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Flashback: Cameroon Chronicles - Day 8 - Douala - University Concert & Heading back home...

Originally posted 5 Mar 2012

11am concert scheduled at the local public university. After last night's triumph, I'm nearly tempted to pull out all the stops on this last day and tell Jeff he may get the taste of "New York, New York" he's been waiting for. But once we get started, I realize I'm still not quite back in my top vocal form, and it's still not worth the risk to push it over the top.

Apparently my 85% is good enough though, 'cause the audience of English students and professors lights up as soon as we start playing - once again proving the infectious nature of good old fashioned American Swing. We do a mix of our French Connection and Route 66 repertoires, and this time Mignon Cardenty is better prepared to lead the folks across the map of the U.S. ;-) She also manages a great coup for Public Diplomacy when she coyly gets the Universities' Deans to dance with her, each in turn :-)

The most pleasant surprise of the morning for us however (besides the ultra-warm welcome!) is when our friend Serge shows up out of the blue and jumps on stage with us and a djembe he's borrowed from our driver, Valentine! Though this was not at all planned, it comes JUST at the right moment to help us take the audience to another level with a few final high energy numbers to close out the concert. We're extra happy at the chance to reunite with our new friend whom we wouldn't have seen again on this trip otherwise. I surprise both Jeff and Serge by spontaneously dividing up the audience on "Stand By Me" to get a classic vocal bass line going while the rest of the crowd sings along on the refrain, and this goes over like gangbusters before we close out, as usual, with a rip-roaring round of "Sweet Home Chicago" where now it's MY turn to dance with the Dean ;-)