Thursday, May 19, 2011


Today was an interesting day. This morning I got to sleep in, which was nice as I have been feeling extremely tired. I arrived at work late, but nobody cared which is always nice. Though Vincent did give me a bit of a hard time about it - i know he was only joking. So this post is about food. First off food! The Cameroonians have some excellent dishes, all of which are gluten free. Foods here are often corn based, so its excellent for me. Ms. E says this is a good country for me to be in, in comparison to countries like ukraine, where I have wanted to go. It's true.

The first food I tried is called Ndole, its a sauce type thing made of bitterleaves, and full of other spices, including Peppe (I have no idea how that is spelled.) The picture of the Ndole is on my other memory card so unfortunately I cannot post it. Ndole is served with a bunch of things, such as plantaines and cocoa yam. I prefer it with the cocoa yam.

The second thing I had was pap - which is like a paste made out of corn. People here use it for baby food but adults eat it to. It's actually not so bad with sugar.

Next up is ground nut stew! It is a soup like thing, made out of peanuts, served over rice. This has been my favorite dish so far. (It is storming so I am not going to try uploading the pictures I have, I will update the blog later.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

...I dont have a title...

People warned me it would happen, and yesterday it finally did. As I was walking through the market with Ms. E, a man called out to me "I would like to marry you."

"No thank you!" Was my reply as I smiled back at him. I love that people here find no shame in asking a complete stranger to marry them.

Today was a good day. I went to the office in the morning and shared some music with my collegue, Vincent. We didn't get any work done in the morning. It was a good time though.

In the afternoon we had a workshop with the kids, but only a few of them showed up so we were very limited on what we were able to do. So we talked about what we did in the workshop on Saturday, reviewed our nine times tables, learned a new song and then played a game. The game was the one where everyone closes their eyes and grabs random hands, once everyone has two hands they have t  try and untagle themselves without letting go. It's a good teamwork game and we will do it again on saturday.

This Friday is a holiday, and florentine wants to take me to commercial ave, to see the celebrations. However Ms. E is planning to go out of town that day, and I have been invited to go along. I have not decided what I will do yet.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Life as I know it.

Things have been rolling along here.

Last week I went to various schools and met some children that the Chosen Children are supporting. For those of you that don't know The Chosen Children is a program that is working to support orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. The kids were quite shy around me, and I can only imagine that it would be slightly intimidating to have a strange white person coming to your school to meet you. It also wasn't explained to the children why I was there - so that didn't help either. By the second day I took it upon myself to tell them who I was and why I was there. I'm not sure they understood me, but at least I tried.

On Saturday we had a workshop with the kids, which was a lot of fun. I did a short drama with them, a song, and taught them a trick to do their 9 times tables. (Which I thought was funny but I had showed my collegues earlier and they were all amazed by it.) Despite warnings that they would be loud and rambuncious they were quit shy. I think its because they are not in their territory, and they are not yet comfortable with me. Give it time.

I have been feeling a little bit bored and frustrated with the lack of things to do. They want me to write songs for the kids, which is fine but I wish I had known before hand because it is very short notice for me to do so and I'm not sure I can. Instead I have been writing drama's.

Yesterday was a very buggy day. My host opened up a bag of cat food, and we found it crawling with little beetles and larva. Much of the food had been turned to dust as the bugs fed on it. Ew. Then I saw something that looked like an earth worm - and then there was a cockroach in my bedroom. Yick. We also have a mouse. Oh well.

Today I went to the office and was able to do some work by typing up stories about the people in the HIV support group. It is practically unheard of here for people to have a support group of any kind, and I am very pleased to be working with a group that recognizes the importance of such things. It's not good for people to deal with their problems on their own, and here that is the way of life.

One of the groups biggest struggles seems to be financial, so I am thinking up some ideas that may be used to help them - but I will not share until I know for sure that I want to do them.

That's all for now, I am heading to the market - if it doesn't storm before I get there.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Here and loving it.

Hey everybody!

So after about 25 hours in airports I finally arrived in Cameroon on may 5th. The flights were long, but I somehow managed to survive it all. The first thing I noticed when I steped off the plane in Duoala is that it felt like my hot yoga class - and it was about 7:30 PM. Hot and humid. From there we went to the guest house. I went to bed fairly quickly and actually managed to get 8 hours of sleep. (Shows how little I slept on the plane.) The next morning I got my first real view of Cameroon. It was dark and rainy, but this morning was lovely. Not so hot either. The trees were beautiful, as was the arcitecture. I was also excited to see some geckos that I had read about before coming. They are blue and red and veery cool looking. After breakfast we had a 5 and a half hour drive up to Bamenda. Going through the city was amazing. I loved seeing all the people interact with each other. The driving here is completely different than it is in Canada. People swerve, pedestrians walk whereever they want and sometimes they seat four to a motocycle.

I met lots of people in the last day and I can't remember any of them, unfortunately. Names are familiar but faces...that's going to take some practice to recognize. That evening we went to a small groups for missionaries, it was great to get to meet some other missionaries in the area.

Today has been a good day. This morning we went to the market - which I am absolutely in love with. I love the atomosphere and the bargining that goes on around me. I like that you can bargin, unlike in Canada. When we walked down the row with the hair dressers every single one of them wanted to do my hair. Even the ones who already had customers, which made me laugh a bit. I politely declined them all. Maybe another day - if I'm willing to sit that long.

When we got I rested for a while and found myself locked in the house when I woke up. Ha. So I used that time to play my guitar and journal.

This afternoon we went for a tour of the compound, and saw churches, the school, and children practicing both the boys brigade and two different choirs. I really loved being able to see that.

This evening we haven't done much, other than make supper and have various guests over - people are always dropping in. Tomorrow we go to church - Elsie said we are not going to our usual church because it will be hours long due to Mothers day. :) Speaking of which, Happy Mothers day Mom!

Anyways I should go, but before I do - I think I'm in love with this place.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All ready to go!!!

So, in almost exactly 12 hours I will be jumping on a plane to head to Cameroon! Exciting isn't it? I don't really think its hit me yet, and I am still full of the peace of God. Preparation took longer than I thought it would - even though I should know by now to give myself an extra couple of hours than I except.

I also wanted to give a big shout out to everyone that has helped with the funding for this trip. When I started this I expected to have to pay completely out of my own wallet, but friends, family and the church have been extremely generous and I want to say THANK YOU. I am truly amazed by peoples generosity. Thank You all.

Anyways, I should probably finish my bed time routine so I can be up and at the world tomorrow! My next update won't be until I'm in Africa. Please pray for safe travels, safety while there, and for the people of this county.