Friday, June 7, 2013

Guest Journalists Elly and Heather

Travel day! Wakey wakey, house to empty, plane to catchey. Step 1- empty refrigerator. Step 2- pack bags. Step 3- exchange money. Step 4- Load the car.

James and Julie took us to the airport where Joy skillfully navigated the team though check-in and security. There was that one time when the airport officials tried to kidnap Heather. Just kidding. Seems as though they pulled the same random baggage check on her as they did for Abbie en route to Tanzania a week earlier.

We boarded a small plane and barely had time to buckle our seatbelts by the time we landed in Togo. After some PB&J sandwiches, we sat in the airport waiting for our gate to be announced. The problem was that the announcements were in French or heavily-accented English. (It’s a good thing Auria had a year of French.) When Auria finally deciphered the announcement, we found our gate, loaded the bus, and safely boarded our plane for the last leg of our trip to Cameroon. They even served us lunch! Not bad as far as airline food goes. Those baguettes are pretty tasty!

An English-speaking nasala approaches us at the baggage claim in Douala. Hey, it’s Mr. Loescher! He offers his cell phone for us to make phone calls to our families. So, dear parents, if you heard from your child, your thanks may be directed to Mr. Loescher.

After claiming our luggage, we met Eddie Loescher (he is 13 years old and the only boy of the family) and a co-missionary with the Loeschers. We split the luggage and the teammembers between Pastor Walter and Pastor Eric’s vehicles and pulled out of the Douala airport. Our first stop was a nice Lebanese restaurant called Chez Nora. We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship around the table with the missionaries. (The AC and western toilets were also a blessing.) The menu was completely in French. But Pastor Eric gave us some suggestions. Part of the team went for the “experience” and ordered beef chwarma or hummus. Heather and Elly joked about eating their Philly cheesesteaks in a Lebanese restaurant in the middle of Cameroon. The food was amazing, the company was encouraging, and a good time was had by all.

We spent that evening in hotel-type housing owned by a European Baptist group. Two rooms for the girls; two rooms for the guys. Hot water with normal water pressure for showers: hallelujah amen! There was also a swimming pool that the guys enjoyed after team devos. The girls caught up on sleep.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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