Samoutou Family Blog
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About This Blog...

Family of 5 
from Gabon, Hong Kong and the UK   

Living in Impfondo,   
Republic of Congo   
Since April 2012 

Blog by Joyce the mum, 
Homeschooling novice, 
Eye Charity founding doctor / director. 
Reluctant domestic goddess 

Passionate about sashimi, 
helping people see 
physically and spiritually,   
and Jesus   


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Recent Posts

Jungle Walk with the Pygmies (a photo tour)
May 4, 2013



Whenever we can, we like to go to a Pygmy village on Sunday.  Depending on road conditions, it is a 45-60 minutes’ drive.  Every time we go, the pygmies always ask my husband Henri to preach as they do not have a pastor.  After church, Henri and our older two children often went on jungle walks with them.  Our 7-year-old daughter once brought these back home and excitedly told me that the Pygmies told her that they would make her run super fast. 

Amphetamines in the jungle 

     They turned out to be amphetamines!  Thank God our daughter had the sense to tell us before trying them on herself or her siblings!


     I have never been to these jungle walks as I always stayed behind to look after our youngest.  I finally followed the Pygmies into their fascinating world two Sundays ago.


Entering the rainforest (I always marvel at how it is perfectly landscaped)

  Rainforest  Rainforest  Rainforest


The Pygmies have a remedy for every ailment possible: from backache, cough, diarrhoea to nasal drops that work wonders on both preterm babies and their mothers!

    Medicine Man  Remedy for back pain  If you want her to say yes


     They even had… Wait for this… 

     They told me matter of factly - If your wife does not want to have sex with you, use this leaf in the oil and give her a massage.  Then she cannot refuse you!  It didn’t smell of anything! 


Cause of conjunctivitis     They have several other interesting health beliefs.  For example, they believe that when they see this flower, they will get conjunctivitis.  I wonder if the blossoming of this flower signals the start of pollen season, which leads to an increase in allergic conjunctivitis.


     They enthusiastically showed me


… how they plant (Manioc / Cassava – a major food here).  They were so hyper they reminded me of jocks doing reps in the gym!
      Planting manioc

… how they trap animals 
      Animal trap

… how they climb trees to get fruits and palm nuts.  (When I was in Gabon, I met Pygmies who could climb trees several storeys high at the speed of lightning)

              Climbing trees   Palm nut for oil

… how to ‘Tarzan’ and swing from tree to tree! 


… how they fish and catch crocodiles (sometimes by putting leaves that are poisonous into the water).  The rivers will stay dried up until it is rainy season again.


… their ‘house’ which they use when it rains (I cannot see how this can keep the rain away at all!) 

Traditionally, pygmies are very shy and hide in the forest.  I have been to this Pygmy village several times.  Whilst they have gotten used to us the ‘mondeles’ (white ghosts) and have always be welcoming, they have always struck me as quiet, reserved and serious.  This walk has completely changed the way I see them.  Once we were in the forest, they became very animated, energetic and excited.  They were talkative, at times silly, and simply a lot of fun to be with!  They were so proud to show me how they make a living and how they look after their health.  They were swinging like Tarzan, climbing on trees and chewing on leaves.  They were so enthusiastic about their forest, their home.  It’s like the forest made them come alive! 

   Being silly  In their element

   At home and proud  Posers  

     Their way of life is undoubtedly primitive, but their self-sufficiency impresses me.  It is like they are not buried under any unnecessary layers.  They live life in its essence, in its glory.  To us, it seems so incredibly ‘poor’.  Yet their pride and contentment in a way make them richer than many in the developed world.

  Contentment is great gain

     We left the jungle and headed back to the village where the Pygmies showed me… their own wine making machine!  How about that in the depths of Africa!  This world never ceases to amaze me!

 Making wine

Wish you were here!


Love, Joyce

Filed under: Musings, Food, Living in Congo, Developing countries


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