Sunday, September 20, 2015

If we were to take a walk from our apartment, this is what we'd see.....

When we were getting out and exercising a bit more regularly than we're doing now (Anne is doing great on the mini tramp she got for her birthday--thanks to all who made that possible!) these are the sights we'd see as we left our apartment and walked up a nearby hill.

Here's the view out the front of our apartment, directly across the street.
Home, sweet home!  Our apartment is the closest one to the camera on the lower level.  The course of our walk goes right up the road, up the hill, and then back.

Here's a better view of the slight hill we climb to begin.  The road in front is paved--but not for very far.

After the end of the pavement, the road gets pretty steep.
There are some serious ruts along the way.  We only drove this once.  The people at the top were very surprised to see us!

You can see the beautiful grounds and the wrought-iron fence around the "Palais de Congres".  It sits atop the hill just behind our apartment.  (Kind of a foggy day--sorry!)

Here's a bit clearer shot, with some of the wild flowers and foliage.

Lots and lots of shrubbery and trees!  It's green everywhere!

Some banana trees along the way.

Palm trees are found all around--but they're not the main tree we see.

From near the top, here's a view of our apartment building.  We're on the first floor of apartments, the second level of the building.

When people ask, "What animals do you see?" we have to chuckle.  We frequently see chickens, dogs, goats, cattle, even a horse or two,  occasionally cats and rats, thousands of bats in the late twilight....Nothing like we expected in Africa!  (I asked some members recently why we don't see more cats.  Their response:  "People here eat them."  Now I understand!

Another view looking down.  There are lots of buildings being constructed--one hand-made cinder block at a time!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Colemans leave Douala

This past weekend, Elder and Sister Coleman bid farewell to Douala.  They've done a great job here.  They've taught a number of members how to play the piano.  They've helped seven young men and young women get out on missions--everything from passports and visas to vaccinations to clothes.  They've taken care of two apartments of elders and four branches.  We're going to miss them!!!  (And not just because we need to assume many of their duties since no couple has come to replace them yet!)

Sister Coleman taught piano in San Diego for years.  Wish our students had access to her skills! 

Elder Coleman joined in, too!  (Notice the creative piano table!)

This young man is going to take over the lessons in one branch.

They'll be sorely missed!

Here are the Douala elders in the Coleman's apartment for some goodies one last time.  (Two of our former missionaries, E. Tucker and E. Mpongo are there now.  It's fun to see them again!)

The Douala Zone.

The Colemans with two of their future missionaries and one of the stalwart couples in Douala, the Su family.

Helping Hands--Mains Serviables

We have had a number of "Mormon Helping Hands" ("Mains Serviables") this past year.  Most of them have been simple activities like picking up trash along the streets.  That has been rather frustrating to us, because the people here don't hesitate to toss something on the ground.  As we cleaned, we'd look behind and see it was already being littered.

Today, we had an activity that was more meaningful.  We worked around the outside of a hospital, cleaning the entrance and getting rid of weeds, brush and trash along the street leading to the hospital.  At one point, one of the men came to me and said, "Don't work in this brush.  There is something in there that is very bad."  I'm not sure what was there, but I definitely followed his instructions!

Brother Bedi giving instructions at the hospital entrance.

Sisters ready to go to work.  They carry pretty much anything they need in those plastic bags.

Motos that have brought people to the marché.

The main project was to clear off the weeds and brush from this little incline along the road outside the hospital.

Machetes are the tool of choice for just about any job.  They really know how to use them!

In clearing the weeds, we found a lot of trash.  That was piled up along the side of the road along with the weeds.

Brother Bedi is using his machete to chop down that tree.  It only took a few whacks.  Notice the huge pile in the lower right corner.  This went on for several hundred yards.

Some of our missionaries at work.  For those who didn't have machetes, they used sticks to push the piles together.  Simple tools, but they make them work very efficiently.

Heading back to the hospital entrance, weeds chopped and piles left for the city to haul away.

How many hospitals have you been to where you were greeted by a rooster getting a drink on the sidewalk?

Most people don't have running water.  They're very grateful to have a pump in most neighborhoods so they can have clean (sort of) water.  

Washing up after a good morning's work.

Here's the crew.  We love these people!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Country Line Dancing African Style!

The Young Single Adult rep in one of the branches asked Anne to teach them a dance.  She taught three to them--Cupid Shuffle, Macarena, and Boot Scootin' Boogie.  She did great, and they learned very quickly!  I think we'll have other opportunities for Anne to teach some more!

The videos were too long to post here, so here are links to the Youtube videos we posted:

Cupid Shuffle Cameroon Style--

Macarena Cameroon Style--

Boot Scootin' Boogie Cameroon Style--

Hope you enjoy their enthusiasm!

Francky and Aimee's Wedding

Francky is one of the branch clerks here in Yaoundé.  He's bright, honest, pleasant, a delight to be around.  Like many of the young men here, he was single.  Thursday, July 23, he married Aimee, our first young single adult success!  They met for the first time at our young single adult activity back in November.  Despite pressure from family, culture, etc. they chose to be married legally--rather than living together as so many do.  They're great examples of faith--we are excited for them!

Left to Right:  Modest and Danielle, another couple who married legally--although  they went to the temple right away; Aimee and Francky.

Sister Dimond with the happy couple just before the marriage.

Some of the branch members who were there to support and celebrate.

Glad she didn't break her leg with those shoes!

Ceremony's over, just putting on the rings.

Mayor in the background, watching the happy couple.

Signing the documents.

Four witnesses all signed, too.

It's official!

This is the room where the ceremony was performed.

Outside the "Hotel de Ville".

The beautiful home of the branch president, President Zang.
During the dinner, a chicken walked in through the open doorway to peck at scraps of food that had dropped to the floor.