Monday, April 30, 2012

12th Day of Packing - Goodbyes

The "12th day of packing" is really when most of the packing as taken place!! I wish I could zip each one of these precious people up and bring them with me!!  I haven't been able to post about them, but we have had some of the most incredible farewell parties, and sendoff events you can imagine!! My school put on a HUGE program for me and the parting gifts have been so overwhelmingly wonderful!! My heart is full and overflowing and each time we walk someone to the gate and say our final goodbyes, I feel like I'm more and more in a daze and cannot believe we're really leaving!
"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace." Numbers 6:24-26)
"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain form embracing."  Ecclesiastes 3:1-5
I planted these marigolds as part of my farewell gifts to my lady friends here, flowers from my home that I hope make them think of me each time they see a bright blossom.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

11th Day of Packing - Food Adventures

On the 11th day of packing my tummy said to me, Another food adventure!!
 ...honestly, we've been pretty "adventurous" with local food, however, still sticking with foods that didn't have a mother... and we've thankfully had nothing more than a common cold during our time here.  God is good!  Above is a local "plum" they were frying right by some corn we got one night and the lady talked us into trying one... she said it tasted like butter... well... it was the nastiest rotted butter I've ever tasted... but I guess...

This is Quacoco... shared with me by a lady at school.  Flavor was amazing and it was really pretty good, but it had a few ingredients we didn't have a desire to eat...  Dissected a little, tasted a little...
The food here is amazing!  We've got several invites every day we have left... trying to double and triple book to fit it all in! 
 Mercy invited us over after church, she is such a SWEET girl, and had gotten up very early to prepare the food before church, then finish it when we got to her house.  Notice the tomatoes on the grinding block on the floor.
 This was a plantain, carrot, green bean, and pepa dish, SO GOOD! Mmmmmm!
 Bobolo and agoose, it was delicious!  I usually have a hard time with bobolo, but this was a REALLY good batch!
 We went straight from Mercy's house to Lindsey's house for another meal, like I said, we're running out of days to fit in all our visits!  This is ocongbung, also VERY good!
 You eat the ocongbung with potatoes, plantains, or cocoyams... This was SO FANCY!!! We were amazed!
Mangoes! I am going to miss this SO MUCH!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

10th Day of Packing - Stick Bug

On the 10th day of packing an interesting critter paid a visit...
I notices this "clump of twigs" on Mary's shirt that was out to dry... God is so amazing!  The outside of this bug couldn't look more like twigs... but it's a bug!  His head was latched on tight!  Mary found one later that evening in our room and didn't believe me that it was a bug because he was all pulled inside and looked just like a little clump of twigs!

Friday, April 27, 2012

9th Day of Packing - CRC

On the 9th day of packing me students said to me...
Let's make a hand-print!
Auntie here's my fan!
Oooo!  The paint is goooooy!
(bubbles are "balloons" to them, and let me tell you, you know 'mob mentality' definitively hit these nursery kids when I broke out the bubbles, I don't think I've ever seen kids go quite so crazy!) 
Spiders!! (yes I know they only have 6 legs, but 8 were just too hard to cut out... and we still called them spiders ;) hehe).

I'm really gonna miss these kids!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

8th Day of Packing - Chickens

On the 8th day of packing some peeping caught my ear...
This cute little family was visiting our scrap pile :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

7th Day of Packing - Door Frame

On the 7th Day of Packing I thought you might find this interesting...
This door frame always strikes me, just makes me smile, it's a good, sturdy door frame, just missing a little bit of wall.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

6th Day of Packing - Food Prep

On the 6th Day of packing my roommate... was missing...
...Don't worry, I found her outside cutting the bread because she couldn't find a place to cut it in the room :) We were putting together a bean burger spread for some friends, we even made french fries!  MMmmm! 
Aslo, when the beans need to be cleaned and rinsed...
Yes, I know a large percentage of my posts center around food and cooking!  It's just that I realize the foods we eat hear and the methods to which we have resorted to preparing them are so bazaar! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

5th Day of Packing - Limbe

On the 5th Day of packing my roommate said to me, Let's go to Limbe!
We wanted to have one more visit to this gorgeous little beach!  Was so hard to believe I was enjoying the red sand and warm sun for the last time in our tropical paradise!
~Attention Everyone!!~
Pidgin!!  "I de come for house small small time!"
Translation: I'm coming home soon!

Simply Amazing!
Little Mt. Cameroon and a breathtakingly glassy beach.

Since I've been asked to work with the Student Missionary coordinators next year at Union I decided to take the SM slogan to heart and work on some publicity! ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4th Day of Packing - Beef

On the forth day of packing some cattle passed by me was market day... not sure where they were headed with these but you can see the loaded taxis on their way to market, my guess is that not all of them made it through market in one piece. :S

*note: Pictures for "12 Days of Packing" posts were not necessarily all taken on the respective days... for example, this was last Tuesday's market. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

3rd Day of Packing - Pickens

On the 3rd day of packing some pickens came a knocking!
Between "tutoring" and the random neighborhood kids we play with from time to time, there's quite a collection of little pickens that frequent our place.  I love it and I love them, the problem is that they usually find the most inconvenient times to visit.  So, if we're in the middle of something (like cooking a meal for 15 people) they get to help! :) These girls gladly helped snap the green beans, they love whatever errand we give them, including brandon scrubbing the shower once... that was just a great excuse to play with water, and our bathroom ended up a little flooded! :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

2nd Day of packing - Elizabeth's family

On the 2nd Day of packing we paused to cook a meal!
Elizabeth and her family have hosted us for several delicious traditional African meals, so we wanted to cook for them!  They were excited for "American food."  It's really hard to find something you can really call "American" because just like it's citizens, "American food" comes from every other part of the world.  So, we made tortilla/burritos :) we made A LOT and they wiped us out! :) best way to compliment the cooks!
There was a class in the conference room so we hosted in our room, a little snug but definitely doable! 
We fed 13 mouths in our little "cubicle room" :)

The volleyball was a hit! :)
...and after all the cleaning, cooking, feeding, and fun, the real party begins...
...washing dishes!!

Quote from Mary:  "I need to take a shower, but the shower's too full of dishes, I don't think I'll fit!"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

12 Days of Packing!

Our stay in Africa has slipped into only days remaining!!  Yesterday I was in our yard with my camera because a chicken had wandered in with her babies.  After I got a couple cute shots of the little family I noticed a cluster of flowers, the banana trees, and just kept snapping some memories of the things we'll be leaving behind so soon.  I was surprised to turn around and see Darius just standing there quietly smiling and watching me; he said, "I see the mourning has already begun" I was shocked by just how well he understood what I was doing.

With 12 days 'till departure it seems like all the things we want to squeeze in have to happen all at once!!  Along with the HUGE task of "packing" (organizing, cleaning, sorting, hoping I can fit at least most of the things I want to bring home)... I'm collecting pictures of the random little things and will try to post at least one picture for each of the "12 days of packing" ahead of us!
This, along with taxis loaded inside and out, is how our bread gets from brick ovens to the little shops that sell it! :) Mmmmm!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Before Mom sent my last package I placed a special request of pickling spice and canning salt... After finding some sort of plant that greatly resembled dill on Mt. Cameroon I had an urge to try making African pickles!
Cucumbers are not a plentiful commodity around here and after finding none at Muea market I had slightly more success a few days later at our Great Soppo market.  I basically bought out four different vendors of their cucumber selection.  Also, when looking for cucumbers here you will get nowhere until you pronounce it "cOcumber" (long 'O' sound like coco).  
I found a few recycled jars from a friend and thoroughly enjoyed the pickle-making process which brought back so many home memories!  Except at home I don't chop veggies and do most of my cooking prep on the floor!

It was hard to wait for them to "pickle" for a couple days but it was worth it!  Dill pickles and sweet pickles, they were a hit around here too!

Monday, April 16, 2012


Christiane invited us over for Okoc the other evening... It's Lea's traditional tribal meal, made with... Okoc, palm nuts, peanuts (ground nuts) and other seasonings to taste.  There's a HINT of sugar in it, not making it sweet by any stretch... but it's not salty.  the white is boiled cassava.  Definitely different than anything I've ever eaten before, but it just takes some bravery and everything is edible! :) it honestly was good :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Banana Cake

Last week Kingone (Tango, Jumell, or Monster... he has been called or answers to any of them) was here almost all day every day and would have stayed 24/7 if we would have let him.  He told me early in the week that his birthday was on Friday, so I promised him that on Thursday we would make banana cake for his birthday.  He didn't forget and was ready bright and early Thursday morning.
 I added and supervised the ingredients, but he did all the work.  With delicious, fresh bananas SO plentiful here "banana cake," otherwise known as banana bread, is the most popular hit we've introduced here... we make it several* times a week!

Emanuel, another neighborhood boy, must have a good nose because he managed to show up just as the first one was out of the pot oven and ready to eat!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

1 Big Mess X 63

Paper-mache always has been and always will be one messy project!  For some reason I decided to do it the with the older classes at school and had told them to bring scraps of paper.... last night when I was thinking about the actual process I was getting cold feet... but sure enough, they all brought paper scraps to school today and we had a mache party!
I tried to maintain some order by having only one bowl of goo and making them stay in line and file through one at a time... they listened generally well and it went almost as well as could be expected.
I learned some things from class 6 and worked out a few wrinkles in my system before class 5, and it went a little better.
When I was leaving school several kids had already given up on letting them dry and were throwing, kicking, and playing with them.  After I spent an extra hour trying to patch up holes myself, most of them were still not very well covered like a normal paper-mache project should be.  I have my doubts about how well the project will turn out, but the cute part is that the kids were still thrilled!  While they were throwing and kicking them I heard numerous excited squeals, "it wont burst," "they are strong!" "they don't burst!"  A lot of kids are almost scared of balloons because there's so many things on the ground to "burst" them and they are used to balloons that "burst" while being blown up... so in their minds, paper-mache simply imortalized their balloons and they were more than happy if that's all it did. 

When I was working with class 6, trying to maintain control, even though they were being playful, energetic, loud kids... the class 6 teacher came around the corner and just watched the whole process quietly.  Just before he left he said, "when you're finished I'd like to speak with you in my office."
I was slightly terrified and expected to be reprimanded for the noise and mess... but he was inviting me to attend a staff meeting.
It was a handful, but it worked out, the kids loved it, and worse things have happened! ;)