Greentech

Over the past few months, I’ve had the privilege of being able to teach computers to the 3/4 and 5/6 grades at our boys’ school. We used the curriculum from “Hour of Code” (code.org) where the kids have to solve a series of puzzles by putting “blocks” that represent computer instructions in the correct order to make shapes, instruct a farmer how to harvest crops, or even navigate around in Minecraft.

It’s a fun program and the kids seemed to enjoy it a lot.  At the end of the class they were able to design a little project that they worked on over the course of a few sessions and then demonstrated their work to the other groups.

Here’s one photo of the kids in action:

From the Eye of Thaddeus

Thaddeus has once said he wanted to be a ‘tophographer’. That was many years ago, but recently he has enjoyed taking the camera around our compound, or on a walk in the neighborhood, and taking pictures.

Recently we took a walk around the neighborhood (quartier) and Thaddeus brought along the camera.  Here are pictures of the walk as he saw them:

And why are there two pictures of chickens?  Well, there are a lot of chickens. I mean a lot. So if there were going to be two pictures of something, it would be chickens.

A Ride In the Helicopter

With the arrival of the new R66 helicopter here in Cameroon, there have been reasons to celebrate.  And over Easter weekend, there was a celebration at the aviation hangar with a BBQ, a presentation and dedication of the helicopter, and of course, helicopter rides.

Brian, Eila, Josiah, and Thaddeus went on the ride.  Shannon stayed on the ground, like she prefers.

Here we are just after our ride.

The helicopter ride gave us a chance to see Yaoundé from the air.  It’s a big, sprawling city.  Unfortunately the air was very hazy while we were flying, so visibility was poor, but we could see much of the city right below us.

Yaoundé stretching off to the horizon.

Brian also assisted with the BBQ portion of the event, which involved an entire pig and an entire sheep.  They were slowly roasted overnight underground wrapped in banana leaves and foil.  Another one of the dads here orchestrated the whole pig roast.  It was fun to be able to help out.

It was a memorable day.

April Update from the Yees

We hope you had a happy Easter celebration.

We just want to send a very quick update and give thanks to you for your prayers and to God for His great power!

Shannon has been pain free for almost two weeks now. She experienced immediate relief and full healing as a small group prayed over her. Praise God.

Schedules returned to normal this week after spring break. Also, Shannon is away this week at the village to continue with the next linguistics workshop with the same language community.

Our Easter family portrait for 2018.

Please pray for Shannon’s workshop in the village this week to go well and also for continued good health for the whole family.

We were able to take a ride in the new R66 helicopter. It was a great experience.

March Update from the Yees

It has been a little while since our last update, and maybe you are wondering how Shannon’s village trip went.  The short answer is: wonderfully!  You can read more details and see a few pictures here.

Shannon working on nouns with a small group at the participatory workshop in February.

One of the downsides to life in a tropical climate is the large insect population, mosquitos especially.  While Shannon was in the village, she got quite a few bug bites, one of which likely resulted in a virus called chikungunya (similar to dengue fever or the zika virus). Shortly after returning from her travels, she got a high fever, itchy rash, headache, etc. that lasted about a week.  Then, the second stage of the virus set in with severe arthritis pain in her joints.  She is doing better each day and is easing back into resuming her regular workload, but still from home.

Brian and the kids enjoyed a Valentine’s Day banquet at Eila’s school while Shannon rested at home.

Brian continues to work on the final details of the new payroll system, as well as preparing a new website for the Cameroon branch. The computer services department is very busy, and Brian is glad to have great colleagues. He and the kids have been playing soccer in their free time as well as doing some extra cooking and cleaning.

We really want to thank you for partnering with us in this work; we are so encouraged when we think about the people that are participating with us in Bible translation here in Cameroon!

Please thank God for:

  • protecting and caring for us each day,
  • deepening friendships (Shannon’s sickness has opened the door for others to come alongside and love on us.)
  • safety in travel and the productive noun workshop in February.

Thank you for praying. We would appreciate your prayers for:

  • good health: in addition to Shannon’s virus, stomach troubles and bug bites are a common problem for all of us, and Eila has been having some bad headaches lately;
  • continued development of friendships and adjustments to cultural differences.

With love,
The Yees

The Aroma of Dry Season

I have always loved the smell of fall in Michigan.  And the scent of spring after a long and cold winter is a gift.  So, I’ve sort of known that seasons have their own smell, but I didn’t realize how distinctive they can be.

Yaoundé has two seasons: dry and rainy, which some might choose to label as the dusty or muddy seasons instead.  At the end of the rainy season someone mentioned that although dry season was coming soon, it wasn’t here yet.  They could tell by the smell.  It didn’t smell like dry season, so it hadn’t yet arrived.   I was surprised that the smell of the season would be so distinct and suddenly change the season, but just a few days later, I understood.

We are now in dry season and there is dust everywhere.  Harmattan is what I kept hearing people refer to, and the haze of dust that fills the air and settles on everything is here with it’s very distinct taste and aroma.  I’m not exactly sure how to describe it other than dry with a bit dustiness.  Those who have experienced this season before think of the smell as familiar, but for me it’s new and distinct.

A plant during dry season

I don’t know which season I prefer yet.  There are nice things about the dry season, like how quickly clothes dry in the sun and the various flora and fauna that appear at this time of year.  As for which season creates more mess from the boys playing outside in it, there is no clear winner here either.  I honestly don’t think it matters; our kids can get exceptionally dirty in any and every season.  And, they can track their mess into the house anytime of year!

Someone washed just one foot so we could compare.

Soccer Saturdays

We are thankful for the community we have here in Yaoundé.  Throughout the fall, the kids have been able to enjoy playing soccer with the other kids that live around us.  It’s been nice to have parents that are willing to run the program, and lots of other kids around to play with.

One of the highlights of the season was a friendly game against a local kids team, Green City.  The game was highly anticipated by the kids, it took place at Eila’s school which has a very nice field to play on with lines, and they wore jerseys and everything.

They ended up tying Green City 1-1.

Here’s a few pictures from the game:

Eila’s School

Eila is attending a combination middle school and high school (7-12).  It’s a bit of a drive from where we live, but it has a beautiful campus with lots of space.  She is really enjoying the school and her teachers and is finding it refreshing after being in a french collège (middle school).  Here are some pictures.

Ready for School. First day of seventh grade.

Reading on the school bus.

Eila’s school buildings. This is taken from one building looking at another.

Another view of the school. (It’s upside down, but if you click on it, it’s the right way — I can’t figure out how to fix it)

 

Mountains in Summertime

‎As the weather has gotten warmer, we have been trying to make the most of our time outside of class to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation surrounding us as well as develop deeper relationships with people here in France. So, we have done several hiking trips in the mountains nearby.  Here are a few pictures from our excursions:

From the top of the mountain in our backyard, with a view of Mt Blanc behind us

La Chartreuse (near Grenoble)

Chamrousse & Lac Achard with Les Bonnetons

The gorgeous flowers also cause some people (like Brian) to suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms.

 

However, the pleasant aroma that they give off is in great contrast to the scent of the pastures that are all around us in this small town.

And since it is a small town, we had to go to Chambery for Thad to visit the orthodontist. It was a day full of delayed trains and changed plans that meant we were able to do a little unexpected sight-seeing!  Then, Brian and Josiah had to take a special trip to visit the town, just for fun.  Eila, on the other hand, was forced to do sight-seeing and learning on a field trip with her FLE (French as a 2nd language) class to Chambery.  It wasn’t as bad as she had feared.

Half Round Tower at the Chateau du Duc (until 1860 the home of the ruler of Savoie – not yet part of France)

Fountain with Four Elephants,
photo credit: Thaddeus

Learning Outside the Classroom (for Josiah)

Josiah went on a camping trip in the mountains of Arêches with his class from school a few weeks ago and then had another mountain hike to the Fort de la Batterie today.  He has had a lot of opportunities to learn about many different things – including French language – outside of the classroom.  These field trips have been pretty amazing.

With his class, Josiah has toured a cheese factory in Beaufort and a lumbermill (not to mention the steel mill and skiing trips that he already enjoyed this winter).  After the three straight days speaking and listening to French only, he was really encouraged by his progress with language learning.

At the Beaufort Cheese Factory, it did not smell pleasant.

They learned about ways to experience nature through their five senses – one at a time.

Nice classroom for learning about plants in the mountains.

He also had the chance this May to go to Lausanne, Switzerland, where his class was able to visit the Hands-On Science Center and the Olympics Museum.  His class had won a special contest with their report on the para-olympic athletes.  It was pretty cool.