P-Day road trip to the formerly British town of Limbe! On Monday we loaded up our truck with 3 Elders in the cab and 5 in the bed enclosed by the camper shell and set off for the beach-side resort town, about 50 miles away. We waded in the surf at the Seme Hotel beach, toured the Limbe Wildlife Center and made it home before 5 pm. The drive took over 2 hours each way with 2 stops by cops, a $20 fine for not having my speed limit and passenger capacity marked on the tailgate (didn’t know it was required), lots of slow trucks and speed bumps, two tolls, and having trouble finding the beach we sought. But everyone enjoyed the excursion, the weather was great, and we saw lots of gorillas and other primates including 104 drills (like baboons) at the Wildlife Center.
|We made it to the beach!|
|Warm water but the rule is: no deeper than knee-high|
|Babyfoot Humain = Toddlers Soccer Field|
|Relaxing by the hotel watercourse|
|A very nice black-sand beach|
|Elders VanAusdal & Kabasele playing Mancala|
|Elders Kabasele, Mandefu, Sperry, West, Legerski, Mwehu, Larson, & VanAusdal|
|Chimpanzees plotting their next escape. They're good at that.|
|Gorillas sitting on poles|
Lest you think me irresponsible, let me explain my logic in carrying Elders in the bed of a truck. Last year we hired a taxi to take the five that wouldn’t fit properly in the truck. (There are no buses that go to Limbe.) The taxi turned out to be an overloaded, rattletrap Corolla with no seat belts. I think the bed of a big pickup with me at the wheel is safer. And the police that stopped us never noticed the extra passengers through the tinted window of the camper shell.
|Riding in the truck: Elders Kabasele, Legerski, West, Larson, & Mwehu|
The next day we got the required markings painted on our truck for $20, but not before another cop stopped us. It was just a routine check of docs and asking if we had something for him (e.g. a bribe). We gave him the Joseph Smith story.
Ruth’s arm is still bothering her so we saw the doctor again and got an improved treatment plan that is helping.
We picked up 3 Elders from the airport and put them on a bus to Yaoundé. 3 other Elders flew from Yaoundé to Douala on a flight that was supposed to take 45 minutes. But at the last minute, the airline decided to route them through Gabon, so they arrived about 2 hours late, nearly missing their connecting flight. TIA. But the other two Elders arrived with no problems.
|New Companions for Elders VanAusdal & Sperry: Elders Mouamba & Mbuyi|
|Departing: Elders Larson, Mandefu, & Legerski|
|Elders Bulendolo, Museku, & Bybee just passing through|
The landlord for the Bonaberi Elders’ apartment wrote a letter asking for proof that we have the required fire insurance. For about a year they didn’t have it. But about a month ago I must have been inspired to read the contracts, because I noticed that it is required and bought it. The policy documents arrived just a few days before they were requested by the landlord. The Lord is blessing us.
Trivia: The national motto of Cameroon is “Peace, Work, Fatherland”. (I prefer “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”.)
The school has 5 working toilets now, and it has quickly become apparent that potty training will be necessary. Many kids here have never used a toilet and continue to defecate on the ground near the toilet stalls.
|The kindergarteners loved Sister Coleman|
|The kindergarten classrooms are quite nice|
|We had to install this tank & pump to get water to the toilets|
|Scary electrical wiring in the kindergarten|
We have three helpers now working for us to earn money for passports so they can apply for missions. We don’t have much work for them to do, so I asked if they would cook something for us. The two girls got excited about that. We gave them $20 and sent them off to buy food. They made foufou and eru with beef, fish, shrimp, watercress and peppers. We had a feast together and then gave the leftovers to the wife of the Douala 1st counselor, Dadi Alvine, who just had a baby. They named the baby Nephi Dadi Johnson.
|It takes both hands & feet for Purita to make foufou|
|I stirred the foufou a bit|
|The eru with peppers before cooking|
|Eru & foufou ready to eat together|
Our trip out to visit Alvine was an adventure. My plan was to drive out and back in 30 minutes. It took about 90 minutes, due to the difficult dirt roads. We crossed a bridge that I wouldn’t have dared, except our guide insisted that it was good enough for our truck.
|Alvine and newborn Nephi|
|View of the neighborhood from Alvine's balcony|
|We held our breath while crossing this bridge, both ways|
|Then we came to typical gridlock. A cop had to come & fix it.|
Friday was Labor Day with huge parades and celebrations involving every company employee in the city. On my morning run I met a group of about 40 fish packers and joined them as they walked about 6 miles at a rapid pace, stopping occasionally for calisthenics. The company photographers focused their cameras on the white guy a lot.
|Labor Day parade that lasted hours. Photo taken from our back fence.|
Our movie night at Bonaberi drew about 50 people. They loved Ephraim’s Rescue and Over the Hedge.
|Restaurant of Sister Ndedi (left)|
|Cooking is on charcoal in a wheel rim on a wooden table!|
|I call this sidewalk business "AutoZone"|