Friday, October 18, 2013 12:45am, Thursday, October 17, 2013 6:45pm
I have officially landed in Africa. As I discuss the day, you will know what I am talking about. Woke up at 7 after another great night’s rest. Jean Claude had went down to the bus station to purchase our tickets and then he came about 8 and Louis followed within minutes. They had left some stuff in my room last night and were going to pack it this morning. We got down to the Bus Station and this is one of those things that I cannot describe. There are usually 3 or 4 LARGE buses and they are contained in an area where you could not get another bus. These drivers are expert at maneuvering these large behemoths. Oh, for Teresa Blaisdell the best way to describe a behemoth where you would understand is go look in the mirror! At any rate, the bus was nice and scheduled to leave at 9 and we pulled out by 9:10. They give you a bottle of water when you enter the bus and it is Air Conditioned. I will say that the leg room is of such a nature that when I get on the plane to ride back home and I am in Coach I will think I am in First Class. The road to Yaounde is a ‘tar road’ so we made good time and arrived at 1. We bought our tickets for the bus to Bertoua which was scheduled to depart at 2:30. We promptly pulled out at 5:10! You see, they don’t move until every seat has been purchased. The pictures below are of Jean Claude and Simon Parfait on the left; Simon preaches for one of the congregations in Yaounde where we will work. Louis is on the right and is in the lounge area waiting for the bus. As you can see, the seats are very nice. At all of the Bus Stations you have people walking around selling all sorts of things. There was one man who was selling trash cans (big and small) and various buckets. Most were on his head with some at his side. I had an experience that was new to me. I needed to go to the can and take a leak (those are terms my lovely wife uses; I am usually more delicate) and you had to pay 100 franc (about 22 cents). That was not new but they gave you a tea kettle filled with water and that is what you used to flush. The bathroom was very nice with a tile floor. The seats on the bus are not reserved but if you go on early and place something in the seat, that is supposed to reserve it for you. Well, after we were seated and young man came on and an old man had taken his place. The gray haired guy was not going to let the ‘young buck’ have the seat. From the bus station it takes over 30 minutes to get out of town. Was we were on the open road it was great. A few of you who have been to Bertoua many years in the past will remember that from Yaounde to Bertoua about the first 3rd of the road was Tar Road and then it turned into ‘washboard dirt road’. Well, it is tar all the way now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What used to take 7 hours only took 5. While we were on the bus Jean Claude and Louis were crying for food and I gave them all I had. Jean Claude called me Grandpa and said that a Grandpa should take care of his grandchildren. I knew we were in the same spiritual family but didn’t realize we were kin! We are staying at a different hotel from the past. It is very nice, the only thing missing is electricity. Fortunately, they have a generator that drives the lights but nothing else. Not even electrical outlets. I am working on a battery right now and pray the electricity comes on tomorrow so I can charge my computer and IPhone. I still have some stuff to do but tomorrow will be relaxful. I am meeting with the church at 6 but during the day we will not do much. Jean Claude and Louis both have some minor health problems and I bought them medicine in Yaounde and they are both doing better. Thanks for your continued prayers.