Friday, October 30, 2015 7:00pm-1:00pm CST
Today was a great day and normally I would not know where to begin but this one is easy. As we were on the bus coming into Douala today, Jean Claude received a phone call. It was from the preacher in Kombe and Simon (one of the prospects I taught) was baptized yesterday!!!!! This is common, not necessarily this soon but virtually every campaign has baptisms after we have gone home. We will pray for him as we do for all of those we studied with.
I do not know if I have been running on adrenalin for the past weeks but all of a sudden I am really fatigued. That is very uncommon for me and I pray it is not a sign of things to come. While we have had times of relaxation, I have been traveling or working for 14 straight days. I am hoping that a good night’s rest will take care of things. I got up at 5:30 to be ready to leave at 6:30. Simon arrived a bit early and we were headed to the bus station at 6:20. We were early enough to beat the heavy traffic. They put me in the back seat and because they had shifted the rear seats forward to make room for the luggage; I had to sit sideways. No problem and the journey was fine. In fact, Simon asked me a couple of doctrinal questions on the way so we had a good discussion. We boarded the bus at about 7:10 and departed at 7:40. We took a large bus from Yaounde to Douala. It is as big, if not bigger, than any Greyhound you have ever seen. When we dropped at the bus station in Douala we picked a taxi to the hotel. Martin was waiting as he took Jean Claude home. Jean Claude had told me that if he took a taxi home it would be Sunday afternoon before he arrived. A bit of a stretch but not much! When we arrived Martin was sleeping on his machine. Yes, he was laid out and doing well. I sure am glad he didn’t roll over! I had a blast this afternoon. First, I walked across the street to a small store to buy water. I thought of Linda. Now, I think of Linda all of the time and when I do I am happy and sad. I am happy because I have the best wife in the world and sad because she is in the wrong hemisphere at the present moment. The reason why I thought of her is that she loves to cross the street in Douala. If you don’t know her well you may be surprised that she is a daredevil. She told me the other day that she wants to sky dive and bungee jump! I unpacked half of my stuff and called Jean Claude. He and Mary have traveled to Kumba for a funeral and I sent him an email to the bereaved family. I then climbed a machine and went to the store. On the main road they were setting up what looked to be a funeral which means this was a really important guy. The traffic that is always difficult was even worse. My driver, however, was able to navigate well and we made it there with no problems. Didn’t get much but did succeed to secure some Mars Bars and Snickers. You may be surprised to know that I seldom eat candy bars in the States. Coming back the traffic was so bad that we hopped on something beside the road. Could not really be called a sidewalk but we were able to circumvent some heavy traffic. I still do not understand why people ride in taxis. Later I took another machine to our favorite hamburger joint. I had asked Jean Claude to write my order in French so I could just give it to them. I wanted 2 things: a hamburger with only mustard and a small cheese, ham & sausage pizza. When they brought the order out there were 2 pizzas. The mix-up was that Jean Claude had written the number 1 by the hamburger and the number 2 by the pizza. He didn’t mean two pizzas but that is what I got. I knew I could not eat both so I dashed one to the girl. Came home and truly enjoyed my meal. After I finish this I will relax and read.
1. You have heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, I believe that a video is worth a thousand pictures and being there is worth ten thousand videos! The two pictures below were taken from the bus. On the right you can see the machines snaking between a taxi and the large bus. Once we hit Douala I said to Jean Claude: I want to get on a machine and he smiled and nodded.
2. The road from Yaounde to Douala is a tar road with virtually no serviceable shoulder. The lane is plenty large for a car or small truck but a big bus or a heavy rig basically takes up the whole lane. That makes it interesting when a bus is passing an 18 wheeler. The drivers could easily high five each other although it might remove their hands.
3. The bus today had A/C and it was so cold I had goose bumps. My mind was confused when I saw them as I don’t think of having goose bumps in Africa. Was worried that I had a skin problem but quickly realized that it was just because I was freezing.
4. I have never had a desire to drive a bus but I would truly hate to drive one in Douala. The pictures below do not do justice to the narrow nature of the streets and when you add all of the machines, taxis, private cars and pedestrians; it is remarkable that they do so well. These drivers, of all vehicles, are amazing.
5. If you had lived at the North Pole for some time and traveled to Minnesota; you would probably think it was warm. Well, my A/C in this hotel is fine but nothing compared to the hotel in Douala. I had a parlor and a bed room and both rooms had A/C. At night I turned the A/C off in my room and just ran the one in the other room and I was fine. If I had slept under my A/C in the bedroom Jean Claude would have come in to find an ice block.
Since Jean Claude will be gone tomorrow; it will be the first day of this journey where it is truly a rest day. The alarm will not be set and I will pretty much stay in my room. Will probably go walking for some exercise but am looking forward to the rest. On Sunday I am teaching and preaching at Bonaberi and then teaching prospects after worship. I will also speak with Gerald about Noble Age 5 (our teen curriculum) and a few other things. Then at 6pm I am meeting with the French sisters who go out and conduct seminars for women to teach children. It will still be 3 hours before I Skype Grandma and Charlie Brown. On Wednesday Linda fell when she went to pick Alex from school. Went to her chiropractor yesterday and nothing is broke but she is not feeling well. If you live in the area you might give her a call to see if she needs anything. She is a tough old buzzard (I say that lovingly) but still needs cared for. I feel absolutely great and look forward to the next few days. Thanks for your continued prayers.