Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:35pm-12:35pm CST
I am on the train and we will leave soon. One thing I want to say before I forget and that is that the electricity on the train is powerful enough to run my computer. When we came up it would not do the job. Well, just had a big jolt as we have started.
Got up at 7 to be ready to leave for the bus station at 8. Got loaded with no problems and made it to the station in 10 minutes or so. Here there is no such thing as a schedule. When Jean Claude went to purchase our tickets there were only two remaining seats so we had to wait. A brother named Oliver was going to purchase our train tickets in Ngondere but they refused without seeing my actual Passport and their ID cards. Jean Claude was worried that we wouldn’t make it to Ngondere in time to get tickets for the Sleep Wagon and we would have to settle for 1st class. Well, we waited a long time at the bus station so I decided to go ahead and have my breakfast. One of the sisters had prepared hard boiled eggs and I had bought some bread. I had some Mayo from Chick-fil-A and I had put a bottle of orange juice in my freezer overnight and it was rock solid. By the time I got to the station it was beginning to thaw and was wonderful. Finally a big bus came and we began to load our stuff and then ourselves. This driver was rude (Jean Claude’s words meaning he drove too fast) so we arrived about 20 minutes earlier than when we had went.
I must insert this: I am wearing an African shirt which is really nice for a couple of reasons. One is that they are long and if your ‘fly’ is open no one will know which was really good because I just discovered that my fly was open! Also, I think I may go to work for Terminix because we have some crickets in here and I have been slaying them. Oh, one more thing: we spotted a bunch of goats that were making their first and final train trip (if you know what I mean). A picture of some of them is below. I think this train driver is rude because we are really shaking as we go down the tracks. Hopefully our 14 hour journey that was 17 coming can be reduced.
Back to the trip: after we collected our bags we took them to the train station (right next door) and deposited them as we wanted to go to a grocery store and to Oliver’s house. There was no one at the place where you lock the bags and they just put them over in a corner. Jean Claude assured me they would be safe and he was correct. I just bought some chocolate and cookies for my supper. As I write the chocolate is nothing more than a wonderful memory and I am working on the cookies. Never ate these kind before but they are really good. Don’t figger they will last long either. We went over to Oliver’s house and his wife Margaret cooked lunch for us. The picture below is of Oliver, Margaret and their 4 month old child who is a girl named Danielle. Had a good visit and then we headed for the train station. Got on board and discovered they had put us in one big room with 4 beds. Well, we didn’t want to go with that so we pleaded and they gave Jean Claude and I our own room and Gisele and Linda theirs. Before we left I showed all of my pictures of the trip to Gisele and Linda along with some pictures of my grandkids. The 3rd picture below is of Gisele and Linda at Oliver’s.
A couple of misc items:
- The bus we took to Ngondere seats 70 although I am sure in America it would be closer to 50. Also, as we traveled we took on 5 more passengers and they just sat in the aisle.
- When we were talking at Oliver’s we were discussing a Christian couple in which she lives and works over a hundred miles away. That is not uncommon at all in Cameroon.
We just stopped at our first stop and I was hoping to send this but there is no network. It will probably be at least 24 hours before I can send. Will write more before that time. We are all doing well. Thanks so much for your prayers and concern.
Friday, October 28, 2011 7:05am-1:05am CST
Well, have been riding the ocean waves all night. Do not know what a Pullman is like in the States but this train moves up and down a lot! I was able to get about 6 ½ hours of sleep so that is good. Jean Claude says we have 3 more stops before Yaoundé but I do not know what that translates into regarding time. I am assuming that we are going to arrive no later than 10am and hopefully much earlier than that. At any rate, we are not pressed for time. I have already shown you a picture of the room and there ain’t much more to show. Quarters are confined but still nice. Will not write again until Ebolowa and will then send, Lord willing.
Friday, October 28, 2011 7:20pm-1:20pm CST
Arrived in Yaounde around 8:30. The girls took a taxi to the bus station to go back to Douala and Simon picked us and took us first to a grocery store. I bought 2 things but primarily wanted to get a few things for his family. He has been such a help to us. The fourth picture below shows what a bus/van is like in Cameroon. You get the ‘sardine’ treatment but the ride was fine. Only took 2 hours. A brother that I had taught and baptized last year picked us in his taxi. This hotel has something that no other hotel has that I have ever stayed at in Cameroon. Not good A/C (has but have had that before); not good Fridge (has but have had that before); good bed (has but have had that before); good lighting (has but have had that before); toilet seat (has but have had that before); nice waste paper basket (has but have had that before). This bathroom has a real live shower with a glass enclosure and the water does not flow on the floor! Note the picture of my bed; the reason I took it was this; if you travel much in the US you know that for a decade or more hotels often have the toilet paper in a ‘v’ shape. Well, my bed was made like that. I am not impressed but did think it was interesting. Jean Claude and I went to see if we could find someone who would help me send but to no avail.
OK, it is time for me to send my tri-annual message about your high speed internet. Do not, I repeat, do not take it for granted. I have been working for about an hour and a half on some things that would have taken 5 minutes at home. Someone has sent me an attachment that is 23MBs and I am at 16 or so right now and only hoping that my connection will hold in time for the attachment to come. I want to know who to ‘bad mouth’!
Got unpacked and Jean Claude and I had a lovely supper. I switched from chicken to spaghetti and it would have put a smile on the face of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee (or however his named is spelt). I am going to hang in with this and hopefully be able to send. Oh, I did copy and paste some replies to some of you. A couple would not let me do so. I went to my Yahoo account and they did not recognize my password and/or user name. Finally was able to launch using Gmail. My plan had been to get everything done early and then relax but so much for that. I will call Linda and then see where I am at regarding the attachment. Jean Claude and I are well and the girls made it safely to Douala. I just finally got the attachment to come through and it was from some goober who I don’t even know. One more thing I forgot to tell you. Simon, the brother who picked us is really good at going against the traffic. I had mentioned that in a blog last week and once again it proved to be very beneficial.