Josiah and Thaddeus’ School

The boys have already had about 3 weeks of school and so far things are going well.  They enjoy having their friends in their classes and they have been learning a lot.  The school is small with one teacher for every 2 grades (1-2, 3-4, and 5-6) and a separate K class.  It’s a short walk from where we live and the kids get walked there and back by a parent.

First day of 5th grade.

First day of third grade.

 

Thad walking into class on the first day.

Josiah going to his class on the first day.

The school library.

Josiah’s classroom during a parent event.

Thaddeus showing us how he sits everyday (“Just like this”).

 

CAM Cars

The boys’ school put on a pinewood derby-style car race and the boys entered.  Since some folks don’t have a lot of tools here, we were able to use the maintenance shop on the center and the tools there.  This was a big help.  Here’s some pictures of the work in process and the finished product.

Cutting with a coping saw

Lots of sanding on Joe’s car

Painting

Good work boys

 

Joe’s car

TJ’s car

Pili Pili

One of the favorites of everyone here in Cameroon is Pili Pili.  It’s like an empanada filled with beef and vegetables and comes with a hot sauce on the side.  There’s a few people that make them and they are easily available to us.  It’s easy for lunches and snacks and really good.  Eila is a big fan.

The Yees Are In Yaoundé

We made it!

Praise God for answering so many prayers. We had a wonderful time with our family on vacation, seeing Paris and Rome. Then, we were able to get everything packed and say some goodbyes to our friends in France. We arrived in Africa with all of our luggage late Tuesday night and have been unpacking and getting settled into our new home in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Our new colleagues and their families have been very helpful and welcoming to us. We are grateful for our time in language study, which has made our transition easier. The kids start school next Monday and Brian has already gone to work for a bit. Shannon has connected with the linguistics team a little as well. Thank God with us for His provision and care for us!

The kids have found have been enjoying the playground just outside our front door and playing with lots of other kids.

Please keep praying with us for:

  • Adjustment to daily life, especially shopping and meal preparations (and school for the kids)
  • Good health and wisdom in decisions
  • Community living, specifically good relationships with our neighbors and co-workers

Toc

Yay! We are super excited to have our passports back from the Cameroonian Consulate with our visas to enter the country. Praise God that this happened so quickly (less than one week total!) and smoothly. This is a huge relief and answer to prayer.  We can now check off the biggest box on our list in getting ready to move to Africa. As they say in French “Toc.”

Just a few more things to do before we go… We are slowly getting it done. ✅ Toc. Toc. Toc.

Vive Le Jubilé!

Last weekend, the Centre Chrétien d’Enseignement du Français (CCEF) in Albertville celebrated it’s 50th anniversary.  It was a full weekend which started on Thursday with skits, poster, tree planting and videos by each of the classes to commemorate this special occasion.

One of the class projects to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our language school.

We continued with some songs, skits and snacks again on Friday morning.

An intellectual discussion on French orthography and 50 years of learning French at CCEF in Albertville. This is Shannon’s class.

Saturday morning, Shannon helped to lead small groups of visitors as they toured the school. Then there was the official ceremony on Saturday afternoon. All of the current students participated in a chorale for the ceremony and Brian’s class performed their song to transition from officials to testimonies of formers students.

This is the current language students singing “Entrez Dans Ses Portes” (Enter In His Gates)

The final part of the celebration was on Sunday morning.  All of the evangelical churches in Albertville joined together for a special service followed by hors d’oeuvres.  Actually, each of the 50th anniversary events were followed up by a little snack.  It was very French, complete with champagne (plain or with crème de cassis), pain surprise (a bread bowl filled with a variety of tiny sandwiches), and lots of little quiches and charcuterie.  The cake for the Jubilé was especially festive with large fireworks!

The kids got all dressed up for the parties too! It was a long couple of days for them, but they had a lot of fun playing with all the other kids.

This photo was captured by another student, who found this to be a very typical American (in a very French space). This was taken while we were cleaning up.

It was a full weekend with a wonderful celebration of all the ways that God has used this school to teach and send out over 2600 missionaries from over 30 countries to 36 different francophone countries.  God’s work is ongoing and it is so encouraging to be a part of something so much bigger than we  can see.

Réussi

Nous avons réussi nos examens!

We passed our exams!

We are almost halfway through our language training here in France and have progressed on to the next level and also class. We will have another set of exams at the end of June that will determine if we have the necessary fluency in the French language.

It was a full week of testing that covered speaking, pronunciation, reading comprehension, listening, writing, vocabulary, grammar and of course, une dictée (a dictation), which is typically french. The boys have two dictées each week in school. The grammar test was grueling, but the production exams in writing and speaking were also extremely fearsome.

Test Results

Grades in France are usually based out of 20 points. 50% is passing and anything less is failing.  It is acceptable to get 10-11,9/20 (passable). Scoring 12-13,9/20 is pretty good or a C (assez bien) while 14-15,9/20 is good (bien), which is the equivalent of a B and 16-19,9/20 is very good (très bien) or an A grade.

 

Field Trip Chaperone

Brian had the pleasure of being able to go with Josiah to a school field trip last Friday.  Josiah’s class of 4th and 5th graders (CM1 and CM2 here in France) visited a steel mill and a dairy farm to learn about the processing and manufacturing of raw materials here in our region.  It was very informative and I was able to translate much of it for Josiah.  We had a sack lunch (un pique-nique) along the way.  Here are a few pictures:

Very exciting being inside the cow shed. Many of the children didn’t think it smelled very good.

Josiah had to wear safety gear to go into the steel mill.

I also noticed a couple interesting things which probably wouldn’t have happened on an American elementary field trip:

First, the adult chaperones split a bottle of wine with their sack lunch (yes, one of them brought a bottle in their sack lunch).  I was offered some, but declined.

Secondly, one of the children fell (slightly, enough to get his pants dirty) into the area where the cows poop.  The reaction from everyone was mostly a “too bad for you/tant pis pour toi — guess you shouldn’t have done that”.  I would’ve guessed a slightly stronger reaction would’ve happened in the States.