Sunday, March 30, 2014

3/30 - Gabon is Booming! + Yaounde & Building a Screen Door

We just got word of the first baptisms in Gabon!  (The country was dedicated and opened in January.)  I count 22 people in white, plus the missionaries in the photo they sent.  They said that it took the whole meeting to confirm them!
First Baptisms in Gabon

The Douala branch president, Marius Nkong, gave a good talk at the end of Sacrament meeting and then left because he felt ill.  On the way down the stairs he fell.  He was very weak and Frere Mbengue, his first counselor, asked me to drive him to the hospital.  First we stopped at a pharmacy to get some medicine and a house to pick up his kids, and then a gas station to get for food for him, after which his wife decided to just take him home.  She didn’t know if he had eaten anything but planned to feed him and let him rest.  He couldn’t talk much but said that he couldn’t remember anything after giving his talk.  I wish we had modern medical care here.  I called him on Tuesday and he said that he is resting and doing better.
The Douala Meetinghouse

Elder Okon, recently arrived from Nigeria, was feeling ill on Saturday and hadn’t been able to eat or drink.  He seemed to have a fever and other symptoms of malaria.  We took him to the Daniel Muna Clinic, which was highly recommended by previous couples.  It cost about $12 to see a doctor but about $90 for the recommended tests.  Then the prescription medication was about $13.  When the test results came back on Monday the doctor said that he didn’t have anything.  It was probably just unfamiliar food.
Jungles of Cameroon Seen from the Bus
Monday we took the bus to Yaounde for our monthly two-day visit and had a meeting with all 10 of the Elders there.  On Tuesday we had them all over again for ice cream, since they don’t have a senior couple to pamper them.  We paid some bills and dealt with financial issues and found that we were missing about $510.  I spent every spare minute poring over the records trying to figure out why the books wouldn’t balance.  Finally, on Wednesday morning I noticed a small difference in record-keeping and an approved double payment, and everything balanced.  What a relief!  It was starting to look like auditors would be coming.  Since nearly everything is paid in cash, record-keeping can be problematic. 
Yaounde Elders
While in Yaounde we went on a 2km hike through the Parcours Vita-Yaounde.  We got a good workout and saw banana & mango trees & other flora.  We enjoyed the cooler weather of Yaounde, not needing air conditioning.  And we went out to eat with Jeff Gibbs, an American businessman.
Sister Coleman Running Up the Stairs

A Friendly Millipede

Pond in the Parcours Vita

Mangos Growing in the Parcours Vita
Jeff Gibbs
Cafe de Yaounde, Delicious Fish with No Bones!
Thursday’s piano lesson was much smaller, with only 9 students so they each got more keyboard time.

Friday I went with Romeo to buy parts and build a sliding screen door for the Douala Elders’ balcony door.  Their apartment gets so hot that they always keep the door open and they get mosquitos.  Romeo is a genius at working with wood, taking few measurements, writing nothing down, cutting everything precisely with a hand saw, and building a precision sliding door and frame.  I could never do that.
Tiny Hardware Store Where We Bought Screen & Nails

Marche Congo Where We Bought Lumber
We bought the wood in a marketplace (Marche Congo) on a dirt road with piles of garbage in the road and hundreds of stalls.  Then we took it to a stall with a planer and table saw to get it smoothed and cut.  In this woodworking booth was a worker with a hard hat and flip-flops.  I saw a pile of wood fall on his foot and thought that it looked quite painful.  He just slipped out of his flip-flop and continued working with one bare foot.  I would have liked a photo of him hard at work with his hand saw while wearing a hard hat and one flip-flop but didn’t want to whip out my camera before we settled our bill.
Three Men with Buckets on their Heads

Yaounde Street: Every Umbrella is a Business, Every Yellow Car a Cab

Man with a Bucket of Buckets on Head

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