Monday, November 27, 2006

Drive around town

Last Sunday my friend Claudette and I took a peaceful afternoon drive around the city. We had just finished eating a meal and were wondering what we should do next when we agreed upon taking a small tour of the city. Shortly after, we jumped in the car and headed off into the city. Since it is a Sunday, there aren’t too many shops and markets open in the late afternoon. So, we decided to visit a few known places around the city.

Our first stop was the reunification moment that is situated at one of the roundabouts. It is a huge structure that has been poorly maintained, but has a lot of history behind it. It was built to symbolize the unification of the English and French speaking parts of the country. On the inside of the statue, you will find various symbols from the different parts of Cameroon.

After leaving this monument, we stopped by “The Sanctuary,” a catholic church made entirely from resources found in Cameroon. Last year, I went to a service at this church and was astounded by its simplicity and beauty. The pews and the church itself is made up of different types of wood found in Cameroon. They also used various types of stones. At the time of our visit, a small chorus was in the middle of practice. The voices of the small group carried into the air as if the church were filled with a hundred people.

We drove by a former lake (it had been drained a few years ago) where children were playing in the mud. It sure didn’t look too sanitary!

Throughout the journey, we stopped at a few higher points in the city to take in the surrounding beauty.

I think we should make this a regular activity! Check out the pictures below.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Sanctuary

Reunification Monument

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Art in Cameroon

I have boughten my share of masks from different parts of Cameroon. When I first moved here, I was so delighted and enchanted (this is one of our 4th grade vocabulary words) by the amount of arts and crafts in Cameroon. From masks to pottery, I wanted to buy it all. This year, I have been a bit more selective about what I buy since I know a bit more about quality and price.

One of the crafts that I enjoy purchasing are the batik prints made from dye and wax. There are several people in the city who do Batik making. A few times I have gone to one called ArtBatik . You can check out this website, which has information about the place as well as examples of batiks. If you scroll to the bottom you will see other links to arts and crafts in Cameroon.

I just realized that I ordered a table cloth from this particular man about 3 weeks ago. Here in Cameroon, business operates differently than one would expect in the U.S. In the United States, if a person tells you that your things will be ready on June 5, you should expect that they will be ready at this time. The company knows that if they don't deliver, the customer will get upset and probably will never shop there again. So, three weeks ago, the man told me that he would call in one week. It has been three weeks now and I'm still waiting. I get clothes sewn from a lady who does the same thing. She will tell me a date and deliver long after that date has passed. I am getting better at being patient and am realizing that it will get done when it gets done.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Mt. Cameroon Training

I'm training for Mt. Cameroon! That's right. I'm traing for a 3 day hike up the tallest volcanoes in Africa. Every February, the school takes a group of students up to Mt. Cameroon for this rigorous and challenging hike. Last year I signed up to be a chaperone for this event, but we all know what happened last year. I injured my knee!! This year, I feel as though my knee is strong and I am capable of completing this task.

I started my training last week. We took a walk up Mt. Febe and ran four times up and down a steep set of stairs. With every training I feel that I am getting stronger. And, it has also been a joy to exercise and train with a group of adults and studennts. Two years ago, I trained for the Los Angeles marathon with a group. A training group has the power to encourage you and push you harder than you thought possible.

Every Sunday we meet at Mt. Febe for our 2 hour walk up the mountain. This morning I decided that I had to take a picture of this hideous statue that sits at the roundabout (where we meet for our trainings). It does have nice green grass and plants that surround it. Great for a picnic. I've never tried. But the surrounding beauty makes it ok that this ugly thing sits at the roundpoint.

Anyways, on Monday I was extremely proud of myself. For our training, we had to run for 20minutes. So, I decided to give it a try. I didn't run the entire 20 minutes, but did run/walk. My knee felt great. That was the first time that I had run that much on my knee since before the injury. I'm happy with myself.

After the rains

A few mornings ago, there was a storm that passed through Yaounde. It woke me up from my peaceful sleep. And, of course, I couldn't fall back asleep. I thought for sure that since this particular storm was strong that we wouldn't have school that morning. So much for wishful thinking!! We did have school. And there was electricity. No day off for us.

When I arrived at school, I looked out over the city and saw this wonderful rainbow. It's bright colors stretched behind two monuntains. The picture barely shows the rainbow, but it is there!! Look closely!