Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cameroon Calling

While most Bruins find their families and close friends following home games, Aboya and Mbah a Moute aren't afforded that luxury.

Instead they find each other, their friends, and their friends' friends after games. It's a group that has been steadily expanding since the start of the season in November.

"That would have been extremely tough for a person like myself," said Afflalo, whose family attends every game.

"I don't see how they do that. After a tough game, I like to be with my family. I guess they can make a phone call, but you know, it's different."

It's something that Mbah a Moute and Aboya have been accustomed to for two years. Their friends in Cameroon, nine hours ahead of Los Angeles, follow their games on the Internet in the middle of the morning. E-mails and text messages are their most commonly used modes of communication.

Though Mbah a Moute misses the daily interaction with his family, he credits his upbringing and the environment in which he was raised to keeping the events in his life in perspective.

"You go deep into Africa, there's some people dying for food. If you go deep into downtown, you see kids don't have things to eat," Mbah a Moute said. "You can find that in every city, but you see it and hear it everyday (in Cameroon), in Sudan, with people dying, and other places where people are suffering.

"We don't look at things the same way. We don't take things for granted."

Howland certainly agrees.

"Luc and Alfred, they're really good kids. They're the complete package in that they're good people, good students and extremely hard working," Howland said.

"Anytime you come from a background where you come from a foreign country, I think they have a different view on life than your typical American kid because they've seen things that your typical kid hasn't seen, in terms of poverty and other things. So I think they have a really good appreciation for how lucky we have it here." Daily Bruin

(photo credit: Mike Winters/Daily Bruin)


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