold and pink, I embarked on a journey of discovery and adventure at the breathtaking Chute des Elobi, home to the majestic Elobi Water Falls. 

Setting foot on a boat for the very first time, I felt a rush of excitement as we crossed the tranquil estuary, leaving behind the familiar shores of Kribi Beach. The gentle sway of the boat, the salty breeze on my face, and the sound of water lapping against the hull filled me with a sense of freedom and wonder.

Arriving at the other side, I was greeted by a panoramic view of the vast Atlantic Ocean stretching out before me, its endless expanse a reminder of the boundless possibilities that lie beyond the horizon. The landscape was a feast for the eyes, inviting me to explore, to savor, to lose myself in its beauty.

Unable to resist the allure of the ocean, I found myself drawn to its azure depths, the cool water beckoning me to dive and immerse myself in its embrace. With a sense of exhilaration, I plunged into the waves and began to swim, the rhythm of my strokes matching the pulse of the sea. 

Hours passed in a blur as I navigated the waters. Though I may have taken a few inadvertent sips of the salty ocean water along the way, the thrill of the moment eclipsed any discomfort, leaving me feeling alive, invigorated, and truly connected to the world around me.

Later in the afternoon, I found myself immersed in a tapestry of colors, sounds, and scents that epitomized the essence of this tropical haven. Amidst the laughter of children playing in the surf and the rhythmic cadence of the waves crashing against the shore, I set out to unravel a pressing environmental conundrum that had long plagued this idyllic locale as I delve into the daily lives of the vibrant community that calls this coastal paradise home.

With a curious mind and a determination to unearth the truth, I embarked on a series of interviews with tourists and petit traders who frequented the beach, seeking to understand how they disposed of their waste. What I discovered was both shocking and disheartening - a vast majority of individuals admitted to simply discarding their waste into the pristine waters that embraced the shoreline.

The revelation struck me to the core, igniting a fire within me to take action and effect positive change. With unwavering resolve, I launched a spontaneous campaign of awareness and education, rallying the masses at the beach to rise and protect our precious ocean from the ravages of pollution.

As I stood before the gathered crowd, the sun casting a golden glow upon the shimmering waves, I implored every individual to embrace their role as guardians of the sea. I shared stories of marine life endangered by our careless actions, of ecosystems, teetering on the brink of collapse, and of a future imperiled by our neglect.

The response was nothing short of awe-inspiring. A groundswell of support and solidarity emerged as people from all walks of life joined hands in a shared commitment to preserve and protect our ocean. Together, we pledged to reduce, reuse, and recycle, to clean up our beaches and waterways, and to foster a culture of sustainability that would endure for generations.

Reflecting on my unforgettable journey to Kribi Beach, I am reminded of the power of exploration, of pushing beyond our comfort zones, and of embracing new experiences with open arms. It is in these moments of discovery that we find our truest selves, our deepest joys, and our most profound connections to the world and its wonders. As I bid farewell to Kribi Beach, I carried with me not only memories of a day well spent but a profound sense of purpose and a rekindled belief in the power of collective action to shape a brighter tomorrow.

  • Seka Jean - Blaise | Open Dreams

This journey was made possible by a grant from Travel Unity

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