‘how to get to america’ is Googled 450,000 times per month globally.’
So I was on my way to America, the land of the free. This was a place I had dreamed about and had hoped to ascend upon even if only by the graces of my gods in my village. Yet I chose to take a more systematic approach to getting there. I, along with others my age in Cameroon were pretty much wandering about aimlessly at the time that most American young people were attending colleges or universities. Because I had been privileged enough to attend primary school there had been a chance that I attend college in Cameroon. But attending college in Cameroon is like going to daycare in America —it serves no purpose but to temporarily give a small segment of the population something to do. I did think about attending college, but I had squandered the money that my uncle loaned me to take the entrance exams and there are no second chances on such misuses of money, when there isn’t even enough money for food.
Almost having lost all hope for any real future, one day my ears perked up when on the radio, it was announced there would be a competition in which one African would be chosen to train at the United States Air Force Academy in the upcoming year. As soon as I heard this, I knew it could be my chance–my chance to emerge beyond what was so hard-pressed to rise above in such a restrictive and underdeveloped society. I was nervous at the thought of competing. But I felt this was my only opportunity and that if I missed it, my life would be entrenched with the traditional practices that I could not in good conscience embrace. There was only one small obstacle. I needed to be a part of the Cameroonian military in order to qualify for the competition. It was then I considered the military a viable career choice for me. At least Cameroonian military men were esteemed in society–even to the point of corruption. I thought that if I joined the military it may be–if not a steady source of income, at least a reliable source of respect. So I started by taking the knowledge tests required for acceptance into the military. And that is where my life took a turn. My guess is that this turn would be for the best, but I could only hope as I always had that my future would eventually make sense of my past. I was finally accepted into the Cameroonian military school. But that was only the first step. My goal was America.
- Derange (27monthsincameroon.wordpress.com)
- Army and Navy Academy | 100 Years of History and Traditions (armyandnavyacademy.org)
- 13 Reasons Why A Valid History Of Cameroon Is Yet To Be Written (lebs295.wordpress.com)