It was an unusually silent scene at the Cameroon Embassy yesterday afternoon. The gates were locked, the lights were off and there was no sign of life. But at the ambassador's residence, there was nothing but joy.
In the aftermath of Cameroon's first-ever World Cup victory -- 1-0 over Argentina -- the tiny African country's ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Paul Pondi, was at home watching and celebrating a triumph that he said was one for "all of Africa.
"All of the African ambassadors in the United States tell me that they are rejoicing with us," he said. "It is not just a Cameroon victory. It is a victory for the African continent.
"For Cameroon it is a sign that our youth is dynamic and has a brilliant future. That youth is supported and encouraged by our government and our president, Paul Biya," who was in attendance at the game.
There was no World Cup party for Cameroon's American entourage: Nobody had a room big enough to fit everyone. Instead, they watched the game at several locations and spent the rest of the afternoon visiting each other, especially Pondi's residence.
"When the game ended, we all were rejoicing," said Pondi, throwing his head back and his hands up in the air. "Many Cameroonians have come here to celebrate with us today, and I opened a bottle of champagne in honor of our young soccer players and all of Cameroon's youth."