March 6, 2017
Once again, I am long overdue for an update and will need to catch up on several months of events. But first, the most important event in my personal life: on January 30, I got married! My husband’s name is Eric Toudze, he is Cameroonian, and we have known each other for over four years. We first met in Ngaoundéré, where I studied French my first year in Cameroon, but Eric lives and works in Yaoundé (the capital of Cameroon, about 680 km from Meiganga, where I live now), so we don’t get to see each other very often. We keep hoping that will change, but at Christmas time we made the decision to go ahead and get married, even if we can’t live in the same place right now.
A civil marriage ceremony is required to legalize a marriage in Cameroon, so we did that in January and are planning a church blessing ceremony in July. We had the civil service in a city south of Yaoundé called Ebolowa, where Eric’s cousin is an attorney and was able to help us with all the legal paperwork. The church blessing will be in Ngaoundéré, where Eric’s parents and many of his relatives live. Here are a couple photos from the civil ceremony.
I spent Christmas in Ngaoundéré with Eric and his family. Leading up to Christmas, there were many Christmas programs and concerts here in Meiganga, both at the seminary and at the local congregation. For the past couple years, I have been working as a volunteer advisor for the Sunday school teachers of the French-speaking congregation. We have some very committed young adults who teach the Sunday school and work with the children in preparing their Christmas program. They do an amazing job! If my internet connection were better, I would add some video of their concert, but a couple photos will have to do.
Back in October, I wrote about my dog, Lady, who died. There was definitely a void in the house without her, so in January I adopted a new puppy. Marie, my cook, gave him the name Gamo (Gah-mo), which means “peace” in the local Gbaya language, because she said he brought peace to our hearts after the loss of Lady. He is about 4 months old now and is growing very quickly. Here is a photo of him in early January, at about 2 months:
Many of you may know that soccer (what the rest of the world calls football) is huge in Africa. Every two years is the African Cup of Nations tournament. The women’s tournament was held here in Cameroon in November and December, and our Cameroonian women made it all the way to the finals. They lost 1-0 to Nigeria in the final match, but the country was very proud! Then in January, the men’s tournament started in Gabon. Much to everyone’s surprise, the Cameroonian men’s team also made it to the finals, and on February 5, they won 2-1 over Egypt! It had been many years since Cameroon had won the championship, and they had been beaten by Egypt several times, so it was truly an upset. The whole country was in a pandemonium of celebration.
Cameroonian women’s team (les “Lionnes”) and men’s team (les “Lions”)
[Photos courtesy of : http://www.cafonline.com/en-us/competitions/10theditionwomensafcon-cameroon2016/photos/AlbumImages, and http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/egypt-1-2-cameroon-indomitable-9763648.]
The celebration continued that week, as February 11 was the annual “Festival of Youth” national holiday here in Cameroon. As usual, our students from the seminary marched in the parade here in Meiganga. Now everyone is getting ready for the next celebration – International Women’s Day on March 8.
In the midst of all these special events, of course, the daily life of teaching and learning at the seminary continues, and I continue to be blessed and enriched by my interactions with students and colleagues.
+ Grace and peace +