Friday, October 14, 2016 5:30pm-11:30am CST
I am finally here!! It took 18 hours in the air, 9 hours waiting in airports and 17 hours in vehicles! WHEW, AGAIN!!! I have also officially landed in Africa. Let me explain:
Yokaduma is in the bush. That means it is far and remote from anything resembling modern Cameroon. For example, we stopped at a petrol station to get a 6 pack of water which costs 2,000 in Douala but 3,000 here. When Jean Claude was surprised at the 3,000 the man said: you are not in Douala, welcome to Yokaduma! Jean Claude said he said it with a smile! We are staying at the Elephant Hotel. I have stayed here at least 8 times and it used to be very nice with all of the conveniences you could desire. Over the years, however, little or no maintenance has been done so everything is old. Kind of reminds me of Teresa Blaisdell! We found out that the owner is serving a 15-year prison sentence. I don’t the crime he committed but it may have been “bad hotel management”! There are young men who are keeping it going so they will not spend any more money than is absolutely necessary. I am in a suite but don’t let that mislead you. The parlor has an A/C but it didn’t work 3 years ago when I was here and the status quo has been maintained. There used to be a fridge in here but no longer. That is OK because the electricity is not on and though they have a generator, it cannot run a fridge. I do have 2 TVs which is 2 too many! In my room there is a fan that was made in 1938 but it does work so I am happy. Have a nice bed and a nice bathroom so all is well.
I have told you in the past that my lovely daughter reminds me on a regular basis that I keep repeating myself. That is her nice way of saying I am getting old. The bad part is that sometimes she simply says: “dad, you’re old”! She needs some disciplinary action but I am not sure what to do. I could tape her mouth shut which would please her husband and everyone else who comes in contact with her. However, she would probably just rip the tape off and give me a lecture on why you should not tape shut the mouth of a 45-year-old woman! I said all of that because I am aware that from time to time I may say something that I stated in the previous HOWDY! Traveling is for the birds! If I had a nickel for every time I have zipped and unzipped a suitcase I would be set for life! Let me recap the day:
Got up at 5:50 for a 6:30 departure. Between Bertoua and Yokaduma there is no tar road. I will say, however, that it wasn’t all that bad and we made the trip in about 7 ½ hours which is very good. I have spent as many as 14 hours to make the trip because of road conditions. Had some Peanut Butter Oreos, other crackers, Slim Jims and Mango juice on the way. As you can see; I continue to maintain my healthy eating habits. About the last 30 or so minutes of the trip the road, while dirt, was very smooth. Jean Claude said they had scraped the road which is their way of saying it had been graded. We got stopped numerous times by the police and gendarmes but there were no problems. My dear friend and brother, Louis Bassay, has been making these journeys with me for some time and I miss him. However, Jean Claude is a GREAT replacement. As you can see; we have hours to discuss Biblical issues, problems within the church in Cameroon and the overall condition of the church. We are also looking at some ways in which we can establish a greater presence of World Bible School in the country. When we arrived it started raining and has not stopped since. Rodrique (the preacher in Yokaduma) met us the hotel. As stated above; the electricity was off but they assured us it would come soon. Well, when a Cameroonian says soon that is like a wife saying that she will do a little shopping! Ain’t going to happen. Now, my wife is excluded from that statement because she is a good girl! Jean Claude inquired some more and discovered the reason they couldn’t put on the generator was that they were out of petrol. We remedied that very quickly and I simply pray it will run all night. I can tell you that I will apply Mosquito Repellent tonight. Actually, I rarely see a mosquito but am taking no chances. We are scheduled to eat supper with Rodrique and his wife, Cristel. It was supposed to be at 5 but looks like 6 may work which is OK. All they have is fish or cow meat and the cow meat (steak) is very tasty but your jaw is sore after you are done so I am going to wade through the fish bones. In Yokaduma they have no idea of what a filet is and the natives eat the bones anyway. I was always taught that that is dangerous but Ghanaians and Cameroonians alike eat the bones and they never choke. You are very careful to always know where your flashlight is and mine is sitting comfortably next to me. When I was unpacking the generator was off so I have my trusty Maglite which I can keep in my mouth to navigate in the dark. As I am writing, the lights just went off. Well, a worker just came in and was rattling something in Russian and I didn’t understand. I went to my bedroom and the light is on there but not in here which is really strange.
The picture below is of Grandma and our priceless 13-year-old grandson, Will. Well, actually he does have price tag and it is $3.97! That was taken at the Sweetheart Banquet back in February at our church. The last time that I was with Linda on Valentine’s Day was 1987. She is a real trooper and blessing to me and this ministry. It was so nice of Will to be Grandma’s date!
We are looking forward to the morrow and ask you to pray that we will have receptive hearts. Also pray that the rain does not hinder us. One other prayer request; one of the preachers on the English side has a son named Glenn. I am not sure how old he is but think he is a teenager. At any rate, he has been in the hospital for the past week and they cannot determine his problem. Please keep him in prayer. The lights just came back on: WONDERFUL!