Saturday, August 3rd– Julie Gets Lost in the Jungle!
This morning I was picked up by Stanley at 10:30 to go for my last weekend in Zang. On the drive there we took a different direction so I we were able to travel through a partial savannah. Cameroon is considered “Africa in Miniature” because it has all of the different types of vegetation you can find around Africa. We were almost to Zang when our taxi driver got stuck in the mud. He tried for about 20 minutes to back up and keep going, but in the end abandoned his efforts. We decided I would walk the rest of the way and Stanley would grab a bike to carry all of the food. I walked, and walked past one Zang sign, looking for the next… I did not realize the next was a half hours walk away. When I got to that one I mistakenly asked for the directions to Zang and not The Guest House (their house), and was led COMPLETELY off track. I finally realized I was going up into the hills and ran back down for 20 minutes, grabbed a moto, and made it safely to their house. Very luckily I was lost in the jungle than in a foreign town!
After I bathed (warm water again!) and rested, Celeste took me to the Meta’s championship football game. When they saw they had a white man in their midst, they asked me to kick off the ball, quite an honor. I was led out to the field with all of the important leaders then when the whistle sounded I ran at the ball and kicked it straight; who knew everyone could cheer so loud for a whit e man? After halftime Stanley and I went over to watch the women’s handball competition- which is pretty much football but with your hands. Nothing at all like American handball! To finish up the night we went home, ate, and watched the Amazing Spider Man, a favorite movie of mine.
Sunday, August 4th– Last Day in Zang
This morning I went to church at Mama Salome and Pa John’s Presbyterian Church right in their quarter. It is the size of a small classroom, very personal, and I even got to participate in the music making; I was given a shaker! At the end of church Mama Salome introduced me to the congregation and explained how we met back in America when she and John were living with her son Gideon, and they all attended my church. It is amazing that 4 years ago she was in my homeland, and that I have now had the opportunity to travel to hers. That is when the crying started, and all on my part. I am not a big crier, but the Cameroonians must be bringing it out in me!
Mama invited the entire congregation over for a farewell lunch. At lunch I sat in the middle with Stanley while all of the guests surrounded us. After lunch Mama Salome got up and led everyone in a song that I learned from her back in America. Then Pa John got up and gave me a farewell blessing and prayer. He said that I should not fear that I will not see them again, that I will always be connected with them in the spirit. That is when I started bawling, in front of everyone. He even stopped to check if I was okay, but I reassured him it was just because I would miss them all! We then went around saying goodbye to everyone, and then started our journey back to Bamenda.
Monday, July 5th– Last week in Bamenda
I cannot believe that I only have 5 more days in Bamenda! I am partially SO excited to go home, and also sad to be leaving everyone. This may be my last post before I leave, but hopefully I will make it to the internet on Friday. I am taking a night bus on Friday night with Stanley to Douala (about 6 hours), and spending Saturday at his friend’s house in Douala, and then going to the airport and leaving from there at 9:30 PM. My flight plan takes me from Douala to Brussels to Newark, and finally to San Francisco. My mom will pick me up on Sunday night from San Francisco and take me immediately to my family vacation at the B&W.
This last week I promise to stay safe, and appreciate every moment to its fullest! I miss you all and cannot wait to see you in person again!