Monday, March 4, 2013

Mission Trip to Cameroon, Africa

I was blessed to go on an adult mission trip with Teen Missions International to Cameroon, Africa.  It was a wonderful, full of adventure type trip & I was so blessed by the people I met & the things I saw.

  3 Feb, 2013 Day 1

My trip started as I traveled from Missouri to Teen Missions International base in Merritt Island, Florida for my training. This was my bed for the next two nights.  I would share this room with the 4 others girls on my team.  I loved the hand-made quilts on each bunk, my the dorm room felt like home. This day was spent getting settled into the base.  Our one day training would be tomorrow.

This is the sun starting to set & reflecting on the pond behind our dorms.  We were on our way to a super bowl party for the evening, while we waited for the rest of the team to arrive.

My team - none of us knew each other, except the sisters, but we would become very close friends over the next 3 weeks.
Our team had seven members - Isela Smith from Arizona; Erinn & Katelin Scott from Texas
Jessica Shaw from South Carolina, James Simpson from Saskatchewan, Canada, our leader Tom Maher from Florida & on TMI staff, & of course me from Missouri.

  4 Feb, 2013 Day 2

Our day was spent in training learning what we would be doing, what was expected of us, the "do's & dont's" of the country's customs.  Then we had a tour of the TMI base & finished our pack-out so we could leave tomorrow morning.
 These are our duffels.  Each team member had two of them to check on the plane. The ones on the left are filled with 50lbs of food, shoes & medical supplies.  The ones on the left are filled with 40lbs of water bucket, food, shoes & medical supplies.  The other 10lbs would be filled with our personal items, like sleeping bag, air matteress, etc.  My 10lbs was used for my sleeping bag, air mattress, bug spray & sun block.

All of my personall stuff was in the carry-on back pack.  2 pair of jeans, 3 shirts, pj's, swimsuit, towel, personal items, Bible, & journal.

I also had this belly bag to carry my camera, wattle bottle, wallet & anything I thought I would need on the trip.

  5-7 Feb, 2013 Day 3-5

The next two days were spent traveling.  We flew from Orlando, Florida to Washington DC, then onto Brussel, Belguim & final stop Douala, Cameroon.  We arrived in Brussels very early in the morning, so I decided to have a Belguim waffle in Belguim for breakfast.

Here are some of the sites I was blessed to seeing while flying
The Swiss Alps

The Island of Sardegna, this island is east of Italy

The Sarhara Desert

Our first stop in Cameroon - Douala the commercial capital of Cameroon & the main airport for this country.
We arrived in the evening and would have to wait until morning when it was safe to travel.  We had our first African meal at a resteraunt call "The White House"
We had grilled chicken, to the upper left is Jamjama which is a type of greens, moving clockwise is fried plantains & the white rice with a spicy tomato sauce.
We spent the night at the "Baptist Guest House".  This is a hotel/resort that a lot of missionaries come & stay at.  Some are there for a small vacation from where they are living, some are either like us just coming into the country or leaving the country.  It was a very nice place to stay, air conditioned rooms & we had a wonderful breakfast.
This was my room & bed.  The bed was very comfortable. The sitting area was nice too.

This is the outside of where my room was.  My room was the middle balcony.

This is the pool, but we didn't have time to swim in it

This is the eating area for the guest house & where we had breakfast
We had fresh bread, coffee & tea
This is what they would call scrambled eggs, each of us got one of these
 This is half a slice of bread with a red berry jam, mango jam & a slice of fresh pineapple

We would have a 6 hour drive north to Bamenda where the Teen Missions (TMI) base is located. Bamenda is the captial of the North West Providence.
Some of the team (I was one of them) road in the TMI truck & some road in a taxi/van we hired.

 The man in the light blue outfit was the driver.  His clothes state he is Muslim.

This was some of the houses we saw on the edge of the city.

These are fishing boats on the Wouri River, but the fisherman are not fishing for fish instead they are fishing for sand.  The river has an over abundance of sand, so the men dive with buckets tied to the boat & scoop sand off the bottom.  Then they sell the sand to another person who bags it & sell it to people who need it to make bricks with.

Have way on the road we stopped in a little village for lunch & bathroom break.  While here we were able to buy soda & one of the local missionaries bought some goat for us to try.  The goat was really good & spicy.

 Lunch on the road - summer sausage we brought from America & fresh African bread.

This is a typical Cameroon home we saw as we continued to the base.

 The city of Bamenda, where we would be staying most of the time

We finally made it to the base.  These are the "Steps of Torture" as we fondly name them.  We had to go up these steps to get where we would be staying.  We went up these three or four times a day. These steps became known as the "Steps of Death" when we had to carry a 5 gallon bucket of water up them, to take a bath.
 This is looking down the steps, so you can see how steep they are.

This is the building we stayed in. The brown doors led to our area.  The blue doors to the right were to the home of the director of the base Richard & his family.

This is my tent set up inside the building.  We each had our own tent to sleep, but the sister insisted on sharing.

 We had two tiled bathroom areas, with a toilet, sink & shower head.  The toilets did not flush, we had to flush them with a bucket.  There was water that was hooked up, but it was leaking, so had to be turned off.  So we couldn't use the shower head or sink, but we could bring in a 5 gallon bucket of water & take a bucket bath.

This is Richard & Mercy, the directors of the base with their 4 sons, Thompson-8yrs, Jesse-6yrs,  James-4yrs, & Daniel-2yrs.

This is Vitalis & Elizabeth the assistant director of the base with their son Jareh & Elizabeth's niece Precious.  Precious mother was out of the country earning money for the family, so Precious lives with her aunt as a baby-sitter & gets to go to school.
 This is one of the buildings on the base.  This is on the far left end is the cooking kitchen, & serving kitchen.  The door closes to the right is to the chapel & where the Bible students attend classes.

This is the cooking kitchen, all cooking is done on an open fire.

This is the serving kitchen & where we ate our first meal at the base.

 This is the 3rd building on the base.  The doors are to Vitalis' home.  If you notice the corners of this building are shipping containers from a ship.  TMI ships clothes in these to Cameroon for the orphans.  Then they take the containers & use them for buildings.  This building's four corners are shipping containers.  Some of the containers are used for storage & some of them are used for living in.

 This is the side of the building trying to show the other container.  The far corner has been made into an office area.

The TMI Cameroon base runs a Bible, Missionary, Work (BMI) school.  These are the 7 students enrolled in the school.  The students take Bible classes for 2 years & then do a 1 year internship for TMI.  The cost is free - all from donations.  The students take classes in the morning & then work at the base in the afternoon.  At night they have mandatory study time.  They live at the base the whole time.  When they complete the program these students will be future pastors & missionaries for Cameroon.

Mercy fixed us supper, we had white rice with a ground nut soup over top of it.

 We also have baked fish.  They put the whole fish in the fire to cook it.  When it is done, they chop it up into small pieces. The outside it very crisp & hard, but the inside was very soft.  I don't like fish, but took a small piece to be polite.  It was very good.

These are some local village kids that came to check us out.  Word got out fast that "White Man" was at the base.  The only white people we saw where missionaries & we saw a total of 5 adults plus their kids. The African kids love to have their picture taken & then look at it on the digital cameras.

8 Feb, 2013 Day 6

My first sunrise in Bamenda.  The sky is hazy because it is the dry season & the farmers are burning their fields to get them ready for planting time.

Tom Maher the leader of our team & on TMI staff, has a little house at the base.  This is where we ate our meals, had group devos, hung out & cooked or meals.  This is Tom's kitchen we got to use.

I made pancakes & syrup from scratch

The pancakes turned out great according to the team.

After breakfast, the team sorted shoes for our first rescue unit, then packed up the shoes & reading glasses we were going to give out.  Here is the team goofing off with the reading glasses.

After we were packed up, we went back to our room to take our last bucket bath for a couple of days.  Tomorrow we would be heading out to the bush.  It is very hard to get water in the bush, so our baths would be done by baby wipes while gone.

After baths, the staff & neighbors kids had gather outside our building wanting to "hang out" & play with us.

This is Ruth, she lives with Richard & her Aunt Mercy.  She doesn't have a father & her is working out of country to raise money for the family.  Ruth earns her keep by helping with Richard's for boys & doing the laundry.  I was able to help her wash the clothes.

African spin cycle

Ruth using an African boom to sweep the water away.

 This is Kenzeya, a neighbor girl who love to come visit us.
This is Kenzeya, a neighbor girl who love to come visit us.

 Another neighbor girl, they loved the attention we gave them.  The government (public) schools make the girls keep their hair cut short if they want to attend school.

 Isela doing some dance moves with the kids

Jessica playing a freeze game with the kids

 Erinn had opted to just wash her hair.  The kids had a blast helping her until they got some of her wet hair stuck on their hands.  They didn't like the feel of it & went crazy trying to get the hair off their hands.

9-11 Feb, 2013 Day 7-9 

 We head into the bush today to our first rescue unit.  We are going to a village called Ipalim.  It is a resettlement camp.  Back in 1986 a landslide disrupted the balance of a lake & a toxic carbon dioxide gas was forced out of the lake & gassed the villages.  The surrviors were moved to resettlement camps & made into villages.  We had a 3 hour ride to Ipalim.  The last 9 miles took an hour to drive because of the roads.  The roads were dirt & rock - extreme off-roading.

This was our taxi.  4 team members road in this car & the other 3 road in the TMI Truck.  I was in the truck.

We saw a lot of fresh fruit & veggie markets along the way.

We were about 3/4 there & the taxi got a flat tire.

While waiting for the tire to be fixed I took this picture to show the road we were just on.

A picture to show the road we road on for the last 9 miles of the trip.  This was the good part.  The medium part had dirt & rock & the bad part had mostly rock & little dirt.

This driver stopped to make sure we were okay.  He knew we were missionaries because we were white.  He just bought the chicken tied to his motorcycle for his dinner tonight.

That is me standing in front of the TMI Shiloh Rescue unit at Ipalim. This is it, the Cameroon bush.  Looking at the building.  The room on the left is the kitchen, then there is a walkway between the two buildings & the room on the right is where the facilitators had their office & slept.

This is the room on the left, the kitchen where the facilitators cooked their meals & the orphans meals

This is the ceiling above the cooking fire.  Corn from the last harvest being dried & smoke for use later.  They will grind up the corn & make a type of mush to eat.

Chicken coop
Inside the coop, hens & chicks.  The chicks will grow up & be used for eggs & food.

This was a house behind the rescue unit on their property.  A widow & her two boys live here.

These are the two boys who lived in the house.  The oldest is 11 & the younger is 1.  The older boy takes care of his brother while his mother is down the road at the "Farm" working to provide for the family.  In Cameroon if one parent dies you are considered an orphan, so these boys are orphans.

This little one had never seen white people before so he was afraid of us.

He is such a good brother.

We were each given an animal to give to a child or our choosing.  I gave my lamb to this little guy as a peace offering for scaring him.

He is not too sure about the animal, but his brother was going to make sure he took it.

Later in the day, he finally started to play with it.

These are the facilitators of the Ipalim rescue unit, Ernest sitting & Stephen standing.  Both of these young men have been through the TMI Bible, Missionary, Work Bible school in Bamenda & are completing their third year internship running this unit together.

This is the walkway between the two building & where our kitchen would be.  At night we had move all of our stuff into their kitchen & lock it up so no one would steal it.

This is our stove, that we would cook on.

Our tents set up on the front lawn.  Mine is 4th from the left.

Inside my tent.

 We had the luxury of having a concrete squatti potti (bathroom) & three holes.  The floor was even concrete.  A regular squatti potti would have been a hole in the dirt with grass walls.

 This is a garden the facilitators were growing to provide food.  Right now it had cabbage, tomatoes & peppers growing in it.

This is the main road we drove on & leads to the village of Ipalim.

This is one of the government built homes that make up this "resettlement" village

Word got out quickly that "white man" was at the rescue unit.  The kids started to come to check us out. James played "football" (soccer) with a group of boys for about an hour.

Orphans from the village coming to see us.  The orphans live with family members, either their one parents or who ever took them in.  They come to the unit for medicine, sometimes food, & of course when the "white missionaries" come because that means new shoes & clothes.  This trip we only had shoes for them.

Hanging with the kids
The kids love to have their picture taken.  They would say to us "you snap me" or "I like snap".  Or course the best part was looking at the picture when it was done.

 The water from the unit came from a well.  This is halfway done the path to the well.  It got steeper & very slippery further on down. I only made it halfway because of my knees.

Some of our team members, orphans & the facilitators at the well getting water.

Erinn was the first team member to carry a 5 gallon bucket of water up from the well.  The bucket is half full.

If you have ever put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse, it may have come here.  This was one of the stopping points this past year.

That evening we were able to wash our hair - Isela
 We had a lot of fun - Jessica
 Our baths would be by baby wipes while we stayed in the bush. Me

Our second day was spent washing the feet of the orphans & passing out reading glasses.
The orphans started coming around 8:00am. The orphans are taught to be "blessed" they need to also "bless" others.  The orphans bring gifts of fire wood to help the facilitators cook their meals.  This space was empty starting this morning & in one hour this is how much wood the orphans had brought in.
For the ones who didn't bring wood, they grabbed a 5 gallon bucket & headed to the well to get water for the foot washing.  These little girls are carry buckets that are 3/4 to almost full of water.

 You can't help but love these faces.

Something we saw a lot, babies taking care of babies.

A simple toy that brought a lot of pleasure.  The kids would take turns to see how long they could keep the tire frame moving.  When it fell over another child got a turn.

The foot washing began
This rescue unit supports three villages.  The orphans lined up by village.  We did have some kids who had two parents line up, but the facilitators told them to go play, they had two parents that provided for them.  They did get to eat later with the orphans.

 We had an assembly line; we all took turns at the different stations.
This is me washing the feet in water that had medicated soap in it; checking for open sores & worms
It was hard at times because the kids would flinch sometimes & we asked them if it hurt, they would say "no" because they were afraid a "yes" answer would keep them from a pair of shoes.

Scrubbing the dirt off .

The foot on the right has toe nails eaten away by worms.  We saw this a lot.  This foot was "medium" in its condition.  We saw feet that had no worms or very little & we saw feet that looked worse than this.  It made me cry & I had to look away at times so the kids couldn't seeing me crying.  Some other teams members had to fight back the tears too.

A close up of the foot.  The big toe has no nail, just scar tissue & hard scabs from where the worm ate through.

Next we dried off their feet

Then we put on a medicated lotion.

Next were a pair of brand new socks

The best part for the child - a pair of new or gently used shoes.  Sometimes it was hard to find the right shoes because the kids have very wide feet from walking barefoot most of the time.

Then we prayed with them

 This boy who was 12 walked two hours to come get a pair of shoes.  He was new to the unit.  His legs were terrible looking.  No blood but his skin was falling off.  Tom ask him what happened to his legs but he couldn't or wouldn't tell us.  All he wanted was a pair of shoes.  Tom soaked his legs in Epson salt water, the gently rub his legs down. Scales fell off his legs.  Then Tom put hydrogen peroxide on his legs (the picture you see here), that is the peroxide you see bubble. Then he washed them with the medicated soap.  The boy never made a sound & kept a somber face.

Finally Tom felt his legs were treated well enough for lotion & a pair of shoes.  The boy did get a pair of socks but he didn't want them on.  We told him to come back the next day for another treatment & if needed they would help him get to a medical clinic.

 In 5 1/2 hours we wash 101 pair of feet.  These are the orphans & our team.

We did check the village kids that were not orphans for ring worm & open sores.  The boy with the white lotion on his head has ring worm.  The lotion will help get rid of it.

After the foot washing the kids lined up to get lunch.  Two Bible students from the village cooked the meal while we were washing the feet.
The kids got a huge helping of rice with a type of sauce to go on it.  I didn't notice the little boy to the left when I took this photo.  This is a normal site for the little ones that are not potty trained.  They don't have diapers & the little ones do not wear bottoms.

Kids enjoying their meal.

These ladies walked any where from 1 to 3 hours to come get a pair of reading glasses

We had a reading chart with Bible verse on - John 3:16, verses that told the plan of salvation & God's love.  Each one was printed in a different size font.  We had the person start at the top & read each verse till they couldn't see the verse clearly.  Next to each verse was a number telling what reading glasses they needed.  We would get them the pair they needed, help them put them on & then have them read where they had the trouble to make sure we had the correct pair.  If they couldn't read, a chart on the back to help them.

We then prayed with them when we were done with the glasses.  We passed out 11 pair of glasses that day.  Only one lady couldn't read, but wanted reading glasses so she could learn.

The neighbor to the unit owns horses.  They brought one over for us to ride bareback. I had a blast.  I think the last time I rode a horse was 24 years ago.
The horse is decorated for a parade it was going to be in the next day & the owner wanted the horse to get use to wearing the decorations.

This lady came to the unit in the evening.  She had ringworm in her finger.  I cleaned it & put the medicated lotion on. it.  We told her to come back the next day for a second treatment & she did.  Then we gave her lotion to take home & use for a week.  She was to come back to the unit at the end of the week for the facilitators to see how it was doing.
 Finger with ringworm

Just some pictures of kids & adults I was able to visit with.

The 11 was spent packing up, gave out some more glasses at the unit & driving back to the base.  When we got back, we took much needed bucket baths & reflected on what the Lord had allowed us to do the past couple of days.

12 Feb, 2013 Day 10

The next morning we had chapel with the BMW students, had breakfast & wash our clothes.  We couldn't wash clothes while in the bush.

 This was clean water, then I washed ONE pair of jeans in it.
Team work

13 Feb, 2013 Day 11

Sunrise this morning

I'm playing drums during morning worship in chapel

Part of our breakfast, fresh pineapple & papaya 

We spent the morning getting ready to go to our 2nd rescue unit.  In the afternoon we were invited to visit the Helping Hands Children's Home.  This orphanage is run by a Christian ministry - Win Our Nations.
This is an orphanage started by two former BMW students of TMI Jake & Holly Schilinski.  Some of the orphans at this unit are from the TMI rescue unit.  Here is a link to their home:

This is the main entrance

This is Blessed.  They think he is about 3 years old going by his teeth.  Blessed was the youngest of 9 children.  His father died, then eventually his 8 siblings died.  It was just him & his mother for awhile.  Then the villagers didn't see his mother for a couple of days, thought maybe she had left to go live somewhere else.  Then one day the neighbor could hear Blessed crying in his home.  The neighbor found him sitting beside his dead mother.  She had been dead for several day.  Blessed was brought to Helping Hands Children's home.  He is a very happy, energetic, "Little" man.  When I first saw him, he came running to me & jumped into my arms, whether I was prepared to catch him or not. (I caught him barely).

I took this picture just because of this little girls smile.  If you notice the girls have long hair.  All the children at the home attend "Private" school.  If you attend government school, you have to have your hair cut short like you see in the other pictures, but private school allows long hair.
This is the indoor kitchen, they do have a small gas stove with oven to cook with

This is their washing machine

This is their new computer lab with donated computers & lap tops for the children to use.

This is the library.  The kids get to check one book out at a time once a week.

This is there outdoor kitchen that they also cook on - open fire

The ministry that runs the orphanage is trying to make the orphanage self-sufficient for its financial needs.  The reason for this is in case something happens in Cameroon & all missionaries/Christian groups were kicked out, the home could keep running.  These are "meaty" birds (chickens).  The kids are learning to raise & take care of them, then sell them in the local market for people to buy for food.  Also some of these chickens will be used to feed the kids in the home.

These are rabbits for eating.  They are being raised for the same reason as the chickens.

These are their egg laying chickens.  They did have 20 more, but a dog got in & ate 20 of them.  So they are in the process of getting more egg laying hens.  Right now the eggs produce are for the kids in the home, but they hope to get enough egg laying chickens to have enough eggs to sell too.

The kids are learning about composting.

Here is the result of their hard work from composting.  This natural fertilizer will be taken to the farm the home owns to help with the food they grow to eat.

Once a week Wycliff missionaries come & hold a Bible club for the kids after school.  Today was Bible club day.  The kids sing songs, have a Bible lesson & then have a coloring sheet to do about the lesson.  This boy was very proud to show my his lesson he did.

The kids also memorize a Bible verse.  When they can say it from memory, they get a lolilpop

This is the "Mama" of the home.  She is the head lady.  Her & her husband live at the home & run it.

This is a little girl from one of the TMI rescue units.  When they brought her to the home, her legs were infested with worms that she couldn't walk & her arms were drawn up.  She was brought to the home & now she is a healthy beautiful little girl that can run & play.

The outside of the wall.

14-17 Feb, 2013 Day 12-15

We headed this morning to our 2nd rescue unit.  This time I road in the taxi/car.  It was a 4 hour drive, off-roading again.  This unit is located between two small mountain chains at 4,000ft elevation near a village called Ngie.  The view is beautiful.  This first day was spent getting to the unit then once there setting up our tent, supplies, shoes & kitchen area.

This is the main road we just drove down to get to the unit.  It is dry season here & it has not rained for 3 weeks.

This is the TMI rescue unit at Ngie.  Looking at the building on the left is the home & office of the facilitator & his wife.  On the right is a little room where our leader Tom slept & behind that is another room we used for the kitchen

 Sugarcane that grows at the unit.  Used for food & to sell at the market

Standing in the front yard of the unit looking across the road at one of the mountain ranges

Standing in the doorway of our kitchen set up & read to use.

 We had set up our tents in the front yard & then it started to rain, first time in 3 weeks!  We quickly moved one tent into the house of Christopher & Rachel, then the other 4 were on the front porch.  This is where the tents would stay for the whole time we were at the unit except when it came time to wash feet.  My tent is the far left one.

This is the tent inside Christopher & Elizabeth's home.  A 1 room home, their beds are behind the curtain.

Clouds going through the valley after the first of many rain storms that came through the first two days we were here.

Main source of water for the unit, right next to the building which was nice.  Still water was limited, so no buckets baths, just baths by baby wipes.  We could wash our hair since that didn't take a lot of water.

This is me with Christopher, his wife Rachel & their little 5 month old little girl - Abiel Rejoice.  They are the facilitators of this unit.

 First morning at the unit, I'm cooking re-hydrated hash browns & then scrambled eggs after that.

This is what Jamjama looks like after it has been fresh pick.  Rachel made a big meal of this & phoo phoo corn (corn mush) for us to try
Jamjama on the left & phoo phoo corn on the right

This is Santiese.  She is an orphan who lives with her grandmother.  She is 3 yrs. old.  She came to the orphanage everyday we were there to hang out with us.

We notice Santiese had a lot of open wounds, so Kaitlin took care of them.

I want to show you how far this little 3yr old, by herself walked to come see the "White Missionaries".
If you look up on the hill behind the rescue unit, just to the right of the corner of the roof, you will see two round trees.  Between those threes is Santiese's home.  There is a valley between the hill & the rescue unit, so Santiese had to walk around the valley to get to the unit about an hour walk.
 This is a close up to show you where her house is.

Santese - 3yrs old taking care of baby Abiel 5 months old.  I think this was one of the hardest things I had to see, babies taking care of babies.

 This is Juliette.  She is 4yrs old & was physically & mentally challenged.  We think she had a mild form of cerebral palsy.  Her mother was 14yrs old when she had Juliette.  Juliette has a 5 month old sister.  Juliette was at the rescue unit everyday too as her mother farmed across the road.

This is Juliette's 18yr old mother & 12yr old aunt working in their field.  The women do all the farming in Cameroon.  They are making mounds to plant corn in.

These are some of the mounds that Juliette's mother had done early in the week, waiting to be planted with corn.

We did everything we could to help Juliette use her arms & legs.  I'm playing soccer with her.  Jake of the Helping Hands Children's home is looking into getting medical help for Juliette.

Word got out quickly that "White Man" was at the rescue unit, so these kids/orphans stopped by to check us out on their way home from school.

This little girl has a hernia.  She is about 6yrs old & taking care of her 3yr old baby brother.

The 2nd day at the unit it rained off & on all day. In between the showers kids & adults are coming to the unit to check us out & visit with us.  Here are some of their beautiful faces.

This is the taxi I came in with other team members on the first day at the unit.  On the 2nd day, we all piled into the truck & went to the main village to see what market day was like.  As we got to the beginning of the village (20 min drive away) the clutch went out in our truck & it would take two days to repair.  So we saw the taxi & piled 8 adults into a car made to hold 5 to get a ride back to the village.  I can now say I have been in a "clown car". (ha, ha)

This man was in a motorcycle accident up the road.  He walked 2 1/2hrs to get medical help at the unit.  He really needed either stitches or butterfly band-aids.  I had some really big anti-bacterial band-aids.  Tom cleaned his ankle & then we got the bleeding to stop with my band-aides.  We gave him some more band-aides to take with him & told him he needed to see a doctor at a medical unit.  He said thanks & started walking to town.  We would have given him a ride but our truck was broke down in town, so he just started walking.

 Another gorgeous view between storms

This little guy had never seen "white" people before, so he was not about to let us touch him.  But he was content sitting out of arms length from us & watching us.  He kept falling asleep but if we tried to pick him up, he would start to cry.
 Hanging with the kids & getting "snapped"

Our third day at the unit was "foot washing" day.  Again the orphans brought in fire wood as gifts to bless the unit.

This is Slyvester.  He is 11 years old & blind.  How he became blind, no one knows.  He is an orphan & lives with his Grandfather.  A cousin brought him to the unit.  It took him 2 hours to walk what it would take a seeing boy 1 hour to walk.  He brought his gifts - a stool that he made for Christopher to sit on & in the bag was plums & avocados that he climb trees for & picked.
 These are the plumbs Slyvester picked.  No one told him if they were ripe or not, he just knew by the feel.

My favorite pictures of Slyvester, even though he is blind, his face shows his heart.

 These were the only set of twins we saw.  The little girl is Blessing & the little boy is Bless

Christopher taking attendance & also giving a Bible lessons before the kids received their shoes.

We did the same assembly line like the last time.
I'm at the far end drying feet in this picture

 I helped put on lotion next.  I didn't know this picture was being taken, but the boy's face says it all.
Then I moved on to shoe lady.

This picture also says it all, the kids were very grateful for the shoes & love shown to them

We ended up giving out 95 pair of shoes.  We washed 85 pair of feet, but then 10 of the orphans came very late in the day when  we were done & everything put away, so we still wiped down their feet & gave them a pair of socks & shoes.

After foot washing the kids had lunch & hung around the unit.  We played games with them, talked with them & mostly loved on them.  This little guy was falling asleep.  His older sister was busy playing football, practicing her goalie skills.  This guy just hung on her back as he took little cat naps in between her blocking the ball.

These two sisters where a "hoot".  One they were small for the age, possible related to the pygmies that are in Cameroon.  The girl in the lime green dress was 5 & the one in the blue dress was 7.  They couldn't speak English which was odd because once they start school they must learn English & they are school age & we were told they went to school.  Anyway, they sat on my lap for about an hour & just talked & talked in their dialect to each other.  Their voices were very high pitch.  I felt like I had Alvin & Theodore from the chipmunks talking on my lap.

In the evening we had a treat of sugar cane.  You peel the hide off & then bite of chucks of the cane, suck & chew out the sugar juice & spit the cane of the ground.
 This is a 1/4 of the sugar cane that we ate on.

On Sunday we went to a Presbyterian church in the nearby village.  We were told services started at 9:00am & were promtly there at 8:45am.  The pastor & assist. pastor were there too, but no one showed up for services until 10:00am.  Oh well, that is Africa, hurry up & wait.
The inside of the church

The outside of the church

After church we had lunch.  Rachel fixed us a wonderful meal of chicken, rice & tomato sauce.  They we head back to the base.  I put my camera outside the taxi for this pic to show you the roads we drove on & why it takes soooo long to get somewhere.  This was a "medium" condition road.  We road on some that were much worse, bigger rocks & too bumpy to get a clear picture.

18 Feb, 2013 Day 16

 We came back to the base on Sunday, took buckets baths & rest.
Today again we spent the morning in chapel, then washing our clothes that we couldn't wash while at the unit.  We spent the rest of the day resting from our recent trip to the bush & catching up on our journals.
In the evening we were invited to Jake & Holly Schlinski's home for supper.  This is the couple I mentioned before that runs the Helping Hand Children's home.

Here are some wonderful African traffic pictures.  Basically the idea is, if you can carry it on a vehicle & make it stay you carry it

Holly fixes us a wonderful American/Mexican meal - fajitas!!!  We had home made sour cream, cheese, tortillas & guacamole. We also had fresh cucumber & tomato salad & home made chocolate cake for dessert.  I felt very, very spoiled.

After supper, we had a praise & worship time & we were allowed to get on the internet & email our families.  This email would be the first communication our families had received since we got to Cameroon.
Jake, their son Seth (10) on drums & Holly on the guitar

Jake, Seth & I jamming on the drums for a fast song.

 Jude 4 & Jordan 2, Jake & Holly's youngest two

Josh 11, Jake & Holly's oldest

Jordan getting into the praise & worship time.

19 Feb, 2013 Day 17

Today we started thinking about packing up to go home.  I couldn't believe this trip would be over in a couple of days.  This afternoon we were to meet the "Fon" - tribal chief of the village.  This was a very important event.  We had to be in dress clothes, girls must be in dresses.  We had to be prepped in what to do & NOT do.  We could not touch the Fon, not even shake his hand.  We could not cross our legs when sitting in front of him & several other things.  It was a little nerve racking.

We first went to his palace to meet him.  We waited 2 hours but he didn't show.  We found out his car broke down.  He never made it to the palace to see us.

This is the outside meeting/welcome area in front of the Fon's palace

 These horns were hand carved out of stone

The official entrance sign to the Fon's palace

One of the meeting areas inside the Fon's palace
This is a painting of the currant Fon when he was enthroned in 1999
 This is the former Fon.  He was enthroned in 1923 until his sunset (death) in 1999.  He had several wives & 116 children.  It is a Fon's duty to have as many wives as he can.

   While waiting the village kids came out to see us. Again, the little girl had never seen white people so she was afraid of us, but the older kids encourage her to come shake our hands.

While we waited, Elvis from the TMI Base came to have Sunday School with the kids.  Elvis is an intern at the base & in charge of Sunday School Motorcycle Missions.  Right now he come 4 days a week to have Sunday School with the kids & and adults who want to attend.  Elvis is hoping to move this down to one day & a week & the other three days go to other villages that will allow him to come.

Tom passed out phonic/verse cards that we brought with us.  On one side of the card is a letter to the English alphabet & phonic sound.  On the other side of the card is a Bible verse to memorize.  Each kid received a packet of cards.

In the evening we went to Julian & Patricia home.  Julian is the brother of the Fon (child #97), an government official & teaches Bible classes at the TMI Base.  While we were there, the Fon came to see us or how they announced his arrival - "The Palace has arrived"

We were presented to the Fon, visited with him & then able to get our picture taken with him.  Children who are related to the Fon are allowed to touch him, but no adults, even his brother is not allowed to touch him.

Our team with the Fon.  The Fon is holding his niece, Julian's daughter.

Julian & Patricia join in the picture.

20 Feb, 2013 Day 18

 Our last day in Bamenda.  We went shopping in the different market places & stores.  I didn't get any pictures of the market because most of the venders didn't want you to take a picture unless you bought something.

We all couldn't fit into the TMI truck, so Richard decided to take the motor cycle & needed a volunteer.  I excitdely volunteered to ride the bike.  No helmet, no pads & driving in crazy traffic, but it was worth it.  I loved it!!!

21-22 Feb, 2013 Day 19 & 20

Our last two days were spent traveling home.  On the 21st we had the 6 hour ride back to Douala.  Jake was generous to give us a ride in his air conditioned 8 passenger SUV.  We left around 9:00am & made it to Douala right before 3:00pm. We first went back to the Baptist Guest House for Jake to check in, because he would be spending the night there.  Then relax in the shade until supper time & enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the river.

Then we went out to an African restaurant that serve American style food with a menu all in French.  This is the "Cheeseburger & fries" I bought for my last meal in Africa.  Others order cheeseburgers or pizza.

After supper we headed to the airport & flew for home around 10:30pm.

It was an awesome trip & I'm very blessed that the Lord allowed me to go.  Thank you to all my supporters both financial & prayer warriors.  I couldn't have done this with out you.