Monday, February 22, 2016 8:55pm-1:55pm CST
Ricardo asked me today if I thought that anyone would begrudge us having a day of golf. I said I didn’t think so and I guess I will find out. Slept restfully again and awoke at 5:30. The reason for such an early wake-up was to go play a round of golf in Tiko. That is the place we visited on the way to Douala last week and got our souvenir golf balls. We were supposed to be picked at 7 by a car but early in the morning the plans changed. Martin and Julien picked us at the hotel and took us to Bonaberi. The traffic had started and it is hilarious to watch how they drive. It is totally safe but also totally chaotic. They have “chaotic” down to a science. We arrived in Bonaberi at a spot we were supposed to meet Jean Claude and I called him and he said he was near. Reminds me of brethren in Ghana who would say a distance was a ‘stone’s throw’. I learned over time that they could throw a rock further than I could shoot a bullet! I bought Martin and Julien some breakfast and Ricardo and I did the same. I had a Snicker’s Bar and he had some cookies by the name of Digestive. After 30 minutes or so Jean Claude showed up with a driver named Allen who brought Fred’s Toyota Sienna. Fred is a brother who is a medical doctor in the Army with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Have to tell you a quick story about Fred. About a decade ago we were in Bertoua with him and some brothers. We ordered supper at the hotel restaurant and Fred ordered a chicken and he ate the WHOLE thing. Let me explain precisely what I mean; when he was finished there was not so much as a tiny bone left on his plate. He truly ate the WHOLE thing! We bought Jean Claude and Allen some breakfast and off we went to Tiko. It is about 45 minutes from Bonaberi and the road is good. We got stopped once by the Police but you simply show your Passport and they wave you on. Oh, I forgot: on the way out of Bonaberi Allen pulled in to a petrol station to have the oil changed. It did not take long but as I waited I decided I needed some more breakfast as a Snickers is not enough. They had a freezer and inside was a very nice Ice Cream Drumstick and I knew I needed some Calcium so I bought it. I know that I can be compulsive on the ‘health front’ but I can’t help myself. We got to the golf course and a bunch of people greeted us. Turns out that they have clubs to rent and if you choose theirs, they get some money. Well, I play left handed so there was only one set for me but there was some tussling over who Ricardo would get. If you are not a golf fan this may mean little or nothing to you. In the picture of us below you can see that the fairways are anything but green. We were told that once the rains come, it greens up almost immediately. We really had a good time. While we had a golf cart, we also had a golf pro and a caddy go with us. The pro asked me what my handicap was and I told him: my hands! He is a 5 and the caddy is a 10. It was really cool having a caddy as this is a first for me. He would give you your club and when you were finished put it back. When you were ready to hit he would pick your ball up and put it in the most advantageous place. That is the way we play in Garland. We play by Mayberry Rules after a dear brother named Glen Mayberry. It knocks 10 or 20 shots off your score but if a true golfer was watching; he would ‘toss his cookies’. I wanted to be as delicate as possible. Those who know me are aware that I am a very delicate person. Basically the opposite of Teresa Blaisdell. The pro would give us the distance and while it was in meters, we knew pretty much how to translate into yards. Ricardo barely beat me but I can tell you why: I did not have a driver but only a 5 wood and I think my set of clubs were made in 1963. Ricardo had a REALLY great set of clubs so I was at a huge disadvantage. Still, he barely beat me. BTW: any of you “Linder Roaders” should not pay any attention to his version of the story because he is prone to stretching the truth from time to time. The course was fairly straight; no water hazards and only a few bunkers. In a former life I think Ricardo must have been a lumberjack because he was sure picking on a bunch of trees! If trees could cry there would have been moaning all over the place. The greens were like nothing you have ever seen if you are a golfer. Hard to read and very ‘grassy’. Still, we had a great time. We then got back in our van to head to town. We stopped at our favorite restaurant and that is where the picture on the right was taken. That is Allen with, of course, Jean Claude. He will have surgery on March 2 to put a screen inside his side to keep it from bulging out. The problem is a result of the two earlier surgeries. He says that Junior says it is that way because he eats too much and the food cannot all go in the stomach. His wife Mary says he has two stomachs! We were pretty sweaty from the morning and I headed toward the shower as soon as I got in. That cold water felt so good. I have been catching up on some correspondence and went down to Ricardo’s room to visit. I will Skype with Charlie Brown and Grandma later. Just a few more days. I am glad that I built some extra days into this trip (and not primarily because of the golf) as there are quite a few things I need to do in the next couple of days. Your prayers are a blessing to us.