Last week, the Jacksons and I traveled to Limbe, our favorite beach retreat spot. We checked into the hotel we have stayed at before, which is more like a semicircle of round houses than a hotel. After checking into our room, asking one of the workers for towels, soap, a working air conditioner remote, and new light bulbs (after Karissa asked, “Um, is the light supposed to turn on?”), we settled in and talked about what a quality hotel it is. Carolin took a shower, and when I asked her how it was, she said, “Oh, perfect! There is hot water and good water pressure. You just have to hold the shower head, since the piece holding it to the wall is broken.” That’s when I took a mental step back and realized the oddity of our definition of quality, which includes beds, blankets, air conditioning (very rare here!), and hot water, but not the most basic commodities anyone would expect at a western hotel, including lights and shower fixtures.
But when our standards for comfort are basic, it’s easy to relax in what might be otherwise somewhat frustrating conditions. Limbe is incredible. It’s almost like having our own private beach. The hotel is in front of a rainforest at the bottom of Mt. Cameroon. Right across the street from the hotel is a large gazebo on a strip of grass, and there are steps from the grass right down to the black sands beach. Limbe is right next to Debundscha, the second rainiest place on earth, and we went in the middle of rainy season, so it was a little wet while we were there. The rain, and even getting stung one day by jellyfish, didn’t stop us from playing in the waves! But we spent quite a bit of time in the gazebo, talking, reading, eating grilled barracuda, and playing Monopoly Deal.
It was good to have so much time together, and it was clearly beneficial for the Jacksons to take a break from the emotional drains of their work in Bamenda and recuperate. Chris said one morning that he was feeling the most relaxed he has felt in a long time.
The trip back to Bamenda on Tuesday was anything but relaxing, with police checks once or twice every hour of the six-hour drive. The police seemed determined to find something wrong with us at each stop, whether it was fining us for not having traffic triangles or a working fire extinguisher, or questioning the expiration dates on our car or our visas. But at least the road was nice! There was only about an hour or two of pothole-riddled roads, rather than the 4-5 hours of broken roads on which we had previously needed to drive between Limbe and Bamenda.
Since getting back, I have been able to do a little more work for Chris with the children’s ministry curriculum development. I cleaned up the formatting of a few more lessons and printed most of them out for Chris’s supervisor to approve. I updated some of the signs used in their teacher training.
I also went through several boxes of children’s ministry resource books and organized them on shelves to make them more accessible for Chris and his ministry workers. I’m hoping to do a little more organizing while I’m here to make it easier for Chris to access what he needs as he works on the lessons and teacher training programs.
Praise God for our relaxation in Limbe, and for the progress of the children’s ministry curriculum. Please pray that the peace and rest we had in Limbe would sustain the Jacksons for the work ahead, particularly for Chris, who was especially drained by the drive back. Please pray for peace in Cameroon this weekend and the coming week, as there are plans for a taxi strike, which would make any traveling unsafe and might necessitate a change in my flight home. Please pray for continued building of peaceful relationships between those of us in the house as well as with the Fulani we are planning to visit this weekend for Sala, the end-of-Ramadan feast.
Thank you for your prayers and support! God is sovereign and provides for ALL our needs!