Howdy

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 3:30pm-2:30pm CST

Dear All:

Smooth trip thus far. Got up this morning at 5:30 and was packed and ready to go. My son-in-law picked me at 6:50 and two of his boys (Cy & KB) are spending the day with Grandma along with Charlie Brown. CB is a 7 year old that Linda has been babysitting since he was 6 weeks old. We went to the church building and met Bryan’s parents who had brought him; Kevin who was brought by his lovely wife Shauna and Ken and Chris who were brought by Ken’s lovely wife Alayane. While I am thinking about it; she made some homemade chocolate chip cookies but unfortunately did not make enough! They are a good memory as I write. We took LBJ (I-635) in Dallas and went on the Express Lane and arrived at the airport at 8:15. This road used to be a nightmare and I stayed AWAY from it like the plague. Since they added the Express Lanes it is really nice. Checked in with no problems and got inside the airport. Bryan and I went to get something to eat and he was amazed at DFW. He said: “this is like a mall”! He had told us that he had flown twice before but later discovered that he was so young he has no recollection. He is fixin to have more “firsts” on this trip than any he has ever made. Flight to Atlanta was smooth and on time. The four of them are getting something to eat as our flight to Paris has been delayed 2 hours. I didn’t go because I am intent on keeping my youthful figger. The delay is no problem because we have a 5 hour layover in Paris. I have Skyped with Linda and she has survived the kids. I will write more later and post this tomorrow, Lord willing.

Thursday, June 15, 2016 7:00am-Midnight CST

The 4 of them went to get something to eat and they changed our gate. I called and let them know and Ken told me to meet him at the new gate. I had to remind him that we have 8 carry-ons between us and while I am a very strong and youthful guy; I was not sure I wanted to grab them all so they came and we moved. I forgot that Ken got upgraded to First Class for the flight from Dallas to Atlanta. He was REALLY hoping to get upgraded on this flight! We finally loaded with no problems and have had a good flight. We are less than 2 hours from touchdown and will have a 3 hour layover and then off to Douala. I was blessed last night with my best meal since my last meal on a plane in February. The exceptions are my darling wife’s cooking! She makes a mean Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich! I think I have shared this thought with you in the past; there is an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger where a man with no culinary experience makes this statement: there are people who eat airplane food and ask for seconds. That, of course, describes me and all of those with an exceptional palate! I actually got 180 minutes of sleep. I had watched the first half of the movie: The Green Berets with John Wayne and will finish on the flight to Douala. Have also been reading some and playing some games on the video system on the plane.

3:30pm-9:30pm CST

As you can see; there are 6 hours between Cameroon and the Central Time Zone. Sometimes I will think of things and immediately write about them because the thought may quickly fly away. It is going to be quite interesting regarding words that are common to us older guys and Bryan. For example; the other day I took him to Walmart to buy some stuff for the trip. Because I wanted to keep the expenses separate I said to him: “we will get two buggies”. He replied by saying: “why do we need two buckets?” I said: “not buckets but buggies”. He replied: “what is a buggy” and I said it was something that you push in the store. He said: “oh, a cart.” I replied yes and he wanted to know why I called it a buggy. Well, because I am an old man! Once we got inside I said that we needed to get some Off. He wanted to know what that was and I said it was Mosquito repellant. He wanted to know why I said Off and I told him that Off has one syllable whereas Mosquito repellent has 6 and I am trying to save my voice! This a long trip; since I got up yesterday morning it has been over 28 hours. However, we are now within 90 minutes of landing. The flight has been great with another marvelous meal!!!!!!!!!! If things hold true to form; in a bit they will come by with a basket of goodies and we can pick what we want. It will be candy or cookies, you, know, health food. I finished The Green Berets. If you are familiar with the movie it takes place in the Vietnam War and you are reminded of the bravery of our solders. You also know that today there are many brave men and women who are fighting to defend us and we are grateful for them. The reality, however, is that any physical war pale in comparison to the one we are involved in with Satan. This war has eternal consequences and I will confess that too often I am not honed in on this war as I should be. We are all aware that this war does not take place only in Cameroon. Those of you who are reading are involve in this ULTIMATE WAR. Please keep us in prayer and we will do the same for you. The security at the airport has become more difficult in the last 6 months so we do not know if Jean Claude will be able to come inside. We have a brother in Christ by the name of Muabe Peter who is a soldier. When Richard Sutton and I came in February he brought Jean Claude and both were able to come inside. A soldier can pretty well go anywhere he wants. We will get our bags and head for the hotel. Tomorrow we will get supplies for the journey and leave on Saturday.

Friday, June 17, 2016 5:25pm-11:25am CST

Where have I been? Fairly simple two-point answer: my modem would not work last night and it turned out that the SIM card was not well seated. Secondly, I was shot and still did not get to bed until 1:30 doing some planning and other work. I will try to remember the most interesting stuff from last night. By far the best is a new recipe that I stumbled on: I did not have the foresight to bring a bowl so I had to eat out of cans. That is not necessarily bad accept at the beginning you can’t mix anything. Well, I finally had enough out and came up with a marvelous new edition to my plethora of culinary delights. Take a can of Beenee Weenees, a can of Spaghetti & Meatballs and a can of Tuna. Mix well and serve at room temperature. Listen; the room temperature is key for two reasons: 1) Cooking burns the vitamins and other good stuff out and you are essentially eating piffle. Hey, “piffle” is a word or my spell checker ain’t working. Hey, why did it flag “ain”t”? 2) Heat removes much of the flavor of the food.

We are staying in the same hotel that we were at in February but they have new rooms that we are in. All of us have A/C, Fridge and toilet seats! Bryan is in for a rude awakening tomorrow! Hee, Hee! This “Howdy” will not have its normal homiletical
purity because stuff is just popping into my mind. If you run into any tough words call Teresa Blaisdell because she is a brilliant woman! Actually, you may need to call the hospital because after she reads that nice line she will probably have Cardiac Arrest. When we landed we had to go down the plank to a waiting bus. Because they only have one bus it took quite a while. Made it through Customs fairly quickly but had to wait a longer time than usual for our bags. One of the ‘baggage things’ (that is the technical term) is not working so a ton of people were surrounding the one that was working. At any rate; no lost luggage. Yea! Jean Claude, Glenn & Loveline Besong, Glory and Michael came to welcome us. Then at the hotel were Julien & Natalie Baessem and Martin the driver. We came into my room and visited, prayed and sang. It was great! I keep things in Douala when I am gone so it takes me longer than most to unpack and get situated. I slept well after getting 3 hours of sleep over the previous 48 hours. Got up at 8:45. Oh, took a nice shower last night and we have hot water. That will not be the case in Ekondo-Titi where we will be tomorrow. Everything in the room is nice. This morning Bryan and I walked down to the phone place where they reseated my SIM card. It is literally 50 yards from the hotel. Jean Claude said he would be here at 10 and promptly arrived at 10:25! He had received bad news; his wife’s family’s house in Muea burned last night. Don’t know the full extent of the damage. Fortunately, no one was hurt. We then went to a REALLY nice grocery store to buy stuff for the journey. Jean Claude also picked some stuff for Vincent and Henry who we will pick on the road tomorrow. Came back to the hotel and dumped the stuff. Oh, we went to 4 stores before we found any Coke Light. Turns out the store we bought from is a small store right across from the hotel. At the 3 big stores the Coke Light was finished. That is their way of saying ‘they were out of Coke Light’. We then went to lunch and everyone enjoyed the fish, burgers, pizza, chicken, fries, plantain and rice. No one ate ALL of that but we enjoyed what we had. The five of them hopped in a taxi to go back but I climbed a machine. Jean Claude thinks I am too old to ride a machine but he is just a young whipper snapper that knows nothing. Once I got back I started dividing the WBS material we bought. Each of us had some in our luggage and Jean Claude and Vincent will be the recipients. I couldn’t Skype with Linda last night because her internet was down. When I spoke with her she was not a happy camper. I told her that if the biggest problem she ever has is tied to the internet she will die a happy woman. For some reason; those words of wisdom did not cheer her up. Below is a Selfie that Bryan took. I can’t take decent selfies but I thought he did a good job. We were in the Paris airport at the time. We are going to Jean Claude’s church tonight. It is singing and prayer night and I know we will be encouraged. Finish packing when we get back. We load at 7 in the morning and are praying that the road from Kumba to Ekondo-Titi is manageable. Vincent says it has been graded and the journey will only take 2 hours. If he is correct we should enter Ekondo no later than 2. We meet the preachers at 3. I am going to send this and will not write again until tomorrow. Will Skype Linda and Charlie Brown after services. Oh, everyone at Buckingham Road has told me to take care of Bryan. It appears he is the only one they are concerned with! Well, almost every time he turns around he is seeing something new and interesting. We are all well and thank you for your prayers. Oh, they did not bring candy or cookies but Ice Cream Bars on the flight yesterday afternoon. The flight attendant forced me to eat two against my will. I may have to complain to Air France about her! Also, Bryan was REALLY impressed with the Paris airport. They have some “uptown shops” that sell expensive perfume, jewelry and other things. Actually, it is all expensive!

Love,

Jim

 

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