Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Decision

Dear Friends and Family,

Thank you all for your prayers about my decision regarding next year. I’ve made a decision: I am returning to Cameroon in the fall! I will come home to California in early July, and will split my time between northern and southern California till early September, when I’ll hop back on a plane to Africa. Although I’m already dreading saying goodbye to everyone again, God has given me a lot of peace and excitement about returning for another school year.

When it comes down to it, where else can I:

  • Eat fried grasshoppers as a snack
  • Watch a cow get slaughtered, then eat the beef that day
  • Eat fresh passion fruit, guavas, mangos, and papayas
Deciding whether I like my grasshopper snack
  • Take a shower with a gecko
  • Ride a horse bareback and barefoot, as I follow a taxi, who’s following a motorbike, who’s following cow-herders, who’re herding cows
  • Hang off the back of a Land Cruiser as we go off-roading
  • See a dozen chickens crammed into the back of a taxi
  • Be one of eight people in a 5-passenger car
  • Milk a cow in a remote village
Going up to the village on a motorcycle-taxi
  • Eat fish eyes
  • Get in an argument with a vender over twenty cents
  • Get three marriage proposals a day, just for being white and, in the words of one admirer, “tall and clean”
  • Shake ants out of my clothes and toothbrush as a daily ritual
  • Be given a vaccination by a Cameroonian nurse who was trained by reading books about medical “theories”
  • See live chickens sitting in the kitchen, waiting to be made into dinner
  • Help de-feather dinner
The chickens I helped de-feather; christened "Lunch" and "Dinner"

  • Go to the zoo and see monkeys running free, pet a hyena, shake hands with a baboon, and be face-to-face with a lion
  • Be a cultural and racial minority in a ballroom dance class
  • Practice speaking five different languages in one day
  • Live with such a hospitable family that every day I need to recalculate how many dinner plates to set on the table
  • Be part of a community made up of people from all over the world
  • Teach an eight-year-old to read, and see his face light up when he discovers he can now read a book on his own
  • Hear the exclamations of delight from thirty handicapped kids as they open up their Operation Christmas Child gift boxes
  • Watch my two students develop skills and knowledge because of how God is using me in their homeschool education?

In the next couple months, I will begin raising more support for next year. But I would like to ask you to start praying now about how God is leading you to support me, whether it is through prayer, a one-time financial gift, or a monthly financial commitment. God has worked such wonders through your faith and sacrifices this year, and I am confident that he will continue to do the same in the year to come!