It Takes a Village to Bake a Cake

It turns out for us, this is true. Last month, Shannon wanted to bake a cake for a party for a friend and she eventually found out the preference was for German Chocolate Cake. No problem.

German Chocolate Cake (with three layers)

Except that we didn’t have cake pans to make a round cake. No problem there either. When you can only bring what you can fit in a few suitcases — you often are missing certain household items: especially those things you don’t use every day. As is customary, Shannon posted a WhatsApp question to find out which of our neighbors had cake pans.

Well, in this case, no family had more than one cake pan of the same size so the cake was baked using pans from three separate households.

Together, we all have a complete kitchen.

Together, we get by each day.

This experience reminds of the Cameroonian proverb: “One hand cannot tie a bundle”. Or another one: Si tu manges seul, tu bagarre seul. “If you eat alone, you struggle alone.”

Sometimes I miss having cake pans, or a pasta maker, or other items I left behind in a basement back in Michigan. But I think what I’ve found here in the community around us is pretty good.

Everyone knows it’s hard enough just to get by on your own. They know that going back to the store after you just spent hours driving through town because you forgot something is too much. So you ask, and people understand.