Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Post From the Past

I just noticed the following post in my drafts.  Just last week, we were able to get our friend's internet stick to work on our computer, so tonight I borrowed it and am finally able to post a few blogs.
The following post was started but I never got to finish, but it's a significant part of our life here....

Ndu has been our home for just over a week now.  We are developing routines, and adjusting to a new perspective on life's necessities.  Electricity and water, something we are accustomed to not concern ourselves with in the Western world.  Yet here, we realize the value and and appreciation to have these items on hand. 
Yesterday we had our first whole day of no water.  Ironically, most of the village on Ndu recieved tap water only once a week.  On other days water is received from the stream, down the hill from our house. 
Because it is only available by tap once a week, the rest of the days, many are receiving it from the stream, down the hill from where we are living.  So, from early in the morning, about 5:30 - at sunrise, there is a steady stream of people walking past our house, carrying water up the hill to New Town.  Water is carried on the head, or by hand in anything that will hold water, pulled and pushed on carts, by young and old.

Here are just a few photos of the work that is needed for daily water.
Waiting for the cartons to fill
Ben helping to push

A boy plays while he rests
Just saying hi

Not drop lost!!

A visit t0 Calvary Baptist Church

A Visit to Calvary Baptist Church

Last Sunday, we decided to go to church with our friends, who were invited by Felix to go to his church.  Once we arrived we realized that Annamarie Hattenhauer had helped to found this church.  We met Annemarie at the Missions Conference last October in Edmonton.
It was a long walk, through the Fawn territory.  Apparently, when Annemarie was here, the Fawn had become very ill and she and a few believers went to pray for him.  He was healed and after continued discipleship became a Christian.  He soon gave a portion of land to the church community and they built a church.  It was exciting to hear how God has worked in this church and to fellowship with others from CBTS.  Annemarie is a legend to these people and she is still missed very much.

One of the exciting things about attending church in Cameroon, is the great singing, especially the singing and dancing of the children.  It's been great to worship here in Ndu.

Feb 11th - National Youth Day in Cameroon

We spent the day at the Grandstand in the middle of town where Ndu celebrated National Youth Day.  Every school in the area marches in front of dignitaries in the grandstand.  The school on the compound has been practicing all week.  It was a day of celebration and we enjoyed the festivities.
the way was left clear for the 'white man'
school on our compound
Ben sure loves that sugarcane
Abi found friends in the Grandstand
"Where's Dano?"
We are sure treated well by the African's here in Ndu.  We have been given special honour on so many occasions.  What a privilege it has been to be a part of this community.
I again, want to thank all those of you who have made this experience possible for us.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Ben As A Teacher

On the CBTS compound, there is a primary school and a nursery school.  Yesterday, the kids and I were able to come and see and also teach in the school.  We were there at 7:30 am, when their morning school starts.  They began by the morning school exercises. They then began practicing for February 11th National Youth Day.  It is celebrated every year and all the schools will parade around the town grandstand.  Our children learned the songs and marched along in the practice.  Ben said we were the white contingent.
We were then told that the class 5 teacher had quit the day before and were asked if we could teach the class five.  We started by reviewing the test that was on the chalk board, then talked about Canada and gave a small Social lesson.  We still had another hour, so Ben taught the next level in their math books.  Ben was an amazing math teacher.  I was very impressed.

Of course, the children were swarming or children.  It was a blessing to see our kids love on the African kids.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Martha with Abi in our kitchen
Our house in Ndu

I first of all want to say how sad we are that we have not been able to keep you all up to date with our adventures in Cameroon.  What we had intended for our blog to be, has not been possible since we have not had internet access.
But our thoughts have been with you as we are experiencing life here.
I hope some of you have had a chance to look at our friend’s blog @  The Petersen’s are here from Minnesota for two months as well.  They will be here four more weeks than us. 
They are here under Wycliff Bible Translation.  Although their purpose here is to have Drew working with cement repairing the front steps of the classroom building here at CBTS. Their family is here experiencing life with us and many of the blog’s she shares are what we are experiencing.  In fact, we often talk about her next blog.
The reason they are able to blog is that they had been given an MTN Internet Stick and for some reason, we have not been able to get it work on our computer, not for lack of trying.  The conclusion is that we may have a Firewall that is blocking it. 
Anyway, I have been journaling and so hopefully I can use this blog to fill in some of the gaps.  It is really hard to imagine how I will keep this short enough since there has been so much since we have been in contact.  I will try not to bore. 
Grap a cup of coffee and take a moment to relax and enjoy.

We have been trying to make the most of every experience here.  We are learning to live life simply, by necessity.  And although it has taken a while to adjust, I must say, I am enjoying this pace of life.  The work is mostly about meeting our everyday needs.
Our typical day, which is not all that often, is to wake at about 6:30 am.  That is late for Cameroonians.  We have roosters crowing and goats that have been tied on to our property nehing somewhere close to our windows by 6:00am. 

In the mornings I try to get to the chapel service at 7:30am and have the kids eat their breakfast and clean up before I get back to help them with their schooling.  Schooling is dragging out and I hope these last two weeks will be the most productive J

The afternoons are spent either finding some work for the kids to help out here at the campus, like working with Drew on cement, or dusting the books in the library, or finding places to play.  The boys usually find the latter.  The missionary family, the Rundus’ have children here our kids age, as well, the Petersen’s have 3 children as well.  They have all become very good friends.  The Rundus children don’t often have so many other white children hear to play with and what often happens is that they have videos or cd to watch.  We have been trying to discourage that and our kids have started to develop some significant relationships with African kids.
Abi always has someone peeking in the windows, wanting to play.  There is a primary and a nursery school on the compound and during their breaks some of the kids have made it a pattern to head to our place.  Unfortunately, their school break are in the morning and I am still trying to school. 

We have a cook named Martha that we are sharing with the Moline’s.  They are a couple here full time as well.  Tim is teaching and Amy is running the household.  She has been a great help to me as we deal with the Cameroonian way.  They have an almost 4 month old puppy that is Lab/German Shepherd mix named RJ.  The Rundus’s have RJ’s sister, Lila.  You can imagine how our boys are enjoying them.
Anyway, our cook Martha, is absolutely amazing.  She is very good at cooking Western food and especially good at baking.  Everything is made from scratch and so is amazingly delicious.  Unfortunately any weightloss that Dan and I were anticipating will not happen.
We have also hired a couple of female students, Obedience and Christina, who are sharing our household cleaning load.  Obedience comes on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings.  And Christina came today and will come tomorrow.  Laundry for 6 people is too much for one person and so we are happy to support another student.  Obedience and her husband are students and they also have 5 children.  This is her first experience working for a Western family so her and I are both new at this.  She is learning our expectations and we are learning what to expect.  Christina is a little more experienced.  She is a widow and a mom and a student.  So both are in financial need and we are glad to help out.

Dan is now in his second week of teaching Jeremiah.  He loves to teach and the students are loving being in his class.  The Ephesians class went very well and when the Jeremiah class started he had over 10 students more than were on his original roster.  Everyone speaks very highly of him.  The hours for the Jeremiah class is out of the ordinary because it is an extra class this semester.  He is teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30 to 7:30 pm.  And then on Friday he teaches for 1 hour in the morning.  It is nice to have him around in the days but the evenings become long without him.  But the course is just three weeks so it is doable.

When we first arrived someone said to us that 9pm is Cameroon’s midnight.  It is true because a day consists of the daylight hours.  And, typically the power goes out at around supper time for most of the evening.  So, what is true even as I write this, is that we walk around with head lamps or flash lights once the sun sets and the power goes out and find a comfortable place to wait out the power outage. 

So that is a long but quick run down of our life here.  There are so many individual experiences that I would love to share but too many for this blog. I will go to the Petersen’s and try to download this blog.  Maybe even get a few pictures in. 

We only have two weeks left here so our prayer is that we would live in the moment and make to most of our time here.  I had the privilege of being part of a women’s prayer meeting today and it is great to pray with the women of CBTS.  Pray for us that the relationships we have will be a blessing to those here and that we are a blessing.

Thank you for remembering us and being faithful with little communication.
Much love,

Ben playing with kids in our yard