Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy January 1!

The first of January doesn't just mean a new year in our family, it means Janae is literally starting a new year of her life! :)  Janae, I can't believe it's been 15 years since that cold January morning when you were born between blizzards!  I love you so much!  I hope and pray that this year will be even better than the last and that you continue to follow God and discover where He's leading and guiding in your life!  Happy Birthday!

P.S.  It really is January 1 here, my computer is still set to home time and it knows that it's still 8:00pm December 31, 2011 in Venturia, ND.  But really, it's 3:00am January 1, 2012 here in Buea, Cameroon!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


I feel like it has only been a few days since I posted about the fact that we had been here in Cameroon for 50 days.  Well, it's been more than a few days, it's actually been another 50!   I can't believe my time in Cameroon has doubled since my 50 days post, makes me wonder if the next 100 will go as fast.  So here's another post of random pictures to commemorate 100 days in another country and another thought I had recently for you to ponder.

I am constantly taking pictures, video clips, and trying my very best to remember every detail possible so I can tell my friends and family what it's like here.  I get overwhelmed just trying to write in my journal because there is just so much I want to record and remember.  While we were walking along the beach in Kribi I, once again, had a dozen "mental notes" and images floating around in my head that I was trying desperately to remember long enough to get to my journal so I could do my best to capture them for my family.  I stopped and just stood there as a new thought entered my mind.  
Every day I try so hard to capture my African experience as vividly as possible because I have such a passion to share it with my family.  I realized that if I had nobody to send these pictures to, I wouldn't have taken a single one.  My experiences feel void and pointless unless I have someone to share them with.  And that's when God connected the dots in my mind.  When He works in our lives we should have the same passion to tell the world!  Without someone to show and tell I would have ignored most of the beauty in Kribi and my African experience so far; but because I want to capture it and convey it the best I can, I notice and treasure ever little detail.  I am constantly using worlds like "incredible," "indescribable," and phrases like "I can't even tell you how beautiful," or "I can't describe..." I wish there was some way to convey how amazing these things are, but I really, just can't capture it.  It's the same with God's working in our lives.  If we don't share the amazing things He's doing in and for us, the blessing will not only be prevented from blessing others, it will seem void and pointless to us as well.  So I challenge you to do your very best, though you can't fully capture it, to tell everyone what God is doing for you!
Little girl from Kingston
Ignostius "mowing" the lawn
Sharon :)
Log trucks we saw in Douala
African Sunset :)
3rd roommate! :S
 There is a wide variety in means of transportation.... This kinda reminds me of supper in the pasture Schumacher style!
 The Cameroonians are very often dressed in 3 or more layers, hats, scarves and way too much clothing when it is HOT outside!  It is simply NEVER, EVER cold enough here for this kind of clothes!  This kid was selling all kinds of winter hats and scarves in the market, the other day I walked past some ladies in the market selling the same thing and they tried to sell me some, I told them it was too warm for scarves! and they just laughed! :) and today I saw I guy shoveling sand (it was 80+ degrees) and he was wearing a stocking cap!
Moving van?
Beans and puff puff! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Puff Puffs

Elizabeth taught us how to make "puff puffs" :) (essentially doughnuts) they are a local favorite, Charlotte dropped by to visit when we were getting started so she joined the fun because she knows how as well... I think I've mastered the art, which is more complicated than you think, and will make some for all of you when I come home.
There really is a very specific way to plop them in so that you get nice round little puff puffs... it took some practice and is a crazy cool process to watch!
Mmmmm.... :S deep FAT fried!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


This X-ray was taken one year ago today...
This one after my surgery in July
And these were taken today
They're not very good quality and esspecailly so because it's just a picture taken with the x-ray film held up to the light (outside). :P
When I first got here to Buea Trixy (the Doctor) was asking all about my wrist and said that I should get an x-ray while I was here just to see how it's doing, not that we can really tell much, but mostly for the experience of getting an x-ray (and for MUCH cheaper) in Cameroon.  Mary and I went up to the General Hospital today and got it done because we don't have an x-ray machine in our clinic.  I thought that one year to the day from the original break was a fitting time to get it done.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Africa

Season's greetings from the other side of the world!  I hope each of you had a wonderful celebration with family and friends.  I feel incredibly blessed this Christmas for so many reasons.  I have a wonderful 'family' here in Buea that consists of other missionaries and volunteers from all over the world who also were unable to spend Christmas with their real families.  We had a good time together and thanks to skype I got to be a part of Christmas back home as well!  The best part of this Christmas is knowing that I am exactly where God wants me to be, there is an unfathomable joy in following God and allowing him to do amazing and unbelievable thing in my life!
Christmas morning started out like most Sunday mornings here with an early morning (6:30) run with Richard. Then we made a yummy Christmas brunch complete with some delicious imported treats such as peanut butter, apple sauce, and syrup!  Then we set to cooking for the next meal!
All this past week at campmeeting I was inspired by the women's abilities to cook over a fire.  So when it came down to cooking our huge pot of potatoes for mashed potatoes Mary and I decided to give it a shot!  Since the pot was so big we knew it was going to take a lot of gas to cook on our stove, plus we have such limited burner space... so we scrounged up some things to start a fire... it's so humid here that nothing is ever really dry so my pathfinder skills were put to the test! (Thanks for the farmer matches Janae!)
After a lot of fanning, dry leaves, some paper and a lot of patience we got it going!  (here I'm pretending to have "African hands" it's crazy, the ladies here just pick up the lid of a pot that has been over the fire for hours with bare hands!  all of my skin would stay on the lid if I tried that!)
I thought we might have to bring them in and finish the cooking process on a "real burner" but they turned out perfectly!  Mashed potatoes cooked over a fire and mashed by hand Mmmmm :)

Some of the girls :) (LtoR) Trixy (doctor), Kim (volunteer from Germany), Kathrine (local friend), Sarah (SM from CA), Me and Mary :) (ND SMs).
Nate found a "snowman in a can" RANDOMLY at some little shop here!  you mix up the 'snow' and the kit was complete with little eyes, carrot nose, and a ribbon scarf!

Sad leaning little snowman!  It must have either been to hot so he was melting, or not warm enough because the snow wasn't sticky enough!

of course, with snow around, even if it's only a small bowl full of silicon snow...
it's not gonna take long to start a "snowball" fight! (Nate started it!) What great fun!
Christmas meal
the gang! :) 4 continents represented!
This is a picture I stole from the family blog, this is skyping with my Flemmer family in ND on Christmas Eve :) I got passed around the room on the computer, was so great to get in on a little of Christmas with my family!  Then last night I got to watch my family open presents at home!!  What a blessing technology can be!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Mauye

Hope you all have a blessed holiday season!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sugar Cookies! :)

 Thanks to some cute cookie cutters Mary's mom sent in a package we had the urge to make some good ol' fashion Christmas cookies!
 Once again, limited space, tools, and "baking" facilities, but we made it work!
 Three friends from church were SO EXCITED to learn how to make cookies American Style!  We had a great time, Elizabeth is coming back on Monday to teach us how to make puff puff! I am SO EXCITED about that! (stay tuned!).
We got "powder sugar" in the market, but it got all chunky from the humidity... to whipping up frosting was a little more of a challenge because those chunks were like cement!  We also got "green spice" and "red spice" at the market, earlier on we had asked what flavor it had or what it tasted like but they basically just told us that it was for looks and coloring... so we figured it'd work perfect for "food coloring" :) fun stuff.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


 It's campmeeting time here in Buea and I've been loving it so far!  I spent almost the whole day up at church today (besides a quick trip to market because this was our last chance for market until after Christmas).  This is my friend Kathryn, you can see the "kitchen" behind her!
 Beans and carrots I helped prepare this afternoon for the supper time meal, smoke in the background from the fire where the okra soup was cooking.
 This was dinner, SO GOOD! :) it's basically the same thing we had at Elizabeth's house, okra soup (this stuff had agoose in it which made it extra yummy) and gari fufu which I liked even better than the casava fufu.  But once again, just imagine okra soup (the definition of slimy) eaten with your fingers...
 Dorine and Mercy, remember, all 5 fingers is the proper way to consume this stuff!
 Charlotte and Elizabeth snapping green beans
 The cooking area
 My little buddy!  When we were in Douala with Pastor Rich we ate at this little guy's house after church, his family is here for campmeeting and he was my shadow all day!  Followed me everywhere and fell asleep by me in the meetings :) such a cutie!
Inside the kitchen, Helen is sitting down and mum Rugina is in the corner, they both work at the clinic so they are especially good friends of ours :)  These African ladies are amazing, do you see that big pot on the fire, it's been cooking there for 3 hours and one of them walks up and picks up the cover to check the food (wrapped in banana leaves inside) with her bare hands!!  Mary and I just cringed!  But she was totally fine!  It was so much fun hanging out in the "kitchen" with these ladies!  They are so sweet!  This is just right beside the church and set up just for campmeeting, the cement blocks were all there because they will be used to build the pastor's house.  So for this week they just set them up for a kitchen and threw a leaf roof on top!