My husband and I got married alone on the basin of a crater lake in the rural west region of Cameroon. To get there, we, then enfianced, took a bush taxi from village to town where we found motorbike taxis. The motorbike taxis took us to a toll point. From there we hiked four hours, praying it not rain. It didn’t. By the time we reached the crater lake, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves, we began discussing wedding dates, colors, themes, guest list, floral arrangements, venues. It was exhausting, neither of us seemed excited, the event was so circumstantial while the intention was so clear to us. We wanted to be together forever, we’d established this. We just didn’t want to plan and throw a whole party about it.
We were in Cameroon as part of a photojournalism project, documenting the current status of Lake Nyos – a volcanic crater lake that had erupted in 1986 killing over 1700 people. Cameroonians since have a mystical relationship to the crater lakes and we wanted to capture the crater lakes from above, see what we could see that hadn’t been seen before.
(Photo from Wikipedia)
We brought our drone with us when visiting Lake Nyos and were giddy to find that our guides had a whole list of crater lakes we should visit next. We were now at the twin lakes of Muanenguba, the bluer more welcoming one of which is believed to be female, the other, greener, more foreboding, male. Together, they formed a wonder.
We wondered if we shouldn’t just get married here, the lakes and rolling hills our witnesses, the drone our documentation. We made vows, we thanked the Earth and its lakes, and we began our return to civilization – husband and wife. One of us bluer, welcoming. One of. Us greener, foreboding. Both of us happy.
When we returned home to Detroit, we invited all of our loved ones to our favorite bar, we showed the wedding footage – beautifully lit with the dark sky behind, we ate a cake, and we have spent the rest of our lives together – side by side often welcoming often foreboding always happy – since.