I find that most of my life here is a delightful combination of Cameroon and the West. Thanksgiving was a beautiful picture of the diversity of my life here. We had over thirty people come over: Americans, Canadians, and both Bantu and Fulani Cameroonians. Instead of turkey we had chicken, but we did manage to have quite a few traditional dishes, like cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. Fadi’s family in the village even sent down two live chickens as a Thanksgiving present. (Side Note: We didn’t end up eating those for Thanksgiving --- we wanted to keep them for their eggs. However, a few days later we chased them around the yard with the purpose of turning them into dinner, after discovering at 4am that they were roosters, not chickens.)
Lum’s birthday party was another fun mix of cultures. We invited over about ten of Lum’s friends, decorated the living room like a formal black and white party, dressed to the hilt, ate homemade pizza and carrot cake, then had a big dance party to the girls’ favorite Cameroonian music.
Even our family devotions are a mix of cultures and languages: last week we read the Bible passage first in English, then again in Pidgin, then in Fulfulde, for the benefit of the different first languages represented around the table.
It is so fun experiencing all the different people, languages, and cultures here in Cameroon and especially in the Jacksons’ home. Even though life here is a lot more familiar to me this year, living in the “Jackson Village” is always exciting.
My life here is wonderful and exciting, but I feel compelled to explain that it's not always easy. I often find myself wishing I had more alone time, or that there was an effective pest control here, or that I could be closer to my family and friends. I catch myself looking forward to future events at the expense of enjoying the present, and convincing myself that perfection awaits me in California next year. But, as Chesterton writes in his essay, "The Contented Man", "True contentment is a thing as active as agriculture. It is the power of getting out of any situation all that there is in it." So I am primarily using this blog as a tool in my efforts to get out everything I can from my life here and now. I am so blessed, and I want to be sure to notice all the blessings God gives me here. Thank you for joining me in my rejoicing as well as my struggles. Your support means more than words can express.
*Lum and Katelyn are making great progress in school
*I have had wonderful health lately
*God has given me many opportunities to use my gifts and education to meet the needs of people in our “Jackson Village”, from teaching study skills to just having heart-to-heart conversations.
*That I would continue to find time and space to take breaks and balance the excitement and business of life here.
*That as Christmas approaches, we would remember the gift of Jesus, our Emmanuel, in the midst of our busy (but fun!) schedule.
*That God would continue to show me how I can be an encouragement to those around me.