Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Visiting Douala



We drove 4 hours to visit Elder/Soeur Gailey in Douala.  We had a great visit with them.  Here are some of the pictures that we took along the way.


This is a landmark that we use.  It's the "bridge to nowhere".  Someone must  have started building it years ago and then abandoned it.  We are always happy to see the bridge and know we are on the right road.

Look how big these logs are!

These statues are just out side of Douala as we cross this bridge.  They represent the workers of Cameroon.

Just happy to have a ride.  Hopefully, they aren't someone's dinner!

Douala is on the coast.  Here we are with Mount Cameroon in the background.

One of the highlights of serving a mission are the great friends you meet.
 We haven't been disappointed.  We love the Gailey's.  They are from Morgan.
We get along splendidly and have had many enjoyable times together.
 Thanks for serving with us Gailey's.


Sister Gailey took me shopping to a great Marche'.  The top pictures we are holding are made from butterfly wings.  They were gorgeous   I love to "barter" and we learned that they will come down quite a bit, especially if you are willing to walk away.  We couldn't walk away from the butterfly pictures.  The bottom picture is a tablecloth that this lady makes.  I bought this one.  Elder Gailey and Elder Whitesides are sitting in the corner on a chair waiting patiently.  The owners had us sit down and look through their entire collection.
It was great fun!
Beautiful Jungles of Africa


We are not sure what these are, but they were for sale along the way.  We saw monkeys and muskrats as well, but didn't have our camera ready fast enough. 
This is a waterfall we saw as we crossed a bridge.


All along the way are little "markets" where you can buy things.  We bought bananas as we went through one town.  They came right to the window.
Who said they don't have fast food in Africa?

More beautiful country.  Thanks for the fun visit Gailey's.  We loved visiting Douala.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween

Our Elders wanted to have a Halloween party for P-day.  They invited everyone over for dinner, games and carving watermelon.  We had a great time and they made us chili and even home-made caramels.  We bought doughnuts for dessert.  








Merci Elders.  We had a great time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Food

There is just no easy way of getting food here.  Shopping, preparing, and cooking are all a challenge.  L'est ye think we are starving, here is a picture of the hamburgers I cooked for dinner tonight.  I know, you would have thought we were at Red Robin.  The French influence is here in the breads that we buy.  Look at these huge hamburger buns.  They are delicious.

After going to the store for most of our groceries, we stop at the little fruit and veggie shops along the way.  Today, I bought a pineapple, tomatoes, cucumbers and onions from one vendor.  I was trying to speak French to her and she answered in English.  "I speak both," she said.  Then we stopped at another vendor for bananas.  Usually I stop for avocados, but I was out of courage.  I tell Elder Whitesides, I have to "screw my courage to the sticking place", then I jump out of the car and start to barter.  (That phrase is from "Beauty and the Beast")   Once we are home, everything is javelled (bleached) before it can go into the fridge.  It's a good test for the eggs, since they aren't refrigerated at the store.  If they float, they get thrown out.

Here are 2 of our stores that we shop at.  The Casino is where we find our favorite brand of juice - Joker.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mefou Primate Park

We visited the Mefou Primate Park with our 8 Elders for P-Day Monday.  It was a great outing and we really were driving and walking in the jungles of Africa.  Here we are on our 
way.
The road just keep getting more and more narrow.


The Entrance





One silver-back, One silver-gray


This was a huge millipede that we found.



video
They told us to watch out for the gorillas, because they throw nasty things.  Sure enough, they did.
Here we are leaving.  We had a great time.  It took us 3 hours to  tour it all.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Traffic



The traffic here is crazy.  There are hundreds of little yellow taxis.  They stop quickly in front of you to pick up someone who is looking for a ride.  It's the main transportation for the people.  Elder Whitesides is a pro at driving through it all.  Yaounde' is hilly, so we are often stopped in traffic on a hill and we have a clutch.  I've seen him pull the brake on and maneuver sitting on a hill, waiting for the traffic to clear, one foot at a time.  He claims it is harder than Cambodia, but they are both equally as stressful for me.  The Gailey's tell us that Douala has moto taxis, which congest the traffic.  I'm sure we will be familiar with those when we see them, for that is what we had in Cambodia.  There are a few traffic lights, which we are becoming familiar with, but there is usually one on the left for the left lane and one on the right for the right lane, so you have to be able to read which light is turning for you.  We are grateful that the police here don't bother us.  Sister Jameson did tell us that when a policeman dies, his wife puts on his uniform and then she is a policewoman.  We see quite a few women police.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Buying Gas for the Stove

We try to have 3 bottles of propane on hand, so we went out to refill our empty tank today.  Here is Elder Whitesides buying propane.  Nothing is easy here, they were out of gas today so we will try another place tomorrow.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Yaounde' Branches

             Elder Whitesides in front of the Bastos Branch Building.  We have two rented Branch buildings here in Yaounde'.

Coming out of the Ekounou building.
There is no connection between the top floor and the bottom floor.
This is the back way down to the  Chapel.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

District Primary Training


Sister Jameson asked me to show a DVD to train the Primary Presidents in the District.  I made a flyer and had the Elders correct it for me.  After a few tries, it was ready to be handed out.  On Saturday, we did the training.  I felt like it was a success.  There were 7 sisters in all.  While we were waiting, Seour Mireille (on my right) told me her conversion story.  It was so touching.  I will share it with you.  In 2005, her brother was walking along the road and found a pamphlet telling of Joseph Smith's story.  He didn't finish going where he was headed.  Instead, he turned around and took the pamphlet home.  They all read it and liked what they read.  They told him, "You go back out tomorrow and find the Church where that pamphlet is from".  The next morning, he went out in search of the true Church.  He saw some Elders on the street and asked them if they knew anything about the pamphlet.  The Elders taught him, his Mother, Mireille and her 2 daughters.  They were baptized after the first lesson.  She told me that it was a "miracle".  There are many wonderful conversion stories here.  I wish that I could speak French, so that I could understand them all.  Mireille was my translator for the class.  I would say, "Tell them that" and she would say, "okay, okay. and smile".  There turned out to be 2 other sisters that could speak a little English.  Between us all, we got along okay.  They all want to improve the music in their primaries, so we are meeting on Fridays to learn the piano.  I'm going to teach them about leading and we will sing some primary songs each week.  I know the Lord will bless them to learn quickly, so that they can teach the primary children.  I served apples for refreshments.  They were thrilled.  (Look at my table.  Can you believe I forgot to bring a cloth for it?)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Shopping at the Street Market


I had to buy some apples for District Primary Training tomorrow.  Here's a picture of me trying to figure out how much 24 apples cost.  I also bought 2 avocados from the lady next to the apples.  I can say "con bien?", (how much?), but when they answer, I can never track what they say.  So, I hold up a few bills and let them pick.  Some have taken advantage of me, but most are fair.  If I think they are being fair, I will give them back a little "tip".  I remember where I have gone before and try to go back to them.  It isn't always easy.  There are shops for bananas, avocados  pineapples, watermelons, tomatoes and apples, but they are usually not together.  I'm getting better every day.