June 28th– My trip to Zang Tabi!
I was able to make it to Zang Tabi to visit the extended family of the TIcha family that was a part of my church 4 years ago. Stanley, the brother of my friend Gideon Ticha, picked me up from the house at 4:30. Before leaving town we stopped by the open air market. It was my first time there and when we went into the poultry section I was convinced the chickens were going to be slaughtered before my eyes! But we bought two lives ones to be put in the trunk of the car instead. The traffic was awful in Bamenda, so we took the non-tarred route to Zang instead of the highway. As a result our journey was 3 hours long and the roads were the worst ones I have ever experienced. There were a few times I was worried the taxi wouldn’t make it there! When we finally reached Zang at 8:30, I was welcomed into the Ticha’s house with open arms. I was so happy to see Gideon’s parents again, John and Salome, but in their home land this time!
We stopped by a waterfall on the way to Zang!
June 29th– JRCC Seminar
In the morning Stanley and Aaron, who are connected to my church VPC, took me around to see Zang and to see some of the tools that VPC donated to Zang. I was truly in the jungle, or the bush as they put it. I got to hike up the mountainous hill to get a great view and almost slipped and fell a few times since I was wearing sandals! In the afternoon I was able to attend a seminar put on by the NGO that Aaron is the president of, John Retreat Center Cameroon (JRCC), which is only a year old. Many people from around the village attended and I got to see pictures of their projects and learn more about their work. I was surprisingly presented with gifts and awards of my own since I was acting as an ambassador of VPC. Salome presented me with a handmade Cameroonian basket and Cameroonian dress and head wrap which I promptly put on! That night everyone dispersed but those who stayed got to enjoy the plentiful palm wine (natural wine that is tapped from palm trees, many farmers in the region make their livelihoods by selling this) and Cameroonian music. I spent my time playing soccer with the kids, laughing with the parents, and avoiding the mosquitoes!
Salome and John!
June 30th– Presbyterian Church
This morning I got to experience village worship in the Presbyterian Church, one I am used to! Everyone was dressed in their traditional garb making for a colorful event. The service was filled with singing and dancing and was very enjoyable. VPC was formally thanked by the church for their donations to improving the roof and by the Sunday school teacher for the school supplies they gave several years ago. It was a little overwhelming to receive all of these thanks as the VPC ambassador and they kept asking me to share words with the community, or the church, or the children; all I could figure to say was that we are so happy we could help and thanks for having me! For lunch I was able to have bananas, watermelon, avocado, and mango (all I could hope for!) and say goodbye to everyone. The ride home on the tarred highway ended up being an eventful one as well since the car overheated and we had to pull over. I ended up pushing the car backwards for half a mile on the freeway with a bunch of local boys to help the driver start it back up!
Photos to come of Sunday! Love you all!