Cameroon loves soccer, so Brian and the kids have been playing a lot of soccer since we’ve arrived. Brian plays Friday nights at the compound where we live which has a small soccer field. I’ve posted about the kids soccer club the boys enjoy going to. Eila has joined the soccer team at her school and really enjoys playing. This is her second sport (after volleyball) that she’s joined at the school and she’s had a lot of fun playing both. Here’s a few photos of her playing.
One of the activities planned at the boys’ school during the month of December was the gym class going swimming. Since December through March is the hottest time of the year here (well, it’s hot all year, just extra hot during those months) it’s the perfect time for the classes to have swimming lessons.
The elementary kids were put into classes of varying level and sent to local pools around town with parents helping to teach the strokes and the skills. It was fun for the boys, even if it made the days tiring.
Here are a few pictures:
The dialects of French and English that are spoken in Yaoundé are very different than the versions of those languages that I speak and understand most easily. In fact, it is easier for me to communicate with locals here in French than in English. But, most conversations are navigated very freely and the language employed depends on both parties and their comfort and ability.
Our work environment uses a wide mixture of English and French as well as translators for both. There are Americans, Canadians, British, and Australians who are all native speakers of different English dialects. In addition to the many Africans, there are also Koreans, Dutch, Germans, Swiss, Hungarians, and Swedes who speak English as a second language. And of course there are native French speakers from Canada, France, Switzerland and various African countries. Then, there are all those who speak French as a second or third language. The potential of miscommunication abounds as does the need to be flexible.
The MCs for the branch Christmas baquet included an Anglophone (English-speaking) Cameroonian woman and an American man. The American was the French MC for the evening while another Francophone (French-speaking) Cameroonian woman translated other English-speakers words into French during the event. Unfortunately or fortunately for the translator, most of the crowd is fluent in both of these languages and corrected every mistake she made and helped her out when she struggled.
At one point during the Christmas banquet, the English MC said that we should lift our burdens to the Lord and praise Him. She repeated this several times, encouraging us to worship God and lay our burdens before Him because He is able to carry them and He wants us to trust Him with everything because He cares for us. Unfortunately, I misunderstood her. To me, the word “burden” in Cameroonian English sounds a lot like “bottom.” I kept wondering why she wanted us to “Lift our bottoms to the Lord.”
Every spring around Easter our missionary community gathers together for worship, spiritual emphasis meetings, and business meetings. With everyone in meetings there is a huge need for childcare during that time. If you or or others from your church are interested in helping with this need please contact us or Lori Chilton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please pray with us that God will lead the people he has chosen to care of all our young ones during that time.
A little bit of Michigan in Yaoundé
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.
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.
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!
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
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.